The Book Against God and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading The Book Against God on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Book Against God [Paperback]

James Wood
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 1.96 (20%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 2 Aug.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 6.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 8.03  

Book Description

1 April 2004

Thomas Bunting, charming, chaotic, and deeply untruthful, is in despair. His marriage is disintegrating, and his academic career is in ruins: instead of completing his philosophy PhD, he is secretly writing what he hopes will be his masterwork, a vast atheistic project he has privately entitled 'The Book Against God'.

But when his father is suddenly taken ill Thomas returns home, to the tiny village in the north of England where his father still works as a parish priest. Thomas hopes that he may finally be able to communicate honestly with his father, a brilliant and formidable Christian example, and sort out his wayward life. But Thomas is a chronic liar, as well as an atheist, and he finds, instead, that once at home he only falls back into the disastrous and evasive patterns of his childhood years.

Frequently Bought Together

The Book Against God + How Fiction Works
Buy the selected items together
  • How Fiction Works 6.29

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (1 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099453576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099453574
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 493,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


"It is written with lovely, controlled precision. His descriptions deliver little aesthetic shock-charges of pleasure...There are delights of simple recognition-but there are also deeper emotional depth-charges" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Striking...The Book Against God is a gifted and winning first novel, neatly knotted at the end" (Guardian)

"Thought-provoking and full of sharp-eyed observations of characters and places" (Daily Mail)

"At once hilarious and haunting... It keeps your attention in every sentence" (Bernard O'Donoghue Irish Times)

"A work of skilful craftsmanship, which teasingly engages and disengages one's sympathies" (The Economist)

Book Description

'Highly intelligent...This is a book that I shall certainly re-read, for its comic realism, its warm intelligence, its lack of pretension' - A. N. Wilson, Daily Telegraph

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly Satisfying 16 July 2003
The emerging high priest of the the new "old" school of literary criticism has put his reputation on the line with a novel of his own. And his reputation is intact. Wood tells the story of Tom Bunting, a shambolic, feckless, disorganised wannabe philosopher/writer/academic - something. A man so used to lying, that his inner musings about his own lying are quite possibly self delusional in themselves. The reader is rendered helpless to accept anything he says as any kind of truth. Except that he is in very real turmoil about his Father, and the moral and spiritual legacy of his upbringing at the hands of such a clearly "good" man. This turmoil, which is at the heart of Bunting's moral paralysis in the face of completing his PhD, squaring up to the responsibilities of his (now failed) marriage to Jane and his constant musings about religion, provide Bunting with a beating human heart. There is also a touch of "Lucky Jim" in Bunting's wry observations, his haplessness and charm inspite himself. Wood mixes a set of writing techniques that are a neatly controlled blend of the old and new - the post-modernism of the oh so unreliable narrator, and the closely observed portraiture of Eliot (Silas Marner springs to mind) or even Jane Austen. Wood is an excellent crafsman and has produced a satisfying, thoughtful and thought provoking work of fiction - even if you want to shake Bunting by the shoulders from time to time and tell him to "move on for God's sake" - but he doesn't believe in God, of course...or does he?
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book about God and modern relationships 26 May 2005
'The Book Against God' is a particularly satisfying read on two levels: first, in considering arguments both for and against the existence of God, and secondly as a funny, perceptive and intelligent analysis of the relationships of a contemporary man with his wife and ageing parents. The narrator, Thomas Bunting, is a philosophy lecturer (of sorts) who manages to be endearing despite a number of character flaws including compulsive lying and suspect personal hygiene! Thomas is experiencing writer's block on the PhD thesis that he is supposed to be labouring on - but has no such problem writing secretly on his pet project, his BAG - Book Against God. (This novel is an absolute must for anybody who has ever dreaded asking or responding to the question 'How is the thesis going?')
'The Book Against God' is extremely well written with totally convincing characterisation and dialogue. A number of the central characters have a strong interest in philosophical and theological issues that Woods consequently weaves seamlessly into the narrative. The main plotline charts the souring in relations between Thomas and his pianist wife, Jane Sheridan. As an added bonus, characters such as Jane and musical know-it-all Roger Trelawnay facilitate interesting discussions regarding the nexus between music and spirituality/god. The secondary plotline concerns Thomas's relations with his loving parents Peter and Sarah, and particularly Thomas's inability to profess outright atheism to his parish priest father despite the latter's willingness to question accepted church teaching. All in all, 'The Book Against God' is highly recommended as an enjoyable and thought-provoking read.
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and entertaining 21 Mar 2005
By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER
The relationship between an atheistic and rather seedy son and (principally) his attractive clergyman father. Superb, inventively and wittily phrased descriptions of a large cast of characters and of places; intelligent conversations about belief and non-belief; a moving coda (not quite at the end of the book). Because the chronology is all mixed up, it really needs to be read twice.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but still disappointing 27 Feb 2005
James Wood is a brilliant literary critic who has long shied away from writing a novel. But like every critic he secretly nurtured novelistic ambitions, and here, at last, they're realised. The title says it all: this is a book about a rather annoying postgraduate student who's supposed to be working on his doctorate but is actually wrapped up in a commonplace book in which he assails what he sees as the absurdities of Christianity - and of his devoutly Christian father. There are some very funny moments, and the novel is erudite and original, but it's also a bit irritating, and there are times when it feels a little underpowered - a lot of clever images and observations floating around in search of a real narrative. Wood has a fine mind, but he is a classic case of gamekeeper turned poacher, and the poacher seems to have found there aren't any eels in the lake.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category