Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible

Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible

3.3 16
by David Plotz
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

“Hilarious. . . . It’s Cliff Notes for Scripture—screenplay by Plotz, story by God. . . . In the end, though, the book is made by the spirit of the writer.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Like the Bible itself, Good Book contains multitudes—it is by turns thought-provoking, funny, enlightening and

Overview

“Hilarious. . . . It’s Cliff Notes for Scripture—screenplay by Plotz, story by God. . . . In the end, though, the book is made by the spirit of the writer.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Like the Bible itself, Good Book contains multitudes—it is by turns thought-provoking, funny, enlightening and moving.” — A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

“Plotz is a genius writer.” — Franklin Foer, author of How Soccer Explains the World

A whip-smart, laugh-out-loud tour through the most important book in the world, a book most people have never read: the Bible.

Editorial Reviews

"Like many lax but well-educated Jews (and Christians), I have long assumed I knew what was in the Bible-more in less." When David Plotz realized that he was wrong, he embarked on a simple project: He would read every word in the Old Testament, not as a scholar, but "unmediated by teachers, rabbis, or parents." What he learned in this momentous amateur adventure is certain to surprise you, whether you think of yourself as a committed Christian or Jew, an agnostic, or an atheist. An engaging read that lives up to every single one of its subtitle claims.
Rich Cohen
It's CliffsNotes for Scripture—screenplay by Plotz, story by God—which is by turns entertaining, serious, shallow, profound, literal-minded, cute, ingratiating, hilarious.
—The New York Times
Time Out New York
“Irreverent. . . . Plotz’s hilarious exegeses will have you laughing out loud. Who knew the Bible was such a riot?”
The Jerusalem Post
“Highly entertaining.”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A bloody good book. . . . Very funny. . . . Priceless for those of all traditions who see value in posing unanswerable questions to each other, and to God himself.”
A. J. Jacobs
“Like the Bible itself, Good Book contains multitudes—it is by turns thought-provoking, funny, enlightening and moving. In short, David Plotz’s book easily lives up to its name. Trust me, Thou shalt enjoy.”
Andy Borowitz
“Thanks to David Plotz’s amazing book, I will never have to read The Bible. When can he do this for Madame Bovary?”
Franklin Foer
“Plotz is a genius writer. He can mine Genesis for new insights—and play the book of Job for laughs. He’s the perfect companion for a romp through the Bible: charmingly confessional, a deeply penetrating reader, and at complete ease relating ancient (often obscure) narratives to our modern condition.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061972881
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,050,030
File size:
659 KB

Read an Excerpt

Good Book

Chapter One

You'd think God would know exactly what He's doing at the Creation. But He doesn't. He's a tinkerer. He tries something out: What happens if I move all the water around so there's room for dry land? He checks it out. Yes, "this was good." Then He moves on to His next experiment: How about plants? I'll try plants.

Creation is haphazard, like any do-it-yourself building project. For example, God tackles the major geological and astronomical features during the first two days...light, sky, water, earth. But day three is a curious interruption...the creation of plants...that is followed by a return to massive universe-shaping efforts on day four with the formation of the sun, moon, and stars. The plant venture is a tangent, like installing the refrigerator before you've put a roof on the house.

Does the Lord love insects best? They're so nice He makes them twice. On day five, He makes "the living creatures of every kind that creep." A day later, He makes "all kinds of creeping things of the earth." "Creeping" is all over Creation, in fact. When God tells His newly made man and woman that they rule over the Earth's creatures, He specifies that their subjects include "every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." What a phrase, perfect for bugs and babies.

Good Book. Copyright © by David Plotz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are saying about this

Franklin Foer
“Plotz is a genius writer. He can mine Genesis for new insights—and play the book of Job for laughs. He’s the perfect companion for a romp through the Bible: charmingly confessional, a deeply penetrating reader, and at complete ease relating ancient (often obscure) narratives to our modern condition.”
A.J. Jacobs
“Like the Bible itself, Good Book contains multitudes—it is by turns thought-provoking, funny, enlightening and moving. In short, David Plotz’s book easily lives up to its name. Trust me, Thou shalt enjoy.”
Andy Borowitz
“Thanks to David Plotz’s amazing book, I will never have to read The Bible. When can he do this for Madame Bovary?”

Meet the Author

David Plotz is the editor of Slate. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, The Washington Post, and GQ, and is the author of The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank. He won the National Press Club's Hume Award for political journalism and has been a National Magazine Award finalist. He lives with his wife, the journalist Hanna Rosin, and their children in Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
grisaille More than 1 year ago
Having earned a Master's Degree in religious studies, I considered myself to be (fairly) knowledgeable about the Hebrew Testament. I didn't realize just how much I had forgotten, or never learned in the first place, until I picked up Plotz' The Good Book. The Hebrew Testament is filled with heroes, villains, true love, deceit, betrayal, grace ... and on and on. I love how Plotz engages with the text: he is alternately angry, inspired and saddened. And he is filled with questions. A wonderfully human response to such a complex text. Highly recommended to anyone interested in Judaism, literary studies, or religious studies in general.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It gives one a whole new understanding of the Old Testament. I had no idea I was so ignorant of even the most common stories. He eliminates the pages and pages of tedious material and gets right to the most meaningful text. Your understaning of the Bible will never be the same again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed out loud more times than I could count. Plotz is a very good writer with a very quick wit. I have never read the old testament, consider myself a tangential Jew, and I appreciated his summarizing, satirizing and political commentary. I doubt that I will ever read the tanach, but at least I now understand why not!
MichaelTravisJasper More than 1 year ago
This is a book about the Old Testament of the Bible written by a young agnostic Jewish man. He really read the book for the first time, paying close attention to detail. He points out the inconsistencies, and contradictions, oddities and ideas that conflict with our modern ideas of ethics. Many Christian and Jewish readers will find the God presented in the Old Testament to be disturbing, even in conflict with their conception of God. This factual and easy to read analysis of each chapter makes clear that though there are many truths in the Bible, there is also much that cannot be true of a loving sane God. Michael Travis Jasper, Author of the Novel “To Be Chosen”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious! I would give it 20 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is VERY seldom I have laughed so hard and so often outside of watching America's Funniest Videos! Highly entertaining, more than delightfully well-written and full marks for some of THE most clever turns of phrase I have read. A+ for keeping a very balanced political view. A must for all to keep a little levity in such an overwhelming and emotionally charged subject...religion. If you don't get at least a dozen chuckles and one belly laugh reading the sample pages....lay down, you're dead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stephen Edosomwan More than 1 year ago
I recommend it to friends
TEST NOOKUSER More than 1 year ago
just Wfulll stunky
dubiety More than 1 year ago
"it has never been more important to get to know the Bible." Well, David Plotz did not "get to know" the whole BIBLE as one is lead to believe. He only read the old testament, which most christians think is antiquated and yes even bizarre! So Why doesn't David continue his quest and read the New Testament as well and give us his all knowing insights?
alms53 More than 1 year ago
I do not recommend this book to anyone. I pray that sometime in the future he will see a valuable lesson in the Real Book, (Holy Bible.) Of course there is freedom of speech.