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Escape From Heaven Hardcover – May, 2002
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"Just plain fun ... a romp ... behind the pure fun, has the serious Miltonic purpose of justifying God's ways to man." -- Jerry Pournelle, Byte
"Wild, irreverent, a hoot. Any other civilization would have burned Schulman at the stake. Did they know something we don't?" -- David Brin, author of The Uplift Saga and The Postman
From the Publisher
"Schulman has humour, wit and imagination, and I devoured this latest offering with pleasure." --Colin Wilson, author of The Outsider, After Life: Survival of the Soul, The Philosopher's Stone, The Mind Parasites & many others
"A fast-moving interesting story with surprising developments as Good and Evil face their final struggle. A challenging novel that should annoy all the right folk." --Piers Anthony, author of the Xanth series & many other bestsellers
"J. Neil Schulman's Escape from Heaven is so heretical it threatens a new orthodoxy and so comic that it is one of the most serious novels you will ever read." -- Brad Linaweaver, author of Sliders, The Novel and the Doom series.
"It is the God damnedest thing I've ever read. If C. S. Lewis, Robert A. Heinlein, and Ayn Rand had teamed up to write a novel, something like Escape From Heaven would have inevitably resulted. I say `something like' because this blistering satire of contemporary culture, religion, and politics could only have been written by J. Neil Schulman." -- John DeChancie, author of Witchblade, Castle Perilous, and MagicNet.
"The Pilgrim's Progress of the 21st Century." -- Samuel Edward Konkin III, author of An Agorist Primer.
"It is full of the jokes, puns, and outrageous concepts joyfully explored which will have a strong appeal to the libertarian reader as well as a more general audience. (I recommended it to two Christian evangelical types while I was waiting to change planes in Kansas City last month.) This novel doesn't purport to explain it all to you, rather, it takes you along for a wild intellectual ride. Escape from Heaven is thus far from mundane." -Lynn Maners, Ph.D.
"I stopped reading after I had consumed everything Robert Anton Wilson wrote up to about '92. Escape from Heaven held me as spellbound as the Illuminatus! Trilogy. Though half blind, and knowing I was straining my eyes, I read until there was nothing but a blur. The novel is a brilliant Discordian way of looking at conventional religion. The characters were brought to life and had depth and substance. The plot was fantastic, the meter of the book consistently building to a perfect ending. The lovers are reunited, and you don't know who would have won. Overall I give it a 10." --J.R. Ploughman, author, The Book of the Holy Grail
"What a fun book! I pretty much read it all in one sitting. Escape from Heaven is definitely not orthodox as it contemplates ideas from Christianity, Judaism, and Gnosticism. But it reflects an authentic encounter between Jesus and the author, and Schulman doesn't take cheap shots. The first page grabbed me, and the rest of the book was fast-moving and full of surprises. I enjoyed the book as entertainment, but I found Schulman's ideas on free will theologically stimulating." --Chris B. McKinney of the Philippine Christian Mission
"Escape from Heaven is a masterpiece of satire in the tradition of Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth and The Diaries of Adam & Eve. It is a divine comedy in the original sense of the term. The book may offend some partisans of organized piety whose faith is so frail that it can't take a joke, but I can't think of any other book that is quite so serious about the concept of Christian love and forgiveness." --Robert Schneider, author, Shylock, The Roman
"Nothing but fun except where it was thought-provoking and that was fun too!" --Dyanne Petersen from Laissez Faire Books
"What a deliciously reverential offense! A little heretical blasphemy for all flavors of believers, agnostics and atheists. An edgy little book that defies categorization. A guaranteed mega-bestseller. It ought to make $$$$ like The Celestine Prophecy." -- Teny Rule, Fandom Publicist for Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings
Top customer reviews
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At first I wondered if deeply religious people would be offended by this book. But I don`t think so. If you can be offended by
a fictional religious comedy, your faith in your religious convictions must be rather weak.
Anyway, the story starts with an atheist talk radio show host, Duj Pepperman, who gets a call from God. Literally. Seems god has
a plan, and Pepperman is the poor dolt he has picked to carry it out. He is to run a political campain against satan. Seems that
armageddon will not be a shooting war, but an election. Winner take all.
Pepperman is joinned by some of the greatest figures in history in all out funny, political warfare against the forces of darkness.
Think of the story as a cross between the George Burns film "Oh, God!" and Robert Heinlein`s novel "A Comedy of Justice". And it`s
written very much in Heinlein`s style. Anyone who likes Heinlein`s books will probably like this story as well. Matter of fact
Heinlein`s ghost is one of the characters in the story.
Give it a try, if nothing else I`m sure you will find it different from just about anything else you have read lately.
This is when we are given an entirely new twist on the concepts of God, creation, the Adam and Eve myth, Jesus and even Hell. I do like how he answers certain questions that I have always had about Heaven. Is there sex in Heaven? Is Kevin Smith right about angels being as anatomically correct as Barbie dolls? If you want to know the answers to these questions, I would strongly suggest reading the book.
Though the real turning point happens when Jesus/Adam and Satan/Eve, fight for the rightful dominion over Earth. Yes, you read that right.
Jesus, is also Adam who made a cosmic mistake that created a rift between him and Eve. Now, the two are fighting for the hearts and minds of the people of Earth. Jesus/Adam wants the people to have free will, while Satan/Eve wants the opposite. The two fight it out in what resembles two competing political campaigns with Jesus/Adam being aided by Pepperman and other great minds such as Thomas Jefferson,
C.S. Lewis, Martin Luther King, George Patton, Ayn Rand, Robert Heinlein and George Bernard Shaw. I do find Shaw somewhat questionable, since this is the man who once advocated genocide for those who he didn’t think were contributing enough for society. If anything, I would have thought Shaw would be on the other side.
I would have to say that Escape from Heaven is my favorite of J. Neil Schulman’s work right after Alongside Night. It is a perfect combination of comedy, satire and philosophy with a slight touch of romance. It also has a very satisfying ending. This is a book that I would actually recommend to both libertarians and non-libertarians alike. Don’t get me wrong, the book is unarguably libertarian in its message about free will. The message is not exclusively libertarian and it can resonate with those who may not have much understanding of the movement. I actually loaned a hard copy of the book to my mom who isn’t quite versed in libertarianism or most political philosophies for that matter and she really enjoyed it. I think there are many other political laymen who will enjoy it as well.
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