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The Second Greatest Story Ever Told Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419690116
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419690112
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,731,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In 1988 the world is astounded when Ilona Coggswater, born in Cooperstown, New York in 1970, reveals herself to be the daughter of God. Ilona is a modern-day deity who guzzles Tab and Rolling Rock beer, and calls her heavenly father "Dad." She's a card-carrying liberal who despises fundamentalists, the National Rifle Association, and the often-vilified Randall Terry of Operation: Rescue. Ilona's story, her encounters with David Letterman, her visit to Hell with "Dad" and "Jerry," the devil, cry for a humor and wit that the author just doesn't deliver. This story is flat, enlivened only by the clever titles that Bechard has created for the books that anyone and everyone who has known Ilona has written. The political jabs are so pointed and relentless that this novel often seems to serve as the author's personal soapbox. Not recomended.
- Lydia Burruel Johnson, Mesa P.L., Ariz.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Filmmaker Bechard's first novel is the brash, broad, borscht-belt account of the life and ministry of Ilona Ann Coggswater, the daughter of God. Born in Cooperstown, New York, in 1970--an immaculate birth, natch--Ilona enjoys a relatively normal childhood, arguing with the nuns about religion and graduating from Cy Young High School as valedictorian. But her life shifts abruptly into high gear on Thanksgiving Day 1988, when the Pope interrupts a parade to acknowledge her as God's daughter. After that, matters follow the inevitable farcical route--Ilona does guest spots on Letterman and Larry King, moves with her model/bartender roommate Stephanie LaVasseur to a trendier Manhattan address, and signs an advertising contract with Coca-Cola--the proceeds to be divided among Greenpeace, Handgun Control Inc., Planned Parenthood, Amnesty International, and the Better World Society--coming out in favor of all the right causes (the Brazilian rain forest, abortion rights, a ban on fur and leather), dispensing widely her trademark bromide, ``Be Kind,'' and pausing only for offhand miracles (changing water into Rolling Rock or Tab) and theological elaborations worthy of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey (``Unless one is truthful and kind, they cannot see the kingdom of God'') before she meets her destiny a month later at the hands of NRA vice-president John Charlton Hanley. Lots of whimsical fun here, but not so many laughs: this satire is mostly as witless as its all-too-familiar targets. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Gorman Bechard is the author of six novels, THE SECOND GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD, UNWOUND (under the pseudonym Jonathan Baine), NINTH SQUARE, THE HAZMAT DIARY, GOOD NEIGHBORS, and BALLS

He directed/wrote the indie features FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS) (2009) and YOU ARE ALONE (2006), the horror comedy cult-classic PSYCHOS IN LOVE (1986), as well as the award winning shorts OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE FURTHER THAN THEY APPEAR (2003) and THE PRETTY GIRL (2000).

His latest features are the critically acclaimed COLOR ME OBSESSED, A FILM ABOUT THE REPLACEMENTS, which screened in festivals, rock clubs, indie cinemas throughout the world, and even the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? THE ARCHERS OF LOAF LIVE AT CAT'S CRADLE, which had its World Premiere at NXNE in June. Both films were released in deluxe DVD editions on November 20th, 2012

Bechard newest feature BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, a dark thriller set in the world of internet modeling, will have its world premiere in June 2013. It is part two of his planned ALONE trilogy.

He is also beginning the festival submission process for his third rock doc, EVERY EVERYTHING: THE MUSIC, LIFE & TIMES OF GRANT HART, a documentary on Hüsker Dü's infamous drummer/singer/songwriter.

And lastly, the prolific Bechard is shooting two new films, both documentaries. The first, A DOG NAMED GUCCI, takes a look at domestic animal abuse in the U.S., told though the story of one man and one dog who changed Alabama's laws forever. The other, PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, tells the history of the three greatest pizza places in the world: Sally's, Pepe's, & Modern, all in his hometown of New Haven, CT.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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You'll cry, cheer and want to read it over and over.
zoom@cybertours.com
I hear people speaking about how they love Jesus, well if Ilona were my savior, I could honestly say I would love her just as much.
L. Rathbun
I've reread this book every summer since first discovering it 8 years ago.
Owen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The most charming book you're ever likely to read. I found myself laughing out loud, yet crying in spots. I love Ilona. I want her as my savior...that would get this ex-Catholic back to church. It's the sort of book you almost wish you hadn't read yet, so you can discover it all over again, and re-experience the joy of reading it for the first time. Find this book! Savor it! I mean, really, the world savior as a Replacements fan. Can it get any better than that?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By PiscesBoy@aol.com on January 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In Bechard's first book (as well as in the similar follow-up, Balls), he turns our understanding of gender politics upside-down. By placing women in positions previously unfamilar to us and them, he has created an often funny (and sad) look at the world we live in. Ilona, the daughter of God, is the most refreshing character in recent fiction memory; only the most jaded person would not root for her. This breezy satire never fails to make the reader laugh, think and, more importantly, feel. Although difficult to locate because of its "out of stock indefinitely" status, this is one book that is well worth the extra effort to find. Bravo, Mr. Bechard. I impatiently await your next novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Rathbun on June 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My old roommate gave this to me to read. She said she reread it every year, and after reading it in all of 2 days, I can see why. I was laughing and crying and wishing that it were a true story. Coming from someone who has no use for any religion, let alone Christianity, this book would bring me get me to church in a heartbeat. I hear people speaking about how they love Jesus, well if Ilona were my savior, I could honestly say I would love her just as much. This was positively a wonderful book that I recommend to everyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent fiction about God's only daughter. It is clever and very entertaining. To surely be taken with a grain of salt, this novel is a splended new take on what the world would be like if God found the need to send another messiah to straighten it out. One of the most fasinating attributes is how the main character speaks of Jesus as any younger sibling would. I fully recommend this book for anyone who can laugh a bit at christianity and themselves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "michn" on January 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift many moons ago, when I lived in New Haven. It is one of my absolute favorites. Hopefully some day soon I can purchase copies to share with others. If only I had known then...... Patiently waiting for the movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elaine on February 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a delightful and very funny story of God sending down His daughter this time to save the world. One of her first miracles is to make Tab come out of the water fountains at school.

I read this book when it first came out and heard from someone who claimed to know the author that he was in talks to sell the movie rights, but refused when producers wanted Whoopi Goldberg to play Ilona. The author wanted Michelle Pfeiffer. Interesting.

If you're in the mood to laugh at the stuffiness in religion (this Christian did not find it blasphemous at all) then you will laugh and cry with this book. This book needs renewed exposure and a rebirth in light of the current attitudes toward making fun of religion. Let there be light!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Owen on March 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Having grown up Catholic, I was at first a little worried about where The Second Greatest Story Ever Told was headed. I was worried it might be just another round of Catholic bashing. But was I ever surprised. While its leanings are most definitely liberal, its message of kindness is heartfelt. And Ilona Ann Coggswater is divine, in every sense of the word. I've reread this book every summer since first discovering it 8 years ago. I've purchased countless copies. It's truly one of the most wonderful books you're ever likely to read. ... Find this book, and you will cherish it...This July on vacation will mark the 9th go-through for me. And I can't wait!) END
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on February 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A great story about a saviour who really might save something. Funnier than Imus' 'Gods other son', less obtuse than Morrow's also-classic 'Only Begotten Daughter', more in the league of Christopher Moore than Christopher Buckley, this is a heartwarming story, and one of my favorite all-time reads.
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