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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
CITY OF GOD begins in mystery: in the autumn of 1999 the large brass cross behind the altar of St. Timothy's Episcopal church in lower Manhattan disappears....and even more mysteriously reappears on the roof of the Synagogue for Evolutionary Judaism on the upper westside. The church's maverick rector, and the young rabbinical couple who lead the synagogue, set about attempting to learn who the vandals are who have committed this strange double act of desecration and to what purpose, but their joint clerical investigation only deepens the mystery. A writer alerted to the story by a newspaper article befriends the priest and the rabbis, and finds that their own struggles with their respective traditions are relevant to the case. In fact, as the narrative advances, and the story broadens, more and more people are implicated in what may be the elusive prophecy of a new American culture. Daringly poised at the junction of the sacred and profane the book opens into a multi-voiced narrative that finally incorporates the monumental historical events and predominating ideas of our age. Filled with the sights and sounds of New York, and with a cast of vividly drawn characters that includes scientists, war veterans, prelates, holocaust survirors, cabinet members, theologians, New York Times reporters, film actors, and crooners, this dazzlingly inventive, mordantly funny masterwork emerges as the American novel readers have been thirsting for, a defining document of our times, a narrative of the 20th Century written for the 21st.