The book is something of a mix. It starts out with a guy with no job and no life who's given a chance to go to Miami and while there figures out that he's been aiming low all his life and that's why hes failed - now he wants to aim higher, in fact highest: he will become God. Or at least that's what hes going to tell people and endeavour to become.
So far so good. But the story never really takes off. Initially he tries to figure it out by becoming a sort of assistant preacher (sub-Heirophant is the title) in a church wonderfully titled The Church of the Heavily Armed Christ. Then after the leader of the church goes to take care of his ailing mum, our hero steps in and becomes leader of this church.
I'll stop there because the story branches out into too many sub stories and the review'll go on forever. Suffice it to say each aspect of our hero's life is explored fully. He needs a place to sleep, we meet a new character and we meet the others who live there and their stories. He needs some money, we meet a new character and he becomes a drug dealer and we find out about that world. He gets sidetracked by slapstick goons, caricatures of "low lifes", a high class prostitute, a creepy flatmate, a slacker undertaker, some evil old women running a corrupt church, an immigrant with a heart of gold, a millionaire who pretended to be poor, I'm only remembering part of it but there are many more characters here usually with single names like Napalm and Sixto. Hmm.
You're probably thinking "what's wrong with that, sounds like a ripping yarn!" and you're sort of right. Only, Fischer's style is skewed. Sometimes its trying too hard to be funny, sometimes its being too preachy for its own good ("life isnt worth trying, doing things is basically waiting speeded up, you never get anywhere planning" - I'm paraphrasing but the repetitiveness of some of our hero's thoughts are a bit dull), sometimes its being too kooky, sometimes its being too "noir". The whole becoming God thing is touched on toward the end but for the most of the book it's about a bloke who knocks around Miami meeting eccentrics and having an alright time of it while commenting heavily on "life".
It's an alright book, I enjoyed it, it passes the time, and it's much better written and far more interesting than the average novel available today. But is it a classic or something I'd even remember 10 years, maybe even 1 year from now? Probably not. It had the potential to be more than it ended up being really. "Survivor" by Chuck Palahniuk is a better book if you're looking for a bloke who becomes a messiah story.