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Posted March 16, 2012
I thought the philosophical novel died with Camus, and then I stumbled upon this unknown gem. THE ATHEIST'S CHURCH strips bare the religious pretensions of our times and gives us a straightforward account of what it's like to be an atheist living in modern America. With the erosion of the separation of church and state going on in our current politics, it's nice to see our artists are fighting back. We need more novels like this. (If only we could get our politicians to read them!)
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Posted March 17, 2012
This novel reminds me why novels are still an important and viable form of discourse in America. The Atheist's Church is ultimately a tour de force about tolerance and intolerance, about what happens when people believe their beliefs too strongly. It's a novel about the marketplace of ideas and what happens when people try to suppress ideas, not based on whether they are poor ideas, but merely because they believe those ideas threaten their own mode of thought.
Whereas most serious fiction these days uses clever language in an effort to cover up its lack of intellectual rigor, this novel presents a plain-spoken style which is both cleverly banal and deceptively emotional. The use of motifs - of darkness and light, of violent verbiage (he SHOT me a look, etc.) - weighs on one's unconscious until one is overwhelmed. Let the story wow you, as it did me.
I thought all atheists were evil until my uncle (the AdamZ reviewer) made me read this novel to try to make me become more tolerant of other people's views about things. This novel really makes you think, not in a book-ish way, but like about other people and about how people can become so set in their ways that they forget to think anymore. I really loved the character Junior, who I can really relate to now.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.