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3.7 out of 5 stars6
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 15 September 2013
I have to confess that, for the first 31 chapters, I found "And God Said, `Billy!'" one of the most difficult novels I have read. Difficult because it is a "bad book"? No; difficult because it is a remarkably good one,so good in fact that I was actually there. The story is about a young man named Billy who sees himself on a mission from God to make a blockbuster movie that God has ordered him to make. He sees himself as having no choice in the matter, since it was "God's voice" that spoke to him in such a clear and authoritative voice that he leaves his wife and small daughter, heads west, signs up for classes in script writing, and begins his search for a backer for his film. Is Billy delusional? To anyone involved in the charismatic movement in Christianity, he is not; but to me he is. With no resources at all other than the belief that "God will provide", he sets out on a journey that takes him to South Africa during Apartheid. But that is not, thankfully, quite the end of the story, even though it could have been at the hands of a murderous South African police officer named Vandermeer.

Is there release for Billy from the religious delusion he has spent his life in? Oh, yes; but just how it works out is for you to find out by reading this exceptional story told with tongue-in-cheek humor and compassion. I must say that the last line in the novel brought tears to my eyes.
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on 22 February 2014
Whik
Me

While recognising the issue and the need to adress it,I felt the book was full of unecessary gratuitous sex and swearing. It felt long and repetitive and only got interesting in the last pages. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
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on 23 January 2014
This book paints a deliciously satirical picture of a certain kind of charismatic fundamentalism, familiar if a bit exaggerated. At the same time it is a good story full of suspense and a surprise in the tail: I found it hard to put down. Perhaps a rather deeper (if longer) novel could have been made by making Billy a little more normal and his process of changing more gradual. In the first part of the book he seems to be not just a religious extremist but also suffering from a mental illness, literally hearing voices etc. This kind of religion is ridiculous and mad enough without that added factor. Also I felt that his mental illness was cured and his attitude changed a bit too easily and quickly. It would have been good to read more about the actual process of his growth into a deeper understanding of God and how he coped with the challenges and uncertainties of his emerging new insight.
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on 13 May 2014
A remarkably honest work of fiction from I man I have researched as a founding Father of seventies religious revival in his own country.
Truly explores the dangers of religious fundamentalism and. Ind control. Humours, well paced, very visual and memorable.
The book shines a light of tolerance and empathy in an equally dogmatic world today. Much of it resonated with. Y own personal experiences of fundamentalism and the last pages had me in tears.
Essentially an excellent read and I would rate it alongside books by Mel White, the founder of Soul Force in the USA.
Thank you Mr Schaffer, your words mean a lot to a fifty something who remembers the origins of much of which you satirised in these pages.
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on 27 December 2013
After a rather draining beginning, the novel really gets going when the protagonist escapes his lifestyle and begins to learn about his delusions: a moving journey and exploration of self-knowledge.
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on 10 November 2013
not sure if this is a novel or a theological book. As I have not finished reading it yet, I cannot really comment. It drags in places but overall seems quite well paced...
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