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A God in Ruins Mass Market Paperback – September 5, 2000

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (September 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061097934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061097935
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Veteran bestselling author Leon Uris (Exodus, Trinity) stays true to form with A God in Ruins, delivering yet another vast and vigorous novel about politics and history, right and wrong, love and loss. This time his country of choice is the United States, on the eve of the 2008 presidential election.

The incumbent, Thornton Tomtree, is running against the Catholic governor of Colorado, Quinn Patrick O'Connell. Thornton, who grew up playing in his daddy's Providence junkyard, made billions on a computer invention before becoming president. Brainy, calculating, and stiff, he lacks both charm and scruples--qualities that the honest and open Quinn, an ex-Marine, has in spades. Though set in 2008, A God in Ruins has its roots firmly in the past. In order to flesh out his characters, Uris casts his net all the way back to World War II, highlighting some of the more dramatic moments in Thornton and Quinn's lives as they move inexorably from youth towards a run for the White House. In the process, Uris takes up some of the attention-grabbing political issues in America from the second half of the 20th century: gun control, terrorist attacks, and Clinton's sex scandals.

Uris can always be counted on to inject the political with the personal, and Quinn is the perfect vehicle for this when his presidential bid is threatened at the eleventh hour by potentially damning information about his past. A lively supporting cast of characters--from Quinn's delicious wife Rita to Thornton's conflicted right-hand man Darnell--adds spark to this emotional story. At one point, when the campaign has reached a fever pitch, Thornton says about Quinn, "Our jingle-jangle rope-a-dope cowboy is going to be a handful." So is Uris's engaging book, which positively spills over with simple heroism and hot-button political issues. --Katherine Anderson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran writer Uris (Exodus; Redemption) begins his 12th novel with a compelling premise: Quinn O'Connell is certain to become America's second Roman Catholic president, except that he discovers, a week before the 2008 election, that he was actually born Jewish. Adopted 60 years ago by a Catholic couple, and newly informed by his long-lost Jewish half-brother of his heritage, O'Connell now asks a difficult question: Is America ready to elect a Jewish president? This initial introduction of the issue of anti-Semitism seems promising. Uris obviously is aiming to put the religion of a world leader in perspective: what does it matter if he's at heart a good and honest man? But then he virtually ignores the theme for the next 300 pages. Even when the national reaction to O'Connell's identity results in epidemic violence against Jewish people across the country, an event compared to Kristallnacht, the national issue that gets the most play in O'Connell's presidential race is gun control. His opponent in the election is Republican incumbent Thornton Tomtree, whose administration is struggling to repair his reputation in the wake of violent national tragedies like the Four Corners Massacre, in which 400 Eagle Scouts and their troop leaders are killed in a catastrophic explosion set off by a drugged-out militia group. O'Connell goes up against the gun lobby and calls for repeal of the Second Amendment as part of his presidential campaign. This issue dominates the bulk of the novel, making the opening and closing sections feel like a cut-and-paste job on a totally different story. Years are dismissed in sentences and events are outlined instead of described. Gun lobbies, neo-Nazi militias and tensions between black and Jewish communities eventually get worked into the plot, as does O'Connell's family history, but Uris's apocalyptic tale is too stylistically scattered to generate much suspense. In fact, readers may think they are reading a miniseries teleplay that hasn't been fully fleshed out. Author tour; 15-city TV satellite tour. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Leon Uris (1924-2003) was an author of fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays whose works include numerous bestselling novels. His epic Exodus (1958) has been translated into over fifty languages. Uris's work is notable for its focus on dramatic moments in contemporary history, including World War II and its aftermath, the birth of modern Israel, and the Cold War. Through the massive success of his novels and his skill as a storyteller, Uris has had enormous influence on popular understanding of twentieth-century history.

Customer Reviews

I didn't finish reading the book as it went it to trash reading.
I've read many Leon Uris books but I must say that this one can only be described as highly disappointing.
Michael Collins
This book does not appear to be written by the author; it is weak in characters and plot.
C. Hayman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Richard P. Maguire on October 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a long time fan of Leon Uris and was excited to begin another of his novels. I have been greatly influenced by his previous works- to the extent that after reading "Battlecry" at the age of 18 I enlisted in the Marine Corps and served for 20 years.
I am distressed to report that this novel is poorly researched, poorly edited and profoundly ideological.
The book is replete with anahronism. One of the secondary characters, a Marine Major General, is supposedly a WWII vet still on active duty in the 21st century. Can't happen, wouldn't happen, didn't happen. Uris describes a former Marine Major who served on active duty from 1978-1986 as a Viet Nam vet. Umm, I was on active duty from 1976 to 1996, the US was out of the war three years before I enlisted. Quinn O'Connell rose to the non-existent rank of Master Technical Sergeant in a five year career? Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.
Uris' attempt at the techno thriller genre would embarass even the least talented Tom Clancy wannabe's. His description of the equipment, tactics and weapons used on the fictional raid into Iran strain the loosest credibility. Nor does he provide believable justification for this goofy mission. How exactly does freeing an Iranian criminal/dissident exact revenge for a terrorist bombing? It's obvious that the only reason for this little plot line is to provide an opportunity to ascribe heroic actions to O'Connell.
Uris' description of the thinly disguised surrogate for the NRA, AMERIGUN, is directlty drawn from the rantings of the farthest left opponents to the Second Amendment. His efforts result in laughable caricatures of any prominent opponents to his point of view.
Most distressing is the shift in the quality of writing about half way through the book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By gottaread on December 6, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was shocked at the lack of continuitiy in story-line and generally poor writing. My husband was reading another Uris book concurrently and I kept asking him what he thought of Uris writing style. My husband said A-. I began to think either I was crazy or my husband was, but since I have been reading other reviews of A God In Ruins, I realize we are both right. Something bad happened to Mr Uris at the time he wrote this book...but what? It is not a fair representation of his talent and I am befuddled enough to take time to write this review. God in Ruins is a definite 'don't read.' Read something else like The Haj or Exodus. I think his family should take this one out of circulation. God bless and rest Mr. Uris soul!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Madres on May 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I love Leon Uris. I've read all his books and several have had specific influences on my life. Therefore, I was very excited when I learned of A God in Ruins and I preordered immediately. I am only 86 pages in but was compelled to do this review to register my shock at the poor editing job done by Harper Collins. Snyder and Camp never played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Snider and Campy (Campanella) did. Columbia Law School has no basketball team. No grad schools do. Columbia University (undergraduate) issues no athletic scholarships. The most egregious error, however, is that the list of the authors previous works is inaccurate. Uris never wrote a book entitled Milta Pass. He did, in fact, write a fine book years ago, Mitla Pass. How sad. Heads should roll. I'm almost afraid to read on to see what other errors mar this work.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I had the good fortune of reading all of the bad reviews before picking up this book. My expectations were thus quite low. I agree with the other readers on many points: the book was very poorly edited (i.e. reference to eastern time zone being three hours behind the pacific time zone, reference to one of the main character's children having to be rescued twice from the flower-child land of Height Ashbury when such kids weren't even born until the late 70's), the story line was all over the lot, the characters were often caricatures of themselves, Uris' political views were rammed down the readers' throats, and the plentiful representations of the Clintons as misunderstood and victims of the media was just plain laughable. HOWEVER, even with all of these problems, I still could not put down the book once I got to page 200. While certainly not even close in quality to Uris' other books, I still found God in Ruins to be entertaining and a nice escape. It is certainly no worse than the tripe offered by many of today's fiction writers.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
...I checked this audiotape out at the library. But I do a lot of purchasing here and I also rely heavily on Amazon.com customer reviews in making my book purchasing choices. Unfortunately, somehow I didn't consult them when selecting Ruins. Man I sure should have. After listening to Ruins, I honestly felt betrayed. I haven't anything new to add that hasn't already been covered in the other reviews. I would like to offer a challenge though. I challenge anyone to find a book from an author as great as Leon Uris that is as bad as this one. I grew up on Leon Uris. He is the reason I became a historical fiction devotee. For that I will forgive him (maybe not his editor), and I can only hope we will see a return to the writing standard of his previous works.
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