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Electric God

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4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  1,203 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews

From the author of Pay It Forward comes a novel that is both a compelling drama and a deeply moving love story, a contemporary reinterpretation of the Book of Job.


Hayden Reese once believed he could have it all. He had a wife he loved completely, a daughter he adored, and a new child -- a son, they were told -- on the way. And then little by little, his life came undone

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Hardcover, 318 pages
Published November 3rd 2000 by Simon & Schuster
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(showing 1-30)
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Ron Charles
Dec 26, 2013 Ron Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Advance publicity for Catherine Ryan Hyde's "Electric God" claims that it's a modern retelling of Job.

I should think that's hardly a selling point. After all, most country-western music is a modern retelling of Job, but that allusion doesn't sell records. (e.g. "My dog dieth, my truck breaketh, and my honey she leaveth me.")

Yes, Hyde has constructed her novel around biblical themes of tragedy and forgiveness, but "Electric God" is also one of the most entertaining novels I've read this year. Ima
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Marleen
May 01, 2013 Marleen rated it really liked it
I have yet to come across a book by Catherine Ryan Hyde that I didn’t like. She has an incomparable talent writing about the misfits, the oddballs, the downtrodden, the immensely flawed, all the while keeping them exciting and interesting, and most of all, giving them that spark of hope for redemption. C. Ryan Hyde is slowly becoming one of my favorite writers. Her characters are never boring. Here in Electric God, we meet Hayden Reese, a man who has lost everything. He is a good and decent man. ...more
Rick
Feb 07, 2016 Rick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always, Hyde manages to touch my heart as well as my mind, in that order (and that's a rare and wonderful talent). Brava!
Ann Laskowski
Mar 17, 2017 Ann Laskowski rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! A must read that is really different. A+
Kami
Sep 02, 2016 Kami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite stories of all time!

Hayden Reese is an intense, honorable, lost man with a desire to do right but a lack of reasoning to make it all work. Electric God is the perfect tale of sorrow, redemption and twists of fate that anyone can relate to. How long can a person hold onto a burden that was never meant to be carried? How do do the lies we believe as truth keep us all from becoming who we're meant to be?
Elle
Sep 05, 2014 Elle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of
This novel is funny, wry, moving and has such believable characters. I love how Hyde has a penchant for writing about flawed characters that have so many redeemable qualities you just can’t help but cheer for them. I found this book thoroughly enjoyable and will definitely be reading more by Hyde.
Millie Russom
Oct 02, 2014 Millie Russom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book.

Catherine Ryan Hyde did it again. I loved this story from beginning to end. It started out good and was good all the way thru. There was not a boring page. I wanted to read every word of this book.
Kathryn E. Webb
Jan 19, 2016 Kathryn E. Webb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
God by any other name is still Him

I give this a five because it not just fiction for enjoyment , but made me think about my own decisions, where I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. This reads as art, literature, and I will be rereading it .
Jacob
Jun 05, 2013 Jacob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still love mye some Catherine Ryan Hyde. I really like how the story lines do not feel cheesy and how it's obvious she puts in the time, to really get to know professions of people she writes about. Thanks again Catherine!
Marie
May 16, 2011 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me awhile to get into it, and then you just feel such sorrow for the main character. The story was satisfying enough for me.
Heather Watts
May 14, 2017 Heather Watts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One must find forgiveness for oneself as well as others

Good book. Hayden carries his hatred for his father and quilt about the death of his brother inside and is unable to let go of it or share it with those he cares about. It takes years and much pain to bring him to the place of forgiveness.
Beth Campbell
Mar 01, 2017 Beth Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book

This is a very good book that teaches you about faith and not always understanding why God does certain things. In the end, everything works out for the best. Catherine Ryan Hyde is a very good author
Judy Alexander
Jun 03, 2017 Judy Alexander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartwarming story..
Margaret Mancini
I am such a fan of your writing Ms. Hyde. I find your books hard to put

down....and your characters have become like friends. You bring so much life to them, and the everyday issues that most of us don't live thru give one more understanding and empathy.
Dee Miller
Feb 27, 2017 Dee Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another terrific Hyde story

True to her style, the characters face enormous struggles and provide us with insights into those of our own as the plot thickens with each new chapter.
Kat
Mar 12, 2015 Kat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suzanne
Feb 25, 2016 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who's on first?

Pro: interesting writing in developing the characters and descriptive scenes. Good insights to many phases and trials of life. Cons: too much flip flopping in scenes and back and forth in the timeline, that I found that I lost track of who was who, and what the dog's name was and which one was the daughter. Middle of the road: the references to religion and God. What was that about? Is the author trying to make this into a Christian read? Is she trying to ask questions or suggest
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Debra Darschewski
I liked this book better than I thought I would. I couldn't totally relate to the main character as his levels of violence were so over the top. I think I could appreciate his anger, but most people control themselves. It was sad that it took him so long to break through. It is a telling story in that we can all learn to let go and not let our past define us and not hold on to anger so much that it derails your whole life and lets you hurt and push away those who love you most and mean the most ...more
D.j. Lang
I'm rather embarrassed to admit that I thought this local writer wouldn't be that good. I know she wrote Pay It Forward, but I only watched the movie; I didn't read the book. Catherine Ryan Hyde is much better than some of the writers we've indulged in our book group. Her story kept me interested. I have friends to whom I will recommend this book, and I will take a chance on reading more of her works. Electric God does discuss God -- if the reader has read any Russian lit, this won't seem strang ...more
Merla Miller
In true Hyde writing, the characters come to life in this book. Unfortunately, I developed a dislike for the main character early in the story and simply couldn't shake it. Hayden is stubborn, meaner than a junkyard dog, and can only see the world with visors on. He is a good man, but self destructive at best. Needless to say, this made this particular book by Ms. Hyde not one of my favorites. Bouncing between decades has never been one of my favorite writing techniques, but Ms. Hyde did make th ...more
David
Jul 26, 2015 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am now a confirmed fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde. This is the second book of hers that I have read. They were both well written, unique and had well developed characters.
Hayden Reese is the most unlikeable protagonist that I have ever encountered in a novel. Reading about him is like watching a house burn: it is a tragedy but you can't stop watching. Hayden does and says the wrong thing at every turn. I never grew to like him, but learned to understand him.
The book is a powerful statement about
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Rita Mahan
Three and a half stars, another excellent read by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The liner notes state " a contemporary reinterpretation of the Book of Job"....Hayden Reese is an angry man, angry because he is mistreated by his Father, angry because he feels he was the cause of the death of his brother when they were children, angry at God because he took the life of his firstborn son and later took his wife and daughter out of his life. Not exactly a feel-good story, but somehow Ms. Ryan Hyde delivers a ...more
Carol
Oct 22, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 stars
After a rough start (chapter one left me cold), this turned out to be a compelling, memorable book. Hayden Reese is a broken, somewhat scary man, still dealing with an abusive childhood, guilt, lack of forgiveness, and inability to make constructive choices. His 'journey' (my friends know how much I hate that term, but here it seems apt) is long and painful, but at the end there is hope. Loved this book...
Hazel McHaffie
I liked the sound of this one - the effect on a young father, Hayden, of his son's death during the birth process. My area of expertise! But the book didn't live up to my expectations, I'm afraid. Too much senseless violence and suspect psychology. And the writing style didn't appeal either. Sorry to be so negative. The author's been a Richard and Judy choice so hopefully she won't be demoralised by the criticism of an unknown novelist in Scotland.
Amy
May 08, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit confused to start with about what was going on and who it was speaking and then with the jump to his past in part 2 of the book, but I think overall once you stat reading it and get your head around what is happening and how it is being narrated, it is a good book, and one which wraps itself up nicely I think, unlike so many which leave you with loads of questions about what happens next, what do the characters do after the story has finished etc etc.
Jennifer
Not one of my favorite Catherine Ryan Hyde books. This is the story of Hayden Reese who is (as described by another GR reviewer) "a broken, somewhat scary man, still dealing with an abusive childhood, guilt, lack of forgiveness, and inability to make constructive choices." That about nails it. I usually love the reality of her characters, but he was too angry and self-destructive for me. There is hope at the end of the book, though ... 3.5 stars.
Liz
Nov 03, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not exactly a cheerful read, but I had the feeling it was what I needed. I really felt for Hayden and his tendency to blame himself for his family's troubles, even after it became clear that as a child himself, he couldn't bear all that responsibility. He went through a lifetime keeping his fears to himself, only to find that moving on was not only possible, but a relief. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.
S.K. Conaghan
Oct 19, 2015 S.K. Conaghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a pleasant surprise. I couldn't put it down. Hyde's writing is raw, emotional, real; anything but manipulative. Her characters live next door and down the street, but now they are in your head. Her storytelling timeline is unique, gripping. These lives are ones we can all relate to and be frustrated with, and yet still choose to love every day.
Shannon
Jul 07, 2008 Shannon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shannon by: Library
Another book I read camping over the weekend and then passed on to my husband. We both enjoyed reading it. It's the type of book I like reading while camping...nothing heavy, just a story.
There were some definite over-the-top moments and some of the dialogue felt too forced, but I still enjoyed the story overall.
Clara
May 24, 2014 Clara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ANOTHER of c.r. Hyde's books that captivates and you cannot put the book down.

ANOTHER of c.r. Hyde's books that captivates and you cannot put the book down.

Hayden has problems that demands a personal understanding and eventually finding forgiveness for his little boy mistaken feeling of responsibility. a very good analytical exploration of a troubled man .
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I'm the the author of 30 published and forthcoming books.

My newest releases are Ask Him Why, Worthy, The Language of Hoofbeats, Take Me With You , Where We Belong, Walk Me Home, Subway Dancer and Other Stories, When You Were Older, Don’t Let Me Go, When I Found You, Second Hand Heart, The Long, Steep Path: Everyday Inspiration From the Author of Pay It Forward, Always Chloe and Other Stories, and
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