Religion makes a great many assumptions about the workings of the universe. Many throw rational thought out of the window, delivering dogma as fact. While this can cause some very heated debates with non-followers, none do it quite so humorously as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
If you are unfamiliar with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, wikipedia has a nice article on His Noodly Goodness, or you can go to the Church's website at venganza.org. In short, the FSM is a divine being who does not issue commands, rather "I really rather you didn'ts". He flies, and is made of spaghetti. He is a lovable deity, even if some of his key bits of dogma are not very family friendly (heaven features beer volcanoes and stripper factories, for example).
In the collection "Amazing Stories of the Flying Spaghetti Monster" (edited by Cameron C. Pierce, author of Abortion Arcade) we see interpretations that somewhat stray from the core image that His church presents. They are weird, funny, and engaging. From the light-hearted "Grumpy Old Gods", to the more serious "Hot Dogma", and even some self-deprecation in the form of Mykle Hansen's "How I Became a Famous Author", we see the FSM through other meatball eyes. It is enlightening, but fills the stomach nicely.
Each story paints a different Sistine ceiling of His Noodly Goodness: at times He is very human, just another sentient being getting on in the universe (Adam Bolivar's "Down and Out in Mythos City, e.g.) In other stories He is strictly divine, all mystery and enigma (Kirsten Alene's "23, 28"). All of the tales collected here are sure to delight those both new to His word and faithful Pastafarians alike.
Like a made-from-scratch Italian dinner, "Amazing Stories..." is sure to leave you satisfied. You can't go wrong with this anthology. In the words of the Pastafarians: RAmen.
Let me just say this off the bat, I am not a devout follower of "His Noodly Goodness", I am a Methodist. That being said I do relate to the followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, because in essence it is a religion based on pointing out the stupidity of the religious right here in the US. But I am not going to discuss my political beliefs here, I want to talk about this book, and what a book it is.
Bizarro Fiction auteur Cameron Pierce has assembled a cavalcade of authors to create what can only be described as a block of Adult Swim's most surreal shows by way of Timothy Leary and a 42nd Street grindhouse. This book has a combo of haunting, almost lyrical stories, and off the wall lunacy that will make any reader without a stick up their behind laugh and contemplate the universe.
Among some of the best works in here, and there are a lot of them, are Steve Lowe's Monty Python meets Rod Serling take on a man's search for the secret behind a haunting vision of FSM, Kirsten Alene's Egyptian tale of an archeologists breathtaking discovery, and Adam Bolivar's take on what defines a deity that features a cameo by none other than Charlie Sheen. If that doesn't sell you on this book then you obviously need your head examined.
I don't think I have read one book last year that was as fun or reveled gleefully in it's lunacy as this one. If you want to read a book that will keep you hooked for hours, pick this one up. Trust me, this is one book you'll gobble up and ask for another helping.
This book certainly had me chuckling on the plane while reading it. Unfortunately, it comes across that the people who compiled it didn't do much copy-editing when gathering the stories. Thrown in between very good, thoughtful pieces about the FSM, are somewhat random, badly written pieces that looked like they were just thrown in to make the book longer. A bit more careful selection of what stories make the list would have served this book better. But it was still a good read.
A compilation of stories about the FSM from various authors. A few of the stories were very well written, most of them I didn't care for. Maybe if you're a fan of the author's previous work, this would be in the same vein; but for me, it didn't jive well.