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God's Grace

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  37 reviews
God's Grace is an apocalyptic tale set in an imaginary time and place. It is an audacious story and probably the author's most controversial work.
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 1st 1982 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1982)
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K.D. Absolutely
Jan 24, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
Shelves: 501, sci-fi
Paleologist Calvin Cohn, this novel's protagonist was studying the bottom of the ocean when the Second Flood struck. The flood is due to the thermonuclear war brought about by the Cold War (this novel was first published in 1982) and God willed the total anihilation of men on earth. However, God made a "marginal error" by not seeing Calvin in the bottom of the ocean and also some apes who also survived the catastrophe. The first of these apes to surface out is a chimp called Buz, a subject of a ...more
What the hell was that? Awful on almost every level. Unless post apocalyptic dystopian tales of bestiality float your boat. I'm guessing there was an allegorical message in there somewhere. Not for me.
Never read a Malamud novel before (not sure why, but then again, there's a shamefully long list of authors I have yet to read). Picked this up on advice from a guy named Moffett, whose taste tends to run congruently with my own and who described this book as "crazy" and "insane." Which it was. A sort of Robinson Crusoe meets Lord of the Rings meets Planet of the Apes. Cohn, a scientist at the bottom of the ocean during a nuclear catastrophe, emerges to find the world flooded and desolate--he, ap ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Speed
This is a really fantastic novel. One man stuck on a desert island - the sole survivor of God's wrath. He tries to bring some sort of order to his new habitat, and forgiveness from his maker. It's witty and deep.I always wondered if Yann Martel read it before he wrote Life of Pi.

This novel had a profound influence on me when I was writing a religious-themed novel that included a gorilla, which I will rewrite and publish at some point.
Syed Ali
In the end, Cohn is subsequently taken to be sacrificed by BUZ. Now my question is this: Did Malamud try to recreate the scenes of Christ's sacrifice or was he referring to Abraham's ascend to Moriah to sacrifice Isaac (or Ishmael) only in this case, it was the son preparing the Father for sacrifice?

Now of course the first assumption makes it clear that Cohn act was voluntary (which is suggested when he asks Buz to untie his hand assuring him he won’t protest or run away) knowing well that his s
An allegory, a fairy story, another end of the world drama where the only question is does the human screw up paradise yet again?

Malamud's writing is so excellent, his characterisation so real, that whether or not the plot is quite 'all there', the book is thoroughly enjoyable to read.
Made bestiality bearable.

HAH, a pun.
Lisa Louie
Calvin Cohn resurfaces from a deep sea dive to find the world destroyed by nuclear war and a subsequent flood, and then God appears to tell him that his survival was an oversight and that he is the last human on the earth. Before long, Cohn finds himself in the company of a group of chimpanzees on a tropical island. Once he teaches them to speak, Cohn sets about to recreate a better world since they've all been given a second chance. But there's only one young female chimp, and everything goes t ...more
Kate Davis
A good read overall, from both religious and evolutionary standpoints - Malamud interestingly reconciles the two while questioning God's will. His style is very minimalistic, which in the first chapter of the Day of Devestation (or so Cohn, the protagonist, refers to the Flood with which man destroys himself) is engaging. The contrast of such a simple style with the havoc around Cohn allows the imagination to expand and fill in the gaps, the loneliness and isolation, more than any words ever cou ...more
Calvin Cohn, a Rabbi’s son, is the last man left alive after God wipes out mankind with a second Flood. There are other simians on the planet however, and Cohn starts a new civilization with some chimps (who soon learn to talk), a quiet gorilla and feral baboons on an island. His attempts to play God with the apes, however, go awry after he fathers a hybrid baby with the female chimp.

I first read this in high school; I’m not entirely sure I understand it any more than I did 17 years ago. I belie
I have read Mr. Malamud's The Natural, and The Assistant, so I was attracted to this book right off the bat. It is a very different construct then the other books. In this book, Malamud writes about a dystopian future, where a Second Flood has occurred after a nuclear war. Not what I was expecting. Unlike the other books I have read by Malamud, there is a heavy presence of God and Judaism here as well. Overall, it is a great book.

The story is well told, the pace is quick and the writing is excel
I'm not remotely religious and I'm not into dystopian fiction, but I found this book totally compelling.
May Koliander
Very enjoyable read. Lots of wry humor !
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Strange on so many levels.
Avi Klayman
very pessimistic and surprising end.
Peter Panic
God wipes the Earth clean but makes a mistake by leaving Calvin Cohn behind. Afterwards you're left to wonder was it really a mistake and what in God's name was going through Cohn's mind while doing half of what he does. What is required is more religious insight than I care to possess and more than necessary amount of knowledge on primates. Interesting story, but since I dislike monkeys and am somewhat amoral I doubt I would ever think of this tale again.
I *loved* this book, but I haven't read it for several years, so now isn't the proper time to do a review. All I will say is it's completely unique. It reminded me a bit of Gulliver's Travels and Lord of the Flies. The story last surviving human (Jew) stuck on an island with several talking Christian Chimpanzees. Yes. Seriously.
A strange and moving reflection on the relationship between man and God. I don't know if my inability to understand the deeper questions underlying this book made me rate it 2 stars instead of 3, but it was more of a curiosity than a joy. Any one looking for a fresh take on the problem of evil should at least pick it up
The tone is too choppy - clunky transitions from sardonic to hopeful to dark with an attempt at poignant humor that falls flat at the end.

When Buz constantly asks his human "dod" to retell the story of the binding of isaac you know things are not going to end well...
Wow. Such a weird book. I've dug everything I've read by Malamud and so was excited to read Malamud's take on a post-apocalyptic world . . . It was good. But weird. Been a few years since I read and I think it's worth a re-read . . .
Dit boek las ik voor school. Het werd mooier naarmate ik er meer over las en de onderliggende betekenissen begreep.

Ook al interesseerde het onderwerp me niet zo, dit boek is verfrissend omwille van z'n humor.
Al Kratz
Not as good as his others but still classic malamud. The talking animals kind of hokey and biblical allegories not familiar to me but still glad I read it and confirms to me how under rated he is.
Malamud's obscene and grotesque masterpiece. It makes The Fixer seem like a pleasant ethnic romp. This is a work of art, but very difficult to experience.
This is the first book I have read by this author. It is by far the strangest book I have ever read. Idon't know what i expected but this was not it.
Oct 11, 2008 Esther rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Esther by: Joseph Sherr
What do you do when you're the last man left on Earth -- and the Lord speaks to you to let you know that this was just an oversight?
Such an intersting book. I read this for my religion minor and it is very thought provoking. Recommend.
Sarai Capael
If you want to experience jewish rage, here it is. Ripping satire. Also, terrible literature.
Paul Berman
Interesting, if a bit bizarre. Think Doctor Doolittle in the Book of Revelation.
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Bernard Malamud was an author of novels and short stories. Along with Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, he was one of the great American Jewish authors of the 20th century. His baseball novel, The Natural, was adapted into a 1984 film starring Robert Redford. His 1966 novel The Fixer, about antisemitism in Tsarist Russia, won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
More about Bernard Malamud...
The Fixer The Natural The Assistant The Magic Barrel The Complete Stories

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