In fact, when I was reading it in hardcover... I was LITERALLY stopped twice by strangers who wanted to say to me "you know that's just a work of fiction, right?" ... a) Like I actually gave a shit what some batty intense stranger wanted to tell me and b) what the hell is going on to make them stop me to say this?
I'll tell ya... they go to a church with a minister that had berated the novel and asked his minions... er... congregation to "spread the word" that the book is just a novel.
Have you ever heard of the Shroud of Turin? Do you know why it's such a big honking deal? Back when they thought it was real - they've since debunked the reality of the shroud - it was the ONLY PHYSICAL REALITY of jesus. There really is nothing out there but some stories to account for any reality of the big J-man. But ... they're stories.
What exactly is the bible? A fact based accounting, verified independantly, of historical events? um... not even close yo. The bible, the King James bible, was cobbled together rather recently (by historical standards) from a vast wealth of alegorical stories and "stories" that swirled around the religious world.
When I see someone with a bible... I'm sooooo tempted to stop them and say: "You know that's just a work of fiction, right?"