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Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir Hardcover – March 12, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords; 1 edition (March 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599950626
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599950624
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. God in couples counseling? Sounds sacrilegious, but in the adept hands of comedian, writer and actress Isaacs, it's a success. Isaacs reached bottom at age 40: no job, no boyfriend, no home. Of course, she blamed God. So off they went to counseling with the ever-patient therapist Rudy. Isaacs moves easily between recounting her life story and her counseling sessions. She describes encounters with the Nice Jesus of her Lutheran upbringing; the Oakie Pentecostal church and the militant counselor; the Rock-n-Roll church and the Orthopraxy, Dude church, plus her rocky acting career and her love life, including guilt-ridden sex and Mostly Mister Right. Isaacs readily admits to being snarky, but she's honest about her quest and its conclusion: I saw now all too clearly why I had married God: for the power and the glory. For the money. Isaacs goes on a Job-like search for explanations from God, but instead finds the problem to be her. She's funny, biting, earthy and brilliant. (Mar. 12)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"If King David were a woman, and were funny, he'd be Susan Isaacs. And the thing about this book is it surprises you. There are lines in it you won't see coming. You'll be handing this book to somebody else about a month from now thinking, Maybe this will help them understand me. You'll do that because it helped you understand yourself first." (Donald Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz)

"Susan's brilliant comic idea of taking God to couples therapy is a terrific framework for the story of her personal journey of faith." (Jim Gaffigan, actor and comedian)

"Face it, folks, the church is made up of messed-up people all trying to deal with life. I appreciate writers like Susan who creatively face their issues with honesty and humor. ANGRY CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD is a really fun read." (Tony Hale, actor)

More About the Author

Susan Isaacs is a writer, actor and comedienne with TV and film credits including Planes Trains & Automobiles, Scrooged, Seinfeld, The Drew Carey Show, and My Name Is Earl and more. Susan is an alumnus of the Groundlings Sunday Company and holds an MFA in screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

Susan has contributed her essays to Weekend America, Fresh Yarn, Burnside Writers Collective, and wrote DirecTV's holiday specials hosted by NASCAR champ Darrell Waltrip. Susan lives in Southern California.

Customer Reviews

This is one of the few books I have read cover to cover more than once.
John Williams
Susan Isaac's book "Angry Conversations with God" .... Probably one of the most honest books I've read in a while.
Mary Thomas
Susan Isaacs is also very honest in this book both with the reader and herself.
Sophia Harp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Chad Estes on April 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book wasn't what I expected. The author, Susan Isaacs, is a moderately successful actress/writer/comedienne who has worked on movies and TV shows you would be familiar with. Why don't you know her on a first name basis? That is part of the fuel for the fire of this book. In telling her lack-of-success story Susan is "snarky," her cover is cute, and even her book title is clever. I imagined that it would be a humorous read, something fluffy like Oreo filling that I could enjoy between the hard shell theology books on my plate. But this ended up being a book that has significant substance.

Sometimes I get the impression that the Christian authors I read just want to sell books, to see their name on a book spine, or to appear to the rest of us that they are ahead of the pack. They produce books full of outlines that if followed will solve all the answers to church growth problems, deal with leadership issues, nail down how to live as a modern Christian in the post-modern world, and provide seven steps to get to whatever. And though I'm sure there is much value in these attempts, sometimes I just want to relate to someone who is asking the same questions that I am.

Susan has some questions; like when her pastor encouraged her not to act in a film that was too dark, but then later used the same movie in a sermon illustration once it was released; and when all the people around her found the success that she didn't; and when all the relationships she invested in came up bankrupt; and when each of the churches she attended became cliché, full of hype, and self-serving; and especially when Susan decided that the God she knew was nothing but cruel.

This isn't a book about blame.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By HawleyEdit on May 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Who does not bring their own checkered past and frustrations to this kind of story? Who has not wondered what God can possibly be up to, in view of the dubious ways he shapes our paths? -- That said, here's my disclaimer: Part of the impact this outstanding book has on me was due to the many ways I relate to the pilgrimage Susan Isaacs relates. But (a corollary disclaimer) I'm confident anyone in our schizoid society who knows the meaning of honest doubt will be transfixed by this story as I am.

My advice is to get hold of "Angry Conversations" and strap yourself in. You will see the amazing, probing questions Susan has asked, but you'll be asking your own as well -- and learning more about the amazing God who inspires and welcomes such questions, both from hearing the author's statements observations comments and riffs but even more from bearing your own struggles before God without a precondition.

One lesson this book teaches, by demonstration, is far beyond price: how costly and precious it is to finally achieve the utter openness that a true encounter with the Almighty requires. As if that weren't enough, the book also teaches how to smile and even laugh through the tears wrung from the pain of healing, a process that often includes debridement (cutting away dead tissue) and cautery (purifying wounds with fire). Part of what has to burn up is the humanly distorted view of God every one of us has, and everyone faces a unique struggle to come to terms with their own self-deceptions about God and find the joy of handing them over to be torched.

I won't presume to quote any of this sparkling book. In my view it would diminish the place of each quote in the sweep and wonder of the story (no disrespect to any reviewer who does use quotations).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L. E. Deason on May 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
1. Not for anyone looking for Christian platitudes or easy answers.
2. Will cause sustained periods of uncontrollable laughter.*
3. Reader may not be able to put this one down...

...and if you do, your friends will steal it. Trust me. I'm currently awaiting a second copy, and I'm pretty sure I know who will want to "borrow" it next.

Susan Isaacs delivers the goods with Angry Conversations. It's wonderfully insightful, refreshingly honest, and completely hilarious - in short, a Christian book I can actually recommend (at long last).

Buy one - or three - today.

*If uncontrollable laughter persists beyond four hours, call your doctor.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne M. Giguere on April 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was a bit trepidacious about reading this book at first glance, since I was not familiar with the author or her work. A few pages in, any misgivings I had were gone. It was clear that not only was this woman clever and funny, she was aggressively persuing God and struggling to find answers that made real sense. (Even if that meant taking God to couples counseling.)

There is nothing beige about this book. It is full of color, life, passion, pain, and lots of sarcastic humor, (my favorite kind). It is honest and blunt, but not in a gratuitous or offensive way. This is a person talking candidly about her life, her trials, her pain, and her complicated relationship with God. This is truth.

I have read dozens and dozens of "Christian" books, and with a few exceptions, have been largely disappointed. This book took me by surprise and brought me to a place, spiritually, I have not been in a long, long time. It brought me closer to God, helped me understand myself a little better, and left me feeling hopeful and energized. What more could you want from a book? I can't wait for the movie!

Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir
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