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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

on 29 May 2013
As usual Catherine Ryan Hyde delivers a good enjoyable read. It was pleasantly surprising to find that the story was from the man's view/experiences and made a nice change.
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on 9 March 2014
This book is split into 3 parts, each telling the story of a man called Hayden Reese. The middle of the book tells the story of his childhood and early adult years. It was told from the point of view of Hayden and he was a likeable character although he did some very unlikeable things. I did enjoy this book but not enough to give it 5 stars because it took me a while to get in to it. I did enjoy the book and would recommend it. I also recommend Catherine Ryan Hyde's other book Don't Let Me Go.
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on 5 December 2000
Catherine Ryan Hyde's mastery of taut, sustained prose is a pleasure to behold. She has an affinity for the struggler, the down-and-outer, whom she portrays with depth and precision as was seen in Pay It Forward. However, Pay It Forward was buoyed by a Promethean idea for making the world better, while Electric God lacks such an undergirding leaving readers with an unregenerate, self-destructive protagonist who appears heedless of the pain his actions bring to others. Home for fifty-year-old Hayden Reese is a simple cabin on the outskirts of a remote Northern California town, where he makes do with a series of menial jobs. His life is presented as a contemporary Job story, yet Job was a "blameless and upright" man who did nothing to deserve the ills that befell him. Upright, blameless fellow is not a sobriquet that even the most charitable would apply to Hayden. He is described by a friend as "a man with a flame inside." We learn in flashback form what might have kindled that flame. Raised by a stern, unyielding father and a submissive mother, he is sent to a Sunday School where the fire and brimstone teacher fixates on the biblical stories of Job and Jonah. Daniel, a younger brother and his father's favorite dies in a senseless accident. Hayden blames himself, believing he could have prevented the tragedy had he been with Daniel. Later, when Hayden is married to Judith, they have a daughter, Allegra, and learn they are going to have a second child, a boy, whom they name Daniel. The baby dies at birth. Allegra's first date is a disaster as the boy makes a pass and then abandons her. Hayden takes revenge by going to the high school parking lot, trashing the boy's car with a tire iron and then brutally beating the 16-year-old to the point of brain damage. For this, he is sent to jail, leaving Judith and Allegra financially strapped and needing to fend for themselves. Upon his release from prison Hayden retreats to a small town where he tells people that he is a widower, having lost his wife and daughter in an auto accident. Once there, he breaks a veterinarian's jaw when the vet does not save a possum Hayden has tried to rescue. He is incarcerated again. He also falls in love and embarks on an affair with a married woman, Laurel, who reciprocates his feelings but nonetheless returns to her husband. Hayden settles the score with the cuckolded spouse in his usual manner - he flattens him. Back to jail. The beleaguered husband does not press charges, but he does eventually press the trigger to shoot Hayden. Now, as in the biblical story even after Job has endured what seem to be countless vicissitudes, God is not finished with him - nor is Ms. Hyde finished with Hayden Reese. Not nearly finished. A series of unexpected events and changes of heart converge to alter Hayden's life and the lives of those he loves. Contrived? I'm afraid so. But thought provoking nonetheless.
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on 11 August 2002
At the start of the book I did not find it easy to emphathise with the characters, but I persevered and this book was definately worth the initial effort. As the story unravels you begin to understand the behaviour of the main character and the legacy of his relationship with his father. A good read overall.
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on 4 November 2014
Not started yet but know I will love it, have enjoyed all books by this author.
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on 11 October 2013
This is the first book I have read by this author. I am a slow reader , but I read this within a week, would make a brilliant film.
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