- Series: Harvest Book
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books (April 24, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156002108
- ISBN-13: 978-0156002103
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 75 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Towing Jehovah (Harvest Book) Paperback – April 24, 1995
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God is dead. "Died and fell into the sea. " That's what Raphael, a despondent angel with luminous white wings and a blinking halo, tells Anthony Van Horne on his fiftieth birthday. Soon Van Horne is chared with captaining the supertanker Carpco Valparaiso (flying the colors of the Vatican) as it tows the two-mile-long corpse through the Atlantic toward the Arctic, in order to preserve Him from sharks and decomposition. Van Horne must also contend with ecological guilt, a militant girlfriend, an estranged father, sabotage both natural and spiritual, a crew on (and sometimes past) the brink of mutiny, and greedy hucksters of oil, condoms, and doubtful ideas. As he rings his wild, Vonnegutian changes on everything from male chauvinism to the Catholic Church, James Morrow proves himself to be one of the premier satirists of our time while still managing to capture some of the beauty and sorrow of the world. With Towing Jehovah, the Denver Post declared, Morrow solidifies his position as Christianity's Salman Rushdie, only funnier and more sacrilegious. -- Midwest Book Review
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For the first third of the book, I was entranced. I kept tapping my husband on the shoulder-- "What a good idea for a book. Listen, isn't this clever?"
And with this build up it kind of feels as though I'm going to say that I didn't like it in the end. But I did. It was okay. It was even pretty good. Sadly, it didn't live up to its promise. (How could it? is another question. But a question for another person another day.)
The major issue lay with the characters-- somewhere halfway through Morrow changed the book from being concept driven to character driven. He just wasn't quite as convincing or clever with Van Horne and his supportive characters.
It reminded me of Oh Pure and Radiant Heart by Lydia Millet. Another book that just couldn't live up to its own wonderful premise.
Still, a pleasant read if you expect or understand that the book is both a story and is trying to make a point through vague absurdity. A enjoyable read.