Saturday, October 20, 2007

God is Dead - Ron Currie, Jr.

Title: God Is Dead
Author: Ron Currie Jr.
Country: America
Year: 2007
Rating: A-
Pages: 182 pgs.

"They did start the war. They are savages. This is precisely the reason that, even in societies as advanced and enlightened as ours, principles must sometimes be sacrificed in order to meet and overcome threats." (p. 122)

First sentence: Disguised as a young Dinka woman, God came at dusk to a refugee camp in the North Darfur region of Sudan.

Short Summary: A wounded Dinka woman arrives at a refugee camp, looking for her lost brother. It turns out the woman is God in human form, and when she is killed, news spreads around the world about God's demise. What follows is a series of short vignettes, some with overlapping characters, of what happens in the years that follow.

What did I think: If you swallow the fantastical fact in the first chapter of this novel (God's death), you are in for an unbelievable ride into what could happen when the whole world simultaneously experiences a spiritual vacuum. The societal changes that occur are an echo of things already happening in our world today, taken to the extreme. This satire is also infused with a subtle humor that brings the whole story up a notch: a street-talking Colin Powell that actually stands up to the Bush Administration, feral dogs who feasted on God's human body suddenly becoming philosophical and speaking numerous foreign languages. It is not a story for its religious message, as some may think, but an insightful commentary on certain aspects of our culture that already exist (as the quote I chose above hints at this thought). It is a wonderful piece of debut fiction.

What I didn't like: I feel that I did not catch all of the connections between the characters. Sometimes I felt that someone was introduced that I might have met before at another stage in their life, but I wasn't sure. Another re-reading may help work this one out, and I believe it is a book that lends itself well to multiple readings.


Literary Feline said...

This sounds like quite a read! I will have to add it to my wishlist. Thanks for the great review!

Nyssaneala said...

literary feline - It was a good read! It's very rare that I actually pick up a novel shortly after it was published, especially debut fiction. I hope to see this author become more well known in the future.