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God Is Dead Paperback – May 27, 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nobody notices that God is dead until a pack of wild dogs begins speaking in tongues after eating the carcass of a Dinka woman in Darfur whom God inhabited. However, life continues after his confirmed death. Youth still suffer through teenage angst; ideological wars are fought on numerous fronts; people still need therapy. Through a series of loosely connected short stories, Currie delivers a post-God novel that is provocatively dark in many ways. Baron performs in a youthful, jovial voice that adds to the more surreal aspects of the book. He keeps a good pace and adequately performs female voices. He is also adept at keeping the exposition animated. One of his more impressive feats is speaking the letter q repeatedly. In the book, it represents an incomprehensible question being asked by an interviewer. Throughout the interview, all questions are simply posed as q, leaving Baron to make each one distinctive in tone without too much repetition. A sharp beep is used to blank out the name of a person whose identity is not to be known, which is an interesting devise.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

a Currieas strength rests in his ability to focus humanityas conundrums on the smallest physical particles. The truth he presents is that the world has become absurd; he is merely delivering a steady-cam view.a
a"Los Angeles Times"
a [A] cavalierly ambitious debut . . . with talking dogs, text messageahappy teenagers, and end-of-day shenanigans. Like Kurt Vonnegut, he seems to understand that in the face of grim and grave concerns, humor is a more powerful salt than screed.a
aJohn Freeman, "San Francisco Chronicle"

Currie s strength rests in his ability to focus humanity s conundrums on the smallest physical particles. The truth he presents is that the world has become absurd; he is merely delivering a steady-cam view.
"Los Angeles Times"
[A] cavalierly ambitious debut . . . with talking dogs, text message happy teenagers, and end-of-day shenanigans. Like Kurt Vonnegut, he seems to understand that in the face of grim and grave concerns, humor is a more powerful salt than screed.
John Freeman, "San Francisco Chronicle"

? Currie's strength rests in his ability to focus humanity's conundrums on the smallest physical particles. The truth he presents is that the world has become absurd; he is merely delivering a steady-cam view.?
?"Los Angeles Times"

? [A] cavalierly ambitious debut . . . with talking dogs, text message?happy teenagers, and end-of-day shenanigans. Like Kurt Vonnegut, he seems to understand that in the face of grim and grave concerns, humor is a more powerful salt than screed.?
?John Freeman, "San Francisco Chronicle"

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (May 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780143113485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143113485
  • ASIN: 0143113488
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R S Cobblestone VINE VOICE on August 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What happens when God dies?

The sun still rises and sets, because God had already set the planets in motion. But what happens to us?

This is the theme behind the novel, God is Dead.

It begins with God, disguised as a wounded Dinka woman from Sudan, being killed by the Janjaweed in the Darfur desert. The observation that feral dogs feeding on her body now speak ancient languages give rise to the conclusion that God, indeed, has died.

What happens next? Author Ron Currie looks at humanity from a variety of perspectives, and the text almost reads as if the succeeding chapters were given to a variety of authors to experiment with this theme. But they were all written by Currie, of course. He writes well, with intensity and clarity.

But God remains dead. No Gandalf resurrection here.

This novel is worthy of more than one reading. I've only read it the once, but I "see" that I missed subtle messages here. Knowing where Currie takes the story, I know I can get more out of it the second time around. It is also easy to select one or two chapters to revisit.

And remember, this is a novel, not a "God is not Great" expose of religion. But you will feel sorry for God, who lives, and dies, experiencing the suffering in Darfur.

Who is that sitting next to you?
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Format: Hardcover
I don't think readers should over-examine this story collection/novel for its religious message, since the premise isn't theological -- it's just wildly imaginative. What if God manifested himself in Darfur in the body of a Dinka girl and died there? One answer is that the world, learning of God's death, spins out of control. But another is that God wasn't really doing anything to stop calamity in the first place, so what has changed? Our fate is in our own hands, just as it was before. You could make either case from these stories, if that's what you want to do, but in the meantime you could just enjoy these very well made fictions, from the title story, "God is Dead," in which Colin Powell visits the Sudan, to the last story, "Retreat," in which the outcome of a war between the armies of the Evolutionary Psychologists and the Postmodern Anthropologists is decided. The characters are quirky, but believable, trying to cope with situations that, only in the context of a world that has just learned of God's death, are wholly credible. This is a terrific debut and should find readers of all stripes.
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Format: Hardcover
this book caught my eye on a recent trip to borders; and, after reading the back cover copy, i decided to pick it up. it's a quick read, and really intriguing. it's a collection of short stories, built around a common fictional thread. the stories aren't interconnected like the movies crash or babel, but are, rather, a series of isolated snapshots spinning out of the implications of the first story.

that first story is that god has temporarily incarnated in the body of a dinka woman in africa, and during a rebel raid, is killed. theological inacuracy aside, the fictional ruminations of a world without god (or, as the a-theistic author would likely say, a world that learns god is dead and ceases all belief in god) are fascinating. it's not a john lennon "imagine there's no heaven" pretty picture -- it's a bloomin' mess! ferel dogs eat a small bit of the woman's body, and begin speaking in aramaic, and -- pretty soon -- the word is out.

it's an extremely imaginative collection of implications, with large portions of the macro narrative told through implication and color commentary. for instance, one of the stories is the first-person narrative of a guy who works for the government agency that exists to get parents to stop worshiping their children by weekly sessions to strong-arm parents into seeing the averageness of their children. but the contextual bits let us in on the reality that, in the wake of any reason for church, and with nothing else to worship, parents around the world begin worshipping their own children.

the stories have a chronology to them, only in that each subsequent story takes place further in time from the death of god.
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Format: Hardcover
Like nothing I've read since early Vonnegut. Wonderful writing: fresh, elegant, and completely unpretentious. Currie laces his stories with both unbearable sorrow and acid humor, and every character--from God to hapless functionaries to talking dogs--feel so plainly human. Each story can stand alone, but they gather immense power in ensemble. I especially loved the way the various plots snipe at current events (wars fought over arbitrary ideologies, for example)without becoming the least bit polemical. This was a bracing read, and I plan to read it again, with a fuller appreciation of the stories' interconnection and long, intelligent arc. Bravo and thanks. -- Monica Wood
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Currie's other two books, I've noticed that he poses one or two striking questions for the reader to mull over while working through the story. In this novel, that question was something along the lines of "how do people from all walks of life handle the start of the downfall of society as we know it?" He organized the book in a very interesting manner, in that each chapter is basically a short story on its own, yet each short story is actually closely related to the others and they all add together to show an overall point. It's like the chapters are team members in a project-- Each has their own strengths, weaknesses, and backstory, but they all come together to make the result fantastic.
There's a few points where the events are obviously unable to happen in real life, but for the most part, it is all fairly realistic. It's also very intriguing to see how he thinks the world would play out if we had a god and that god ended up leaving us on our own. Some people couldn't handle it and some handle it adequately, but it's obvious that everyone is changed from this butterfly effect. The shot fired from that man in the desert that takes the life force from the girl that god chose to inhabit was the catalyst for so much more than we could ever think in our waking lives.
In a way, it echos to how we are as a civilization. For the most part, we don't really pay attention to the most minuscule of details, but those one-moment-events can change everything and we don't realize it until it's too late.
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