It is unfortunate that the critics were too enthusiastic in their endorsement of this book, for the hype printed on the back cover did not tally with the book itself. One said it was equal to 'Gone With The Wind' for readability and content. Obviously this person has never read 'Gone With The Wind', for Wangerin's 'The Book of God' does not compare with that classic.
The book reads as if Wangerin pasted a translation of the Bible into his computer and filled it out here and there. The first part in particular is very sparse on his own work, and there are entire chunks in later chapters where he merely italicised the excerpt and entered it into the text as reminiscence or a reading.
Having said that, there were parts, notably in the last section, 'The Messiah', which read very well; these showed his talent as a narrative sermon writer. I wonder if, had he taken the time, the whole book could have been written as competently.
For reasons best known to himself, Wangerin totally bypassed the stories from the exile. Not a word is mentioned of Esther or Daniel. I thought perhaps this was because it was `the book of God' and he was concentrating on the people who featured in Joseph's lineage, but this theory does not stand as the Kings of Israel were included, and they were not of the house of David.
The book does, however, leave one interested in the people of the Bible and that is a plus. It is too long, though. It might have been better to divide it up into sections to make it easier to read. I think most people would look at it and think it would be as difficult to read through as the Bible itself, even though Wangarin did not keep the long ancestral lists and laws in the text.