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God Is Disappointed in You Hardcover – August 27, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
I won't try to go into all the detail of other reviewers here. They have done an excellent job. But, I just want to say to those who read this particular review and are wondering if they should buy the book or not: BUY THE BOOK! NOW! You will not regret it. Unless ...
Unless you are a staunch, unmoving believer that the Bible (Which translation do you use?) is the perfect word of God. It would do you good to read the book, but you would surely be offended and outraged at this frank and unflinching distillation of God's message to Humankind. Please, please, get off your high-horse for just a while and give this book a chance. Do not immediately discount it because of the humor. At the end, you may still be outraged, but perhaps some seed of a new perspective will also begin to grow in your mind.
Thanks again, Mark, for such a fine book. This book will stay on my iPad until I croak. (At which point I may find myself in a lake of everlasting fire, but I hope at least that they will allow me to keep my iPad.)
God is Disappointed in You took me significantly longer to read than I had initially assumed. The Bible can be quite dull subject matter, especially for a non-Christian. That being said, I truly did enjoy this book. Religion can be such a serious, touchy subject for many people, so I don't know that this book is for everyone, as I can see the more devout being offended at the language and seemingly lackadaisical attitude expressed towards one of the worlds most "holy" of books.
Most of the Old Testament is about land battles and genealogies (or as Russell states, God's attempt at scrap-booking) and God smiting or promising to smite people. And there is a reason that a lot of Christians (at least the ones that I personally know) have never actually read the entire Bible. It's dull. I think Leviticus is my favorite example of this, but Russell was able to even make that chapter interesting to me.
God is Disappointed in You's setup is basically that each chapter of the Bible has a corresponding chapter in there. They are not always just straight prose either. For example, Psalms was written in the form of a "Greatest Hits" album, several books followed the form of emails or memos, Habakkuk was a Q&A, Hebrews was in FAQ form, etc. Having read the majority of the Old Testament, I can speak to the veracity of that particular section, and the humor that Russell brought to it was very amusing.
I also learned several things I didn't know before. Like, for example, how Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are all the same damn story just told by different people. No author today could get away with that kind of repetition. Russell tired to make them each individually interesting, but you can read the same story only so many times before you get tired of it. And the rest of the New Testament, with the exception of Revelations, is basically just a bunch of letters from apostles. So there's that.
TLDR: Loved this irreverent view of the Bible, and I will actually be buying this book as soon as I get done with this review. Yes, I loved it that much.
ARC courtesy of Top Shelf Productions, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.