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Electric God [Kindle Edition]

Catherine Ryan Hyde
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99
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  • Length: 320 pages
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Book Description

"Ryan Hyde spins her tale so effortlessly that the reader closes the book with a quiet sense of elation, and only later notices that 'Electric God' is still there etched on the psyche, like the imprint of a lightning bolt upon the eye." -THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

From the bestselling author of DON'T LET ME GO and TAKE ME WITH YOU: First published in 2000 on the heels of the successful PAY IT FORWARD, ELECTRIC GOD is the heartbreaking and inspiring story of a man who must travel through incredible darkness to make peace with his past and begin to build himself a future.

Hayden Reese has a bad habit of breaking people's jaws. Granted, he only breaks jaws that deserved some breaking, but he's starting a whole new feud, with the husband of his lover--and this time, it may cost him his life.

Hayden's life has never been easy. His father tormented him, his kid brother got all the approval, and he made a fatal mistake that he's never been able to forgive himself for making. But when Hayden's future is shattered by his bad choices, he has redeem himself in his long-estranged daughter Allegra. Allegra is getting married and wants her father to walk her down the aisle.

Hayden is not ready to confront the wife and daughter who exiled him, but the past catches up with him, ready or not.

"A beautifully crafted story of one man who had to lose everything before he could find forgiveness and redemption. Hyde is inspiring and uplifting without sentimentality." -BOOKLIST

"A heroic, superbly crafted novel worth reading again and again and again." -Kelly Milner Halls, THE DENVER POST

This "Classic Catherine" Anniversary Edition includes a new Author's Note by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hayden Reese has never cried. Not when his younger brother died 36 years ago, not when his son died at birth, not even when, 15 years ago, he ended up in jail for assaulting his daughter's boyfriend and lost his wife and family. In Hyde's (Pay It Forward) latest novel of redemption and forgiveness, 50-year-old Hayden is a present-day Job, living alone in a little cabin in Northern California, reading the Tao Te Ching and attempting to control the violent outbursts that have plagued him all his life. Just as he thinks he has touched bottom, his girlfriend, Laurel, returns to her husband, whom Hayden beats up, getting shot and almost killed for his pains. In the hospital, Hayden is tended to by a feisty lady surgeon, and gets a second chance to reconcile with his past and set a new direction for the future. The natural cadences of Hyde's prose; her clever, realistic dialogue; her sharp descriptions of hard-scrabble country; and her warm humor raise the novel from the level of Touched by an Angel to that of a complex tale of one man's struggle to make sense of life. Inspirational rather than preachy or sentimental, the book wields the emotional power to be expected from a story of family, dogs, justice and self-reliance. (Dec.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

"Not as commercial as Pay It Forward," explains the publicist, comparing Hyde's latest to her successful second novel, the basis for a film starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt to be released this fall. Hyde instead harks back to her roots (she published a story collection and her first novel with a small literary house on the West Coast) with this modern retelling of the Book of Job.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 490 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,543 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Wonderful Surprise November 12, 2000
The Jacket Blurb reads...a contemporary reinterpretation of the Book of Job...Believe me, if you come to this novel (or stay away from it)because of that expectation you are in for quite a surprise. This book is so much more than that. Funny, wry, believable characters and plot and at times so sharply moving I read it in six hours the day I got it. The highest praise I can give this novel is that now I can't decide if Catherine Ryan Hyde's Electric God or her earlier Funerals for Horses is the best I've ever read.
If you want a Gem, bright & literary writing, Get this book and read all her others.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Try and put it down ! December 5, 2000
I almost took a day off work just so I could read ! Catherine Ryan Hyde does it again with this reader friendly story of a man who hides his emotions throughout his childhood and never cries - even when it is appropriate to do so. Only to have those emotions resurface during adulthood in ways that are definately not appropriate and have to live with the harsh consequences of his actions. Despite his angry, violent outbursts Hayden is immensly likable and you can't help melting a little when he reveals his soft underbelly to the people moving in and out of the orbit of his life. This book is like a bowl of jello - easy to consume, easy to love, and leaves you wanting more.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A troublesome read with a redeeming ending September 18, 2002
As a reader, I'm tough to please. I read primarily for pleasure, and I like a hook that pulls me in from the first chapter. Catherine Ryan Hyde's book, Electric God, offers no such hook. In fact, if I hadn't been reading it as a book club selection, I might have tossed it aside after just a few pages. Because I felt obligated to stick with it, though, I did, and I don't regret it.
Pretty much any review you read will tell you that Hayden Reese's life is tough. Depressing, really. One tragedy after another, punctuated by reactionary violence on the part of the main character. Although Hayden is hard to love from the beginning, Hyde portrays him with the proverbial heart of gold which, as I read on, I found endearing. After the first hundred pages, I believe the story becomes more compelling as it delves into flashbacks and begins to reveal to the reader what makes Hayden tick. As you learn more about his past life, his despicable present behavior begins to make sense.
As the book wore on, I became more invested in the characters, and by the end, I felt like rooting for some of them. Loose ends are tied, perhaps a little too neatly for my taste, but I was glad for the relief after all of the tragedy that wore this book down. I can appreciate the fact that, I believe, Hyde took the story where she felt like it needed to go. Electric God lacks contrivance. It has its weak spots, and maybe it pushes the boundary of believability sometimes, but overall, it was an enjoyable read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars earned optimism. May 30, 2001
By A Customer
I liked this book, but then I read all of Ms.Hyde's books: something is happening in them, and she's worth watching. The review from above chosen by the ... site, from Booklist by Carolyn Kubisz says it all for me. As uncomfortable as I was with her main character, Hayden Reese, the question of what is forgiveable comes into sharp play. The least you can say is Reese's optimism is earned.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She has touched my heart again. March 14, 2001
Have you tried to protect your heart from pain, only to find that any fortress you build around your emotions can be tumbled by honesty? Again, Catherine Ryan Hyde has shared with us a poignant, human, story. Upon reading this story you will find it reveals a secret you tried to hide from yourself. In my case it was that there are still people in my life I need to forgive. This story may reveal something to you as well. Sometimes answers do not bring relief, nor does suffering end, but life is worth the sweat, the tears, the blood, and especially the laughter. I know that every individual who reads "Electric God" will be given an opportunity to gain a message that will make their life sweeter. Honest. Be open and you will get it. Thank you CRH.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Catherine Ryan Hyde's Electric God is an exceptional novel, a story of what can happen when you let hate drive your life, and what can happen if you learn to let go. The story is superbly crafted, with a shades of gray protagonist that you're not sure you should love, hate, or pity. You can certainly commiserate with his situations, and you have to wonder how you would deal with what he faces. Is he Jonah or Job? Are you? It's a great read, and it's one of the best books I've ever read. I haven't gotten to Pay It Forward yet (though I saw the movie), and I think that will be next on my list.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1ST PRIZE -- WORST LUCK EVER May 11, 2004
The main character of the book --- HAYDEN REESE --- has lived and continues to live a life full of unlucky misfortune. He is perhaps one of the most unlikley characters I have ever Fallen in Love with. I even found myself devishly defending him in a discussion of the book. I loved the book. Don't miss out -- pick it up --- His Story will stay with you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The adventures and inner life of an anti-hero January 7, 2002
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is very gripping, for many reasons. It might appeal to the voyeur in all of us, curious about the next calamity that could befall the downtrodden protagonist Hayden and wondering how he will overcome it. More importantly, however, this book succeeds because the author manages to get me to care for the character, to sympathize with him at the same time that I loathe him, to admire him at the same time that I want to distance myself morally and emotionally from him.
First of all, Hayden is an angry man. The author Hyde deals so empathatically and compassionately with the theme of destructive masculine anger that one wonders where she gets such intimate knowledge from. Because Hayden is a man haunted by considerable torment, the reader is led, not to judge and condemn such a destructive man, but to sympathise with his motivations and to treat his circumstances compassionately.
Hayden is such a tragic hero -- both words "tragic" and "hero" being equally important -- because the finest line separates that anger which so often turned sadistic and an admirable fortitude which refuses to accept unsatisfactory situations. His violent, take-charge approach to various situations -- his daughter's molestation, his lover's daughter's abduction into a brothel etc -- inspire both fear and admiration in the observing reader. He had tapped into a very dark emotional spring in order to harness such anger, but this anger had a ruggedness and power which isn't just terrifying, but also awesome, to behold.
Above all, it seems that the spiritual realities are made to override personal convictions in the telling of the tale.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!
Catherine Ryan Hyde is one of my favorite Authors. I have read all but three of her books. They bring you right into the book & it's characters. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Ruby Schmidt
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book. I enjoyed it. Very well written.
Published 11 days ago by David Kalitzke
5.0 out of 5 stars When you think this writer can't get any better, she socks you again
When you think this writer can't get any better, she socks you again.
Hayden is just a big screw up, at first I thought he was insane. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Domino
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is another excellent read from Catherine Ryan Hyde
As usual Catherine Ryan Hyde does not disappoint. Her writing is captivating and real; her story line is consistent and smooth. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Electric God
How does the things we hold on to effect our lives? If things are good we keep inside help us be better caring people then we grow and love more. Read more
Published 17 days ago by paticia a jones
2.0 out of 5 stars Depressing
Sorry to say I did not like this book the main character was a train wreck to much religion made me uncomfortable.This book was not believable.
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Exciting. A page turner
Published 26 days ago by nelnon
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This is a multi-layered story that's touching and complicated. The main character, Hayden, was hard to like but I did. I've never read a book by this author that I didn't enjoy.
Published 1 month ago by CJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winning novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Just finished Electric God, which has been re-titled (at least in paper) as The Hardest Part of Love. While I see why the title was changed, I like the original better. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Crystal Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all about Forgiveness
This books was harder to get in to than Catherine's other books but I'm glad I got past the difference. I've read almost all of her books. Read more
Published 2 months ago by MammaG
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More About the Author

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of 27 published and forthcoming books, including TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHERE WE BELONG, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, SECOND HAND HEART, DON'T LET ME GO, and WHEN YOU WERE OLDER. New Kindle editions of her backlist titles FUNERALS FOR HORSES, EARTHQUAKE WEATHER AND OTHER STORIES, ELECTRIC GOD, and WALTER'S PURPLE HEART are now available. Also available is THE LONG, STEEP PATH: EVERYDAY INSPIRATION FROM THE AUTHOR OF PAY IT FORWARD, her first book-length creative nonfiction.

She has three new novels forthcoming from Lake Union/Amazon Publishing, including THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS in December of '14 and WORTHY in the summer of '15.

An avid hiker, traveler, and amateur photographer, she has just released her first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

She is co-author, with publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.

Her best-known novel, PAY IT FORWARD, was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS' EDITION in August of '14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special anniversary edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD is forthcoming in December of '14

LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on the bestseller lists, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year award at the British Book Awards. Both BECOMING CHLOE and JUMPSTART THE WORLD were included on the ALA's Rainbow List, and JUMPSTART THE WORLD was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. WHERE WE BELONG won two Rainbow Awards in 2013.

More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O'Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

For more information, please visit the author at

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