In this novel the 20th century is illuminated by a thousand tales and anecdotes. There is that. There is also the very personal story of a small town Catholic boy whose compassion is awakened by a firsthand account of one of the century's horrors. His compassion is noted by Christ, who comes to ask him if he would be willing to suffer for the sake of others, joining his suffering to Christ's redemptive suffering. This begins Stanley Czbutko's amazing hidden life, which leads to his becoming a modern Dante. The Kid Who Collected the Century is poignant, horrendous, and funny by turns.