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God is dead. Really??

July 1, 2010

Blog Marathon Post 1

Ours is a country which takes pride in its religious diversity where Hindus, Muslims, Christains, Parsis and people belonging to many other religions, live in perfect harmony, well, most of the times. No matter which religion you follow, we are all faced with experiences in life, which re-affirms our faith in God or questions its very own existence. For many of us, God is a comforting force more than anything else. When things don’t go our way, we take comfort in the fact that it’s God’s wish and we move on with our life. When we want things to happen in a certain way, we pray to God and strive ahead with the belief that he is watching over us.

What if, one morning, you wake up and realize that the force, which you thought is writing your destiny, making you go through all these experiences in life, the one whom you remember in your happiness and sadness, no longer exist. Would you lose the meaning in life? Would you feel that no matter how you behave, how you conduct yourselves, there is no one to watch your actions and hence you are free to do whatever you want to do? Would vandalism be the new way of the world? Would human beings be lost in the vast expanse of Universe? This is the premise which is explored in the book ‘God is Dead’, authored by Ron Currie, JR.

The story begins with God taking the form of a Sudanese woman searching for her brother in North Darfur region where rape, mass murder and several other crimes are rampant. By the end of first chapter, God is dead, trying to escape an attack by the corrupt Sudanese government. What happens in the subsequent chapters is the aftermath of the death of the all-guiding force – High School buddies forge a suicide pact; dogs speak Aramaic and walk on water; and parents, for the “lack of anything to do on Sundays”, worship their own children and eventually the entire planet becomes embroiled in a war between Evolutionary Psychologists who believe in genetic predetermination struggle against Postmodern Anthropologists who subscribe to choice and free will.

In this well-written dark comedy, the chapter that I found particularly amusing was the first-person narrative of a regional psychiatrist for CAPA – the Child Adulation Prevention Agency. He is the most vital and hated man in his county, vital because he is trying to save the world from the child-worshipping anarchy and hated because he forces people to see their children for what they are: flawed, mortal and essentially useless creatures. He works hard, and real hard, to make the parents realize that their children are no GOD, they are mere mortals. During one of his appointments, he reasons with one mother that her son “never scored higher than a 98. Like most of us, Levon will have to rely on the gifted few to drive human intellectual progress in his lifetime. He will be a passenger, not a participant.” How this story ends is sure to make you feel blessed, with all the love surrounding you.

The one thing which strikes out in the book is the fact that even during the non-existence of God, the actions undertaken by human beings has spiritual undertones. Friends who sign on a suicide pact feels they are doing something ‘sacred’ and the psychiatrist in the story himself ‘worships’ children. Maybe as mortals, we are trying to seek faith in whatever we do, no matter how non-existent it is.

I recommend this book to anyone who want a change of genre and a fresh style of writing. There are parts in the book which may appear scandalous to theists, but overall the book makes for a good read.

P.S: This debut novel of Ron Currie won the New York Public Library’s 2008 Young Lions Fiction Award.


From → blog marathon, books

  1. PB :) permalink

    nice one … no surprises in a bibliophile like you choosing to write about a book to start off your blog marathon …cant comment more as I havnt read the book myself … it sounds interesting though … so i m adding it to my "to-read" list …

  2. Thanks PB. Yes, a bibliophile like me, its natural to review a book as my first post, right?

  3. Interesting 🙂 seems like a book i might enjoy!

  4. Nice write up.If you want to keep track of your readers, use google analytics in your blog site. You can see the location, frequency of the visitors etc to your site.

  5. @Hitha: You should read it, its interesting.@Madhu: Thanks. I already use statscounter for that.

  6. when i first read the title it reminded me of Nietzsche, but once i started reading i realized the theme lines were totally orthogonal.Never the less once again i felt i should add one more book to my ToRead list 🙂

  7. @raghu: Yeah, even I thought the same when I first read the title. Read it and let me know your take on the book. Would love to know 🙂

  8. A really nicely written book review 🙂

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