on 22 March 2012
Take the second coming, mental illness, interstellar space travel, MacDonalds, a hodge podge of disparate characters, then add a little biblical philosophy and top up with the search for an orgasm and what you will get is this interesting read. Previously people have mentioned Pratchett and Adams, I'd have to say I don't see any Pratchett but there is a passing nod to Douglas Adams therein.
The story itself is a convoluted tale centering on 6 or so characters (it might be more due to schizophrenia) in which the author seeks to have us question the validity of assuming people who make outlandish claims might simply be mentally ill. We are taken behind the mind, so to speak of these people and shown a world view that differs greatly from our carefully constructed reality.
The book, to me, was interesting and a little (not much) thought-provoking although I certainly would be stretching it to call it funny or comical but, then again, humour is subjective so your mileage may vary.
The tale seems to lag a bit in the middle third and just about loses its way before the author picks it up and stitches the narrative together again but, ultimately, I failed to see what, if any, point he was aiming at. To me, it felt a little unresolved at the end I'm afraid to say and I got the impression that the author had run out of ideas.
I think I was reading too much into the script!
It's fun and certainly worth a look at and I have no hesitation in recommending it to you.
"Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun." - Traditional description of a Big Mac
"Would martyrdom again be his? Probably. But, this time he wouldn't wind up nailed to some cross. No, these days would call for a sniper's bullet, or perhaps a car bomb. Watch, he smirked to himself, in a hundred years they'll all have automobiles dangling from their necks." - Jeremy, the New Messiah, previously known as Jesus
How are Judeo-Christianity, alien abductions, a Big Mac, mental health care workers and patients, the New Messiah, McDonald's fry cooks, a New Age shop, and sex all tied together? Well, by nothing obvious in the normal scheme of things. But WHOM GOD WOULD DESTROY by Commander Pants manages to make the connections in a work of greatly imaginative originality.
This quirky novel is a little bit of science fiction, social commentary and off-beat humor combined with a large dollop of blasphemy. Indeed, if Christian zealots had the inclination to issue the equivalent of a death sentence declared by an Islamic mufti, then the Commander would be a marked man many times over. As it is, WHOM GOD WOULD DESTROY has the potential to be thunderously denounced from every pulpit in the Bible Belt. For that reason alone, I like it a lot.
While I doubt WHOM GOD WOULD DESTROY has the gravitas to become an instant classic, it's perhaps one of the best advertising pieces that McDonald's Corporation didn't pay for. At least, I assume it didn't. And, under the circumstances described in the storyline, being a Golden Arches burger-flipper becomes my dream job.
The funny thing, though, is that across the seemingly infinite variety of fast-food burgers, a Big Mac is at the low end on my personal favorites scale.
If you have ever wanted to read a novel about God, insanity and the search for the Ultimate Orgasm - look no further. Combine these topics with some strangely interesting, entertaining, and generally dysfunctional characters makes reading `Whom God Would Destroy' a lot of fun.
Consider Oliver: he's been working for six years as an outreach counsellor, working with the mentally ill. He gets along with most of his colleagues, and looks out for his clients: especially Abbey (whom he secretly loves); Doc with his paranoia about aliens, and the schizophrenic Greg. But Oliver's world is turned upside down when he meets Jeremy. Jeremy, with his new age store and a raft of ideas about what he would like to achieve on earth, is not who he appears to be. And whoever he is, he keeps being distracted by sex, and by journalists. Jeremy's also unsure about whether he wants to achieve what he is supposed to.
`Why should one moment have any more significance than another?'
So, how does this all fit together? What draws the story together (more or less) are a number of different themes. First, there's mental health, medication, and relative degrees of reality.
`You work for our agency in the capacity of a mental health professional and you believe that space aliens have abducted one of our clients.'
Just who are the real aliens in this story? And who is conspiring against whom and to what end?
Secondly, there's the search for the perfect experience (and is this what the Ultimate Orgasm and Big Macs have in common? Hmmm).
What brings the various themes together (more or less) and makes the novel work are the characters. Dysfunctional, crazy (however that is defined), cunning and (or) manipulative, Commander Pants has assembled an interesting cast. It's fun speculative fiction with a satirical twist. As the cover says:
`A novel about taking reality with a pillar of salt.'
Note: I was offered, and accepted, a copy of this novel for review purposes.
on 20 May 2011
Once in a while, you pick up a book without really knowing what to expect. You understand the basic plot, but there's just no way of anticipating if you'll love it or hate it.
This is one of those books. And I loved it.
It is a grab-bag of bizarre characters, from a Triscuit loving "God" to an alien race that is obsessed with Big Macs, there is just no way of really capturing the essence in these pages. The story, although seemingly scattered, fits together nicely, leaving no major loose ends. The characters are all lovable and outrageous, making the reader wish they had a few of them in his or her life to brighten up the mornings.
I found no cataclysmic grammar mistakes or spelling oopses, which is a breath of fresh air when it comes to independently published books, so do not be deterred on that front.
Ok, the story is irreverent, snarky, and if you're seriously religious, firmly planted on the blasphemous side. But it is delightful, and a quick read. I had a blast in its pages and I can easily recommend it to those of you out there who like a little peanut-butter-nuttiness with your religion.
on 24 January 2011
It is very refreshing to read Commander Pants' "Whom God Would Destroy." From the author's nom de plume to the characters through the story itself, everything seems fresh and original. And entertaining. As I get older it gets harder and harder to find a book I want to bother to finish. This novel was definitely one I couldn't help finishing. It's a comic gem.
on 6 February 2012
A really good novel, carrying a mixture of Terry Prachet and Dougle Adams I dare say into a fresh new book.
It's not Thatttttt funny as I expected,(hilarious i mean), but it had a non-stop subtle sense of humor and irony nontheless.
The plot is original, and it is an easily read book that after the first 20pages hooks and you MUST finish it!
on 25 February 2015
What starts off with the nice premise of the 'second coming' in a modern world rapidly drifts into a plodding tale of a mental health outreach centre and the various relationships between staff and patients. It all seems rather dragged out - I get where the author is trying to be funny but it just doesn't work, maybe because he takes so long to get anywhere. The central character, Jeremy, 'the messiah' doesn't feature enough. He gets his five minutes at the end but even that is unsatisfactory. The ending, when it finally came, is dismal. It feels like the author got bored of his own story so suddenly concludes it in a series of epilogues which themselves do not fully finish the story. The book would have benefited a proof read, with just short of 40 typos, the grating interruptions are fairly frequent. I made it to the end so two stars rather than one.
on 6 May 2012
If you can't find the humor in killing or at least maiming a sacred cow or two (literally, given all the Big Macs consumed), then this isn't the book for you. But if a little light-hearted blasphemy sounds fun, if poking fun at religion, the mental health profession, and just about everything to do with your fellow earthlings sounds like a good time, have I got the book for you.
Seriously (or at least as serious as I can be about this book), how people react to humor can vary and it is often dependent on the subjects they are capable of laughing at and those they always take seriously. I found this very funny. If none of the items above is one of your sacred cows, you should find it funny too.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
on 5 March 2012
I really enjoyed this mad story. It is a fast paced, intriguing story that delivers plenty of laughs along the way. But there's a bit more to it than that... intertwined with the fiction are nuggets to chew on - food for thought about the nature of reality, delusion and the human condition. Hold on to your hats...
on 3 February 2013
I could not find anything mildly humorous or even interesting in this.
I soon started speed reading and looking for something to happen but gave up after 10%... maybe it got better later.