God Is Dead

God Is Dead

3.5 19
by Ron Currie Jr.
     
 

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An electrifying debut from a provocative new voice in fiction that will remind readers of the best of Vonnegut

Ron Currie’s gutsy, funny book is instantly gripping: If God takes human form and dies, what would become of life as we know it? Effortlessly combining outlandish humor with big questions about mortality, ethics, and human weakness, Ron

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Overview

An electrifying debut from a provocative new voice in fiction that will remind readers of the best of Vonnegut

Ron Currie’s gutsy, funny book is instantly gripping: If God takes human form and dies, what would become of life as we know it? Effortlessly combining outlandish humor with big questions about mortality, ethics, and human weakness, Ron Currie, Jr., holds a funhouse mirror to our present-day world. God has inhabited the mortal body of a young Dinka woman in the Sudan. When she is killed in the Darfur desert, he dies along with her, and word of his death soon begins to spread. Faced with the hard proof that there is no supreme being in charge, the world is irrevocably transformed, yet remains oddly recognizable.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A bleak dystopian future is tempered with moments of possibility in story writer Currie's debut novel, in which a sick and wounded Dinka woman arrives at a refugee camp in Darfur, searching for her lost brother. The woman is God, come to Earth in human form to make apologies to the Sudanese, over whose fate He is, "due to an implacable polytheistic bureaucracy, completely powerless." When God is gunned down, news of His death spreads quickly around the globe and provides the jumping-off point for the subsequent short story-like chapters that reveal what happens in a post-God world: suicide rates skyrocket (especially among clergy members), riots and mass looting erupt and the pack of feral dogs that feasted on God's corpse begin "speaking a mishmash of Greek and Hebrew" and inspiring worship among Africans. (Meanwhile, in America, the masses, seeking a deity to fill the void, begin worshipping children.) Looking at humanity through a warped lens allows the various narrators unusual insight; while sometimes overwrought, these observations are often striking, as when an enlightened dog describes the strange new experience of emotion. This novel-in-stories is unsettling and strange, but still easily accessible; despite the ways in which his world has changed, Currie's altered humanity has one foot in ours. (July)

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Kirkus Reviews
Bereft and deranged earthlings struggle to adapt to a world without divine guidance in this mordant dystopian fable, its Maine author's abrasively funny first novel. It begins in Darfur, whence God, hamstrung by the indecisiveness of "an implacable polytheistic bureaucracy," has come, in the guise of a native African (Dinka) woman, to show His solidarity with embattled Sudanese refugees. The Deity's disguised appearance elicits both emergency aid and profane insubordination from visiting U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. And when the eponymous tragedy occurs, humanity comes apart at its seams in a series of variously interrelated seriocomic episodes. A hopeful high-school graduate eager to jettison her past and embrace the future instead experiences numbing depression when she observes a priest committing suicide. When the absence of God moves parents to blind adoration of their children, a weary CAPP (Child Adulation Prevention Psychologist) tries, and fails, to set misguided moms and dads straight. Directionless teens form a suicide club, and a love-struck adolescent joins the Marines to fight in a catastrophic global war that pits Postmodern Anthropologists against Evolutionary Psychologists. When an unstable young man who cannot completely shed his Christian faith commits mass murder, his innocent family are "accused" of worship. Clearly, Currie intends these spiky narratives to fray readers' nerves, and despite a tendency to push even his most inspired premises to what's-going-on-here extremes, they're almost uniformly inventive and absorbing. His wired imagination works best in a monologue-"interview" with the last surviving member of the feral dog pack that feasted on theDeity's fresh corpse, ingested some of His powers and were themselves worshipped by humans, before suffering exploitation by a megalomaniac theologian. Currie builds momentum expertly, but diffuses it somewhat with an ending that almost exactly echoes that of the popular film The Terminator. Very clever indeed: Kurt Vonnegut laced with Louis-Ferdinand Celine. Agent: Simon Lipskar/Writers House LLC

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143113485
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/27/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
567,653
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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