When I sought out this novel about God's corpse being towed across the ocean by a disgraced oil rig captain, I was expecting a hilarious farce along the lines of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's series, playing fast and loose with religious beliefs. Not so, I found, as the humor was much more dark and subtle, and nowhere near as zany as the subject matter would suggest. Not laugh out loud funny, but rather a sly and knowledgable humor, a wink and a nudge, say no more. But this wasn't a dissapointment, for what I found that Morrow handled successfully was the motivations behind both blind faith and lack thereof. Devout Christians and Athiests are represented at their most extreme, both rational and irrational, and neither side is truly taken by Morrow in his endeavor to explore God's true nature, both in reality and our mind's eye. Its not a comedy as much as it is a thinking-man's comedy of errors, and that's the best way I can think to recommend it.
Morrow's conceit is daring enough: God dies and his 2-mile-long body must be towed to the Arctic so (it is hoped) some cells of the Divine Mind may be preserved by cold.
If this offends you already ... you might want to read this anyway. :) Apparently many devout readers have found it a hoot.
I dock it a star only because there is something exhausting about the book. I haven't figured out quite what this is. Also, I feel as though Morrow dilutes the savagery a bit much in the interest of an almost-standard-feeling happy ending. But maybe this was him eluding my _every_ preconception. I don't know.
Oh, I liked this one a lot. Not for those who take their religion too seriously. Not for those who have a limited sense of whimsy or the absurd.
I skipped over or skimmed the re-enactment 'chapters' most of the time (that plotline didn't interest me until the end). I could put the book down, but was always finding ways to pick it up again to catch a few pages while waiting for water to boil, the toast to cook, etc.
This author was recommended by Christopher Moore on his webpage (http://www.chrismoore.com/chrisspicks.html). I'll definitely try another James Morrow book.
This is a really, really, really weird book. It's a great read, funny too, but really weird. I don't think it really tries to make big religious statements in any particular way, making for a good read regardless of your religious background. (But I'm an atheist, so I might be totally wrong about that.)