Monday, January 16, 2017

Last God Standing by Michael Boatman

Jehovah the God is retired and incarnates and lives the life of an asthmatic black man aspiring to marry his girlfriend and make it as a stand up comedian.

All deities have agreed not to interfere with mankind but something is up and Lando must dip back into the Godhood biz and try to keep the universe from shattering.

Does he give up his mortality to set things straight or is it already too late?
Then we sell you to a sweatshop in Mexico or Singapore or Waco, or just rent you to those two idiots from John & Kate Plus 8. I guarantee you… in five minutes you’ll regret everything you ever did in your whole life.
Dated references can be problematic. Pluck a reference from pop culture today and catch the zeitgeist the characters are living, or risk appearing corny as hell in a few years. I think we know in what category John & Kate Plus 8 falls.

Broad humor falls flat as often as not. It is played out by a 'bumbling' god and a cast of unsympathetic characters. A shaky foundation to the 'rules' of magic/religion make this an uneven read. Impossible things happen but are then impossible again. The premise is interesting but it can be a chore to pick up the book again after a rough patch.

Eventually the author abandons humor to get to the rest of the story out.

The alternate reality thing was pretty good. Imagining a world where Africa and the Americas are the predominant world culture rather than Europe was well done.
Through them, I plunge into the river of human consciousness. Through them I am absorbed into the flow of All, allowed entry onto the DNA-encoded information superhighway that defines every god who ever lived. I kick down the unlocked doorways of doubt – doubt can’t help me here – and plunge deeper, past what is known to what is hoped, to what is dreamed and dreaded and adored and hated, falling until I reach the primaevel core of human creativity, linked directly to the collective unconscious; the morphogenetic field; the phenomenon that unites humankind through simultaneously generated ideas and shared cultural symbolisms. It is the sea from which consciousness arises and the river through which it flows. It is the uncharted depths of shared metaphor, the River of Souls: the Eshuum
The novel aspires to combine broad humour and some pretty heavy metaphysical concepts. Not quite successful in this but there are some pretty good scenes and the ending does manage to wrap up strange god/supergod premise.

Finished reading December 18, 2016