Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Heaven Knows Why” as Want to Read:
Heaven Knows Why
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Heaven Knows Why

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  63 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 17th 1994 by Aspen Books (first published 1979)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Heaven Knows Why, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Heaven Knows Why

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 30, 2012 Keith rated it it was amazing
Very funny book about a small-town LDS man who finally gets some ambition after being vistited by his deceased grandfather. Originally written in 1948. Samuel Taylor is a son of the polygamist John W. Taylor, who kept living it after it was abolished, and a grandson of President John Taylor, the 3rd LDS prophet.
Jan 16, 2008 MaryBliss rated it really liked it
A tongue in cheek tale that annoyed me when I first read it as a teenager, but made me smile as an old lady.
Jan 13, 2017 Rachel rated it really liked it
I read this book because someone on the internet called it the funniest Mormon novel ever. I don't think it was the FUNNIEST, but it was pretty funny. I was just thinking that someone should write a book about a "short stay in heaven," and I'm happy that some work has already been done on the subject. I'm not sure how true-to-life the characters are to actual rural Utahns, but the "mystery" of how the main character's grandfather's prophecy gets fulfilled was well-executed. There was even a litt ...more
Nov 10, 2007 Beth rated it it was ok
Supposedly this is one of the hallmarks of Mormon literature, even though I’d never heard of it. The premise is interesting and clever: Moroni Skinner, who has completed a full life on earth, looks down from heaven and is frustrated with his grandson, who is amounting to nothing due to his lazy attitude. Moroni decides that what his grandson needs is a gentle push from beyond (i.e., a visit from his grandfather) to marry the town sweetheart and make a name for himself in the valley.

It’s a pretty
Mar 18, 2012 Phillip rated it liked it
Originally published in 1948, this is one of the first, if not the first humorous LDS novel written by an LDS author. Relating the events prompted by an angelic visitation to a ranching community in Wyoming, the ensuing havoc challenges the faith of many of the residents, threatens the wedding of the bishop's daughter, reveals religious hypocracy, renews old grudges, and fosters chaos among the saints, devout, less active and apostate alike. Central to this cleverly plotted chaos is an affable p ...more
David Harris
Nov 14, 2015 David Harris rated it really liked it
This is a lighthearted romantic adventure set in Mormon country. First published in 1948 by a grandson of Mormon prophet John Taylor, the book is a quick read, and the author isn't afraid to spice his story up with such controversial elements as embezzlers, idlers and apostates along with misadventures relating to the improper consumption of coffee and alcohol.

I enjoy the more contemporary Mormon fiction of such authors as Levi Peterson and Doug Thayer, and I recently discovered Jack Harrell sho
Jun 26, 2016 Jenny rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. It was written in the 40's and published as a book in the 70's, so there are a lot of old-fashioned sexist phrases that made me roll my eyes and shake my head. But I suppose I'll give those a pass in light of it being 50 years old. On the other hand, it was actually pretty darn funny. The author wasn't afraid to make fun of Mormons and all their idiosyncrasies and strange social customs. Coming from a long heritage of avowed jack Mormons, I found it all pre ...more
Aug 18, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing
Evoking life in a rural Utah town shortly after World War II, Taylor sets up a divine comedy where against all odds things seem to work out. Moroni Skinner looks down from heaven and sees that his grandson Jackson is not living up to his potential. He gets permission to manifest himself to Jackson and tell him to marry the bishop's daughter, Katie Jensen. Only she's engaged to be married to Henry Brown, the first counselor and a successful businessman. If you want to read a work of Mormon Lit th ...more
Aug 22, 2011 Luise rated it liked it
This was a funny book. The plot had enough twists through the whole book that kept it entertaining. There was swearing, coffee drinking, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and an illegitimate baby, which are not usually found in Mormon based books. The characters lacked testimony and were of a strange variety. The setting is just after World War II in a very small town. The main character shows consistency in his honesty. The expressions and dialect used are sometimes hard to follow. There are ve ...more
Apr 11, 2008 Tamra rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any Mormon who can laugh at themselves
Recommended to Tamra by: Corene
Superbly funny! It's a nice history piece on Mormonism, too.

I would recommend this book to any Mormon who can laugh at themselves. Truly worth the read!!

I have a copy of this book, if anyone wants to borrow it. It's out of print and there's little to no chance of getting it back IN print. So good luck finding it.
Mark Stephenson
Jul 05, 2014 Mark Stephenson rated it it was amazing
The grand, nay sublime good humor of this funny and touching story got me through some dreary days as a lonely bachelor in Hong Kong some decades ago for which I'll be forever grateful. I had the good fortune to thank the author personally for his efforts at his home in Redwood City CA back in the 80's.
May 18, 2009 Marcie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because it was labled as a comedy and I was looking for a funny book. I was also intrigued because it was touted as one of the first published LDS fiction comedy novels. It was a classic small-town hick setting with off-beat characters and unbelievable circumstances. Overall I thought it was a fun book and worth reading for entertainments sake.
Apr 08, 2009 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mormon
This is billed as the funniest Mormon novel ever. I have to agree. Coffee-near, visitations, apostates, and in-fighting--I've known some of these people. Even though it is 40 years old, it holds up.
Linda Hart
Jun 27, 2009 Linda Hart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely delightful book about early mormon settlement in Utah. Full of history and that laughter that produces tears of mirth.
Nov 11, 2008 Lucinda rated it really liked it
This is such a funny book, especially for LDS people. It examines the early 1900s Utah Mormon small town culture. But really it's just a hoot. I found it surprisingly uplifting.
Jul 14, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Funniest Mormon novel ever. Very mid-century, though, so if you don't like jokes about postum, this isn't the book for you.

(I did read the serialized version, but I assume it's not much different)
Jun 16, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks Anita for loaning me this book. I love laughing at our religion!! It was even better since it was written by my husband's family member.
Jul 22, 2014 Jill rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book and my children enjoyed it even more, some of them would give it five stars and others four stars.
Jan 13, 2008 Jana rated it really liked it
it's a funny, lighthearted read. One of my family's favorites.
Daryoung rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2016
Joseph rated it it was amazing
Jun 19, 2007
Dennea Hedding
Dennea Hedding rated it liked it
Mar 02, 2016
Paul BISSELL rated it it was amazing
Feb 19, 2012
Debbie Hammer
Debbie Hammer rated it it was amazing
Jul 11, 2012
Fiona rated it it was amazing
Jun 08, 2015
Priscilla Bouvier
Priscilla Bouvier rated it it was amazing
Sep 09, 2015
Suzanne Kunz Williams
Suzanne Kunz Williams rated it really liked it
May 27, 2016
Lucy rated it really liked it
Apr 08, 2010
May 09, 2009 Patrice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light, fun, read.
Sharman Wilson
Sharman Wilson rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2009
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book