Towing Jehovah

Towing Jehovah

by James Morrow

Paperback(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780156002103
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/24/1995
Series: Godhead Trilogy , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 844,528
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

James Morrow was born in Philadelphia in 1947. Besides writing, he plays with Lionel electric trains and collects videocassettes of vulgar biblical spectacles.

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Towing Jehovah 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As I checked this book out of the library, the librarian commented that this was his favorite book so I had great expectations for it.I didn't like it. It's not because I don't like satirical novels (read Lullaby), or religious "commentary" (read Lamb)... it's because... hmmm... I can't put my finger on it. It tried too hard?It's ridiculous in the way that Lullaby is ridiculous, but at least Lullaby attempted to be so over the top that you knew it, this one tries to pretend that it's NOT so over the top... Oh, I dunno...
Medellia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is just wonderful. Great satire with a real plot, fleshed-out characters, and loads of symbolic meaning. It's Nietzschean philosophy at a literal level: God is dead, and his two-mile-long body is floating out in the ocean. An angel appears to a disgraced captain of an oil tanker and tells him he needs to tow the body to the Arctic for a proper burial. In the meantime, the Vatican wants him to get it there as quickly as possible so that they can cryogenically freeze the body and resuscitate it later. While the Vatican seems unconcerned with the philosophical ramifications of God's apparent death, the Jesuit Father Thomas Ockham muses aboard the ship, struggling for answers. Highly recommended.
ehines on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Imagine if Carl Hiassen ventured to write something like Wilton Barnhardt's Gospel. This would be it, I think. The philosophical bits could have been a lot better thought out, but all in all a good read that is skeptical but not hostile to religion.
sboyte on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Morrow has written a good story, although at times the philosophical and theological underpinnings of the novel are hard to follow. Essentially, he examines the literal death of god and its implications for society as the corpse is towed north by an oil tanker.The book is well-written and pretty hard to put down at times. My one complaint would be that the character of Cassie, a supposed feminist/atheist, is portrayed as a militant idiot. Although she is a "smart" character, Morrow has written her as rather dumb and inconsiderate.But, still, really enjoyable and totally irreverant. Thumbs up.
Devil_llama on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun fiction based on the premise that God has died and needs to be transported to his final resting place. This imaginative plot tie together the Catholic Church hierarchy, a Jesuit priest and a nun, a ship captain who has lost his license, a group of atheists, and a bunch of Nazi sympthizers in a twisty, quirky plot that asks the question "What would happen if there were no God?". I don't agree with the author's answer, but it's fun getting there. Unfortunately, some of the characters were unbelievable stereotypes, particularly the atheists, and the ending was pure Hollywood pap.
PGAllison on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great read with an isolated crew acting as a microcosm for society when the world learns that God is dead.
vpfluke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The conceit of this novel is that God is dead, that is, his physical body, which must be towed from the tropics to the Arctic to get a proper watery burial for him. At times, funny and provocative, this was a thoroughly interesting read. The Vatican and its representatives play a role, sometimes spurious. There is a n intersting mix of characters tha keeps it from being boring and the sub-themes of eating, romance, shipping, etc are done with a light touch.
reverends on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I sought out this novel about God's corpse being towed across the ocean by a disgraced oil rig captain, I was expecting a hilarious farce along the lines of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's series, playing fast and loose with religious beliefs. Not so, I found, as the humor was much more dark and subtle, and nowhere near as zany as the subject matter would suggest. Not laugh out loud funny, but rather a sly and knowledgable humor, a wink and a nudge, say no more. But this wasn't a dissapointment, for what I found that Morrow handled successfully was the motivations behind both blind faith and lack thereof. Devout Christians and Athiests are represented at their most extreme, both rational and irrational, and neither side is truly taken by Morrow in his endeavor to explore God's true nature, both in reality and our mind's eye. Its not a comedy as much as it is a thinking-man's comedy of errors, and that's the best way I can think to recommend it.
fiddlersgreen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book. I highly recommend. God dies, falls into the ocean and a drunken captain is hired to tow Him to the arctic for "burial."
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
no spoilers, but here's a synopsisAn unqualified 10! I literally did not put this book down. I was up until 4 a.m finishing it and it was well worth the nasty headache I have right now. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone! Okay...maybe not to devout Christians or Catholics -- they might be a little upset with the satire. However, if you find yourself with an open mind, do read this book. You will NOT be disappointed. At times it is just downright funny; at other times, filled with wisdom.The main premise is that God is dead and that his huge body (2 miles long, with 7 million tons of displacement)has fallen into the sea from Heaven. The angels get in touch with the Vatican to give them the news; the Vatican sends the angel Raphael to one Anthony Van Horne to tell him that his mission is to tow God's body into the Arctic ocean from where it is off the coast of Africa and deposit it into a specially-prepared iceberg. There's one slight problem: towing God's body would require a huge ship, much like the one that Van Horne was captaining when it ran a reef and spilled enough oil to cover every living creature with tons of oil. Since that time, Van Horne has lost his license. But the Vatican comes to the rescue: not only will Van Horne get a new license from Brazil, he will also be getting back the very ship that wrecked on his watch, now repaired and ready to go. Van Horne, who can't shower enough to get rid of the oil on his conscience, is of course wary; but Raphael tells him that if he does this, he will gain redemption. Van Horne agrees to do the job. There's a catch: because the Vatican supercomputer predicts that while God's heart has stopped functioning, his brain may still be alive, and so they need to get God under ice within a certain time frame and make a quick journey. How does the Vatican explain all this? They launch a huge cover up (another side benefit to this book -- the "Vatican conspiracy" plot) saying that there has been a gigantic spill and the Vatican is financing a mission to clean it up. So Van Horne sets out with his hastily-picked crew, picks up God's body and starts the journey north. Then the first of many problems occurs: the crew receives a distress call from a woman who had been traveling as part of a biologist team on a replica of Darwin's The Beagle, which was wrecked in a hurricane and left her stranded on a small island which was nothing more than rocks filled with guano. Van Horne wants to send someone else after her; the Jesuit priest on board says that they must pick her up and save her. God would have wanted that. So they rescue the woman, who is an ardent feminist who belongs to an Enlightenment society and the trouble begins when she realizes what the ship's mission is. I'm not going to say another word about the plot so as not to give it away. What I will tell you is that Towing Jehovah is a brilliant piece of writing. For example, on page 118, the priest Tom and the nun Miriam are taking a drive on God's body, with the music "Also Sprach Zarasthustra" in the background, discussing how God died. The priest argues that "he died from a bad case of the twentieth century." On the next page, they get into a discussion of Nietzsche -- wonderful! Don't forget it was Nietzsche who gave the famous quote "God is Dead." And it's not just the Vatican that gets the brunt of Morrow's satire: Jews, feminists, evangelicals and others as represented by the crew members also fall victim. Even atheists & agnostics are examined: on page 135, the priest notes the effect that the discovery that God was dead would have on the world's population:"In the old days...whether you were a believer, a nonbeliever, or a confused agnostic, at some level, conscious or unconscious, you felt God was watching you, and the intuition kept you in check. Now a whole new era is upon us."And again, on 181, Miriam wonders about the post-theistic age and what's in store for the new postdomini world. There are some re
libraryofus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(Amy) God is dead. Morrow is scarcely the first to write about such things, but this tale of towing God's corpse to its final resting place in the Arctic Circle is far more entertaining than Nietzche ever dreamed of being. Managing to be both deliciously blasphemous and amazingly thought-provoking, this book is well worth reading.(Alistair) I second absolutely all of the above.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read this book about 3 times in the past few years, and it's always worth the time to pick up again. Morrow's satire of how far we will go to defend our own beliefs, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, is as intelligent as it is fun to read. While some people of faith are probably offended by the premise, it's a deeper look at where we get our sense of morality from. To Morrow's credit, he does take some swipes at dogmatic Atheists as well through some of the plot lines.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Come on, confess--you're intrigued by the book's premise. Well, let me be the first to say that you won't be disappointed if you buy this one. This is a magnificently written, darkly funny book that will have you laughing while at the same time wondering what you might do if you found out there was no God. Rich characters and wonderful use of language make 'Towing Jehovah' a must-read.