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What in God's Name

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,696 Ratings  ·  331 Reviews
God decides to close up shop on Earth -- unless two idealistic angels can make a miracle happen
Welcome to Heaven, Inc., the grossly mismanaged corporation in the sky. For as long as anyone can remember, the founder and CEO (known in some circles as "God") has been phoning it in. Lately, he's been spending most of his time on the golf course. And when he does show up at wo
ebook, 241 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Peter Derk
Okay, the premise of this book might sound a little cheesy. Let's face it, we live in a world where some dopey 4 year-old gets brainwashed by his even dopier dad regarding his experience in heaven, and all of a sudden we've got a runaway bestseller. Or some jackoff gets hit by an 18-wheeler and then lets us know what heaven is like, and we decide to buy that one too.

It seems a little odd to me that the only people who seem to glimpse heaven are those who have lost 90% of their vital fluids or ha
Aug 16, 2012 Aharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You know that rom com that's in heavy rotation on that basic cable channel? The one with the "charming" pratfalls and reheated Simpsons jokes and magical ethnic secondary characters who have amusing grammar and exist to help out the hapless leads? But you watch it to the end because it's super short? Yeah, this is that.
Drink up. The world’s about to come to an end.

When a story starts off with a God bored by real-world events and favoring a kind of spiritual porn, then you know you’re in for a ripping good time. The end of the world has never seemed so funny as God decides to cash in his chips and leave the table while two Angels bank everything on one last desperate throw of the dice. The scramble to save the world by getting two socially inept losers to exchange a kiss gets ever more frantic as the clock tick
Oct 18, 2012 kari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Fun book.
Definitely something different and refreshingly so.
What if God just decided he wanted to do something else instead of taking care of humans any longer? And what if an Angel made a bet that if he could get two socially awkward, shy people to kiss then God would not destroy the world?
The characters were entertaining, from bored God to his mostly naked prophet Raoul to the Angels, Craig and Eliza, and my favorites, the Archangel Vince and the human, Raj. The will all attempt to save the w
Heaven Inc is a big company and God is its CEO. He's an ideas man who spends most of his day in his swanky office watching baseball and NASCAR. His Angels spend their time arranging miracles where they nudge small details of life to try to make humans end up with happy results. They are able to watch any episode of history from multiple angles and therefore spend their time fascinated by the love lives of Americans. Africa gets two mentions - Nigerian e-mail scammers and a Tanzanian farmer whose ...more
Wart Hill
You can read this and other reviews at Things I Find While Shelving

Imagine if you will that God is the bored CEO of a Celestial conglomerate: Heaven, INC. He tries to care about the more important aspects of his by-proxy creation: humanity (he got bored and said “make mortals” and mortals got made, you see). But all he really wants to do is watch Nascar and football and listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd. And play golf. And create Asian Fusion restaurants.

There are Angels, of course. Archangels, Angels, a
Apr 20, 2013 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best fictional depiction of God I've come across since Alanis Morrissette was in that Kevin Smith movie. I laughed out loud, which I almost never do, being old and somewhat bitter and stuff. Amazing. I even stopped watching Pawn Stars so I could finish this. Which never happens.
Feb 09, 2015 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been in a reading slump lately, because since the begining of the year I've read very bad books. This is just what I needed! I got it as an audiobook at audible.

It's very funny, light, fresh and interesting. The audiobook is read by the author, and he did a very good job.

I loved the way God and Heaven are portrayed, because I also imagine God being like that, and because it reminded me of my favorite TV show "Supernatural" and their angels.

I do not recommend this to very religious people
Mar 07, 2015 Ro rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because my book club voted for it. I would not have picked it up otherwise, knowing from the synopsis that it wasn't for me. But that's part of the beauty of book club, right? To perhaps get out of your element? At any rate, this turned out to be a very light book - a fast read with characters that were not particularly well developed. The premise is clever enough, but to me it reads with a very "jock," slapstick, frat house sense of humor that I don't really enjoy. As some sort ...more
Maya Panika
What in God’s Name is funny, off and on; the humour feels forced for the most part, though I laughed long, hard and out-loud at the bit with Regis Philbin. Other than that… I’m finding it hard to find anything to say about this book.

What in God’s Name is a very short novel that imagines God as CEO of Heaven inc. God doesn’t have much time for humanity, he doesn’t answer prayers, he’s lost what little interest he ever had in Earth. Humanity has become such a bore, God thinks he might just end the
Oct 15, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After running Heaven for millenia, God has grown bored and spends his days golfing, micromanaging NASCAR, and bugging his angels to get the remaining members of Lynyrd Skynyrd back together. When a lower level angel in the Miracles department named Eliza calls God out on not answering the prayers that she had spent several years painstakingly color coding and sorting, he decides to fold the business and pull the plug on humanity. After all, it’s xenon that’s the money maker for God, not humans.

Jul 24, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Disclosure: I received this Advance Reading Copy for free through Goodreads First Reads. Thanks to the publishers for the opportunity to read this book for an unbiased review.


In this comedic fantasy, Heaven is a huge bureaucratic corporation, with low morale everywhere and rot at the top. Craig and Eliza, two of the remaining idealistic angels, enter into a bizarre bet with God, with the fate of the earth at stake! Can they answer the prayers of two socially awkward New York misfits who
Wynne Kontos
Aug 28, 2012 Wynne Kontos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been delinquent with books lately. Having been in transition, I've been reading "the Sun" magazine (an excellent literary magazine for any writer/reader/thinker) and doing away with hard back pages.
But when I read a review of Simon Rich's new book "What in God's Name" I knew I'd found the book to come back to. Welcome to Heaven Inc., where God is the CEO and Heaven is actually a business run by all of Heaven's new entrants. God's rule is that you work in Heaven Inc. for 40 years before you
Aug 24, 2012 Yvonne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heaven, Inc is a huge corporation led by the founder and CEO, God. He’s not really into working anymore. God is ready to retire and open an Asian Fusion restaurant, but first he has a surprise for the humans on Earth. When he retires, he plans to destroy Earth as well.

God’s employees at Heaven, Inc. aren’t concerned about Earth. They are just happy that they will now be able to sit back and enjoy life when God retires. However, there are two employees that aren’t thrilled with the Earth’s possib
Amy Warrick
Aug 21, 2012 Amy Warrick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Somebody owes me. I read about this book SOMEWHERE and based on the description, actually BOUGHT it, which means that I seriously wasted whatever the Kindle price was.

The premise of this book is good - God as CEO, angels as cubicle-bound salarymen, all supposed to be funny - and the description I read compared the author to Terry Pratchett. Not quite.

The writing is clunky and amateur. It is BAD. This is a book which lacks character development, realistic dialogue, and any sort of common sen
Elisha Condie
Feb 29, 2016 Elisha Condie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simon Rich! I first noticed this guy when I was reading a humor anthology from the New Yorker. Everything he writes really made me laugh. And I just found out he writes BOOKS! I couldn't get to the library fast enough.

And there's something about a book that looks at heaven or God but in a slightly irreverent way that just SLAYS me. This book is about Heaven, Inc., the corporation in the sky where God is the CEO. Angels work in all kinds of departments and Craig and Eliza work in Unexpected Mi
Cecelia Thai
Aug 10, 2014 Cecelia Thai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simon Rich shouldn't be allowed to go there. But he does.

This book will have anyone with a soul laughing out loud. Set in Heaven Inc. where God is the CEO and the angels do his bidding so the little side project of earth. God has grown indifferent with his followers and wants to close up shop and open up an Asian fusion restaurant instead. How is that not brilliant?

It gets better, the two most diligent angels ever strive to save the earth by striking a deal with God -- have these two hopeless N
Miguel Poveda
Apr 14, 2016 Miguel Poveda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una vez más Simon Rich lo vuelve a hacer, en este caso con una novela y no con un compendio de historias cortas. Si alguien en el mundo del cine está pensando en invertir en una comedia romántica, aquí tiene material para hacer una película de esas que trascienden años después (tipo Cuatro bodas y un funeral, Notting Hill o Love Actually) y que además resulta plenamente original. El punto de partida es que el Cielo funciona como una empresa y que los ángeles trabajan en diferentes departamentos, ...more
Feb 13, 2013 Judith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So, in this version of the world, God is the CEO of a large corporation and one of his many responsibilities is looking in on earth from time to time, but mostly just to rig sports competitions so that his team or player will win. I discovered after I finished the book that the writer writes for "Saturday Night Live" and that explains a lot.
The humor is really exaggerated and slapstick. The book is short and mildly amusing but I am not impressed over all.
May 18, 2015 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reads like a Saturday Night Live skit that went on too long. Incredibly obvious humor, and absolutely no character development. Plot logic is frequently sacrificed for a cheap gag. This works if you are Douglas Adams but not if you are Simon Rich. Cannot believe all of the glowing reviews I read for this book, but I'm just glad I borrowed it from the library and didn't spend money on it.
Ana Maria Rînceanu
This is without a doubt my favorite Simon Rich book. It's funny, thoughtful and it went by so fast. God is exactly as I thought he would be. Even though it was painful to read how these awkward couples screwed up most of their lives, it was an interesting ride. And a delightfully normal ending :)
Apr 26, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I hate to compare authors but that's the question on everyone's lips when they want a book recommendation so about Simon Rich I'd say he's a "lite" version of Chuck Palaniuk. In line, perhaps with Christopher Moore's earlier work with a little Bill Bryson thrown in.

In other words, his stuff is funny in a rather inoffensive but character-depreciating way with some unrealistic or fantasy-like settings.

I find it interesting that other reviewers find this to be a romantic comedy (sorry, a "romcom.
Dec 22, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Hilarious! In fact, I frittered away the morning reading it because I just couldn't stop. Simon Rich is always funny and when I opened this last night I didn't even know what the premise was (or, in fact, that it was a novel. I assumed it was a collection. I'm not the one who checked it out of the library.) Imagine my delight at discovering the book is set in Heaven, which God is the CEO of. Craig and Eliza are angels in the miracles dept, which is somewhat lowly. I love books set in heaven, or ...more
Mar 13, 2013 xq rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I already professed my love for Simon Rich's short stories, and now I adore him in a longer format as well.

This is pure brilliance; if you read it and don't like it, we should probably stop being friends immediately.

Dec 30, 2014 Mara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I gobbled it up in 24 hours, forced it on my husband, and bought it for my Dad for Christmas. It's witty, amusing, and I actually chuckled OUT LOUD while reading it (who does that?). Out of all Rich's work this one is my favorite. I took a break from the exhaustively indulgent autobiography of Norman Lear to read this book with great relief. I was recovering from middle ear surgery, miserable in all my post-op glory, when this book fell into my lap. I'm glad it did. It made my ...more
Dec 04, 2014 Marta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is the humorous answer to the question, "Does God not care?" And tthe answer is.... not so much. God, as CEO of Heaven Inc. has been feeling a little checked out for many years; he is only interested in playing golf and organizing a Lynrd Skynrd reunion. He decides to ditch the whole human race project and open an Asian Fusion restaurant in heaven. Two angels rush to perform a miracle that will change God's mind before his earth destroying deadline.

It is worth picking up the book just to re
Mar 06, 2016 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meine Meinung

Gott hat keinen Bock mehr. Er ist von der Menschheit angeödet, fühlt sich ausgebrannt und möchte lieber ein asiatisches Restaurant eröffnen, anstatt sich weiter mit seinem als "der Boss" herumzuplagen. Er kündigt das Ende seiner Firma "Heaven Inc." an und macht sich Gedanken über die Form der kommenden Apokalypse. Seine Engel sind damit einverstanden. Sie freuen sich auf ihren Ruhestand und schmieden schon ordentlich Pläne. Nur die beiden Engel Craig und Eliza sind entsetzt über die
Sep 20, 2015 Marsha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Truly terrible. I can't figure out how it got on my to-read list. And of course I read the whole stupid thing. Fortunately it was short.
Mar 05, 2015 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really pretty enjoyable ... if it didn't feel so blasphemous the entire time I was reading. :)
Feb 23, 2016 Bobby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a unique book, which made it refreshing.
I laughed out loud multiple times, meaning it was pretty funny.
I finished it in 3 sittings, quite quick for me, meaning it was hard to put down, or actually it was probably more so that it was easy to read.
And I appreciated the outlandish views Mr. Rich took, such as the requirements for getting in to heaven, the awkwardness of some characters which I can unfortunately relate to, and the idea of Heaven as a corporation.
This all adds up to a very e
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Simon Rich (born 1984) is an American humorist whose first book, Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations, was published by Random House in April 2007.

Rich is an alumnus of The Dalton School and a former president of The Harvard Lampoon, and the son of The New York Times editorialist Frank Rich. He received a two book contract from Random House prior to his graduation from Harvard University in 200
More about Simon Rich...

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