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Blameless in Abaddon (Godhead #2)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  776 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
In this “funny, ferocious fantasy” (Philadelphia Inquirer), God is a comatose, two-mile-long tourist attraction at a Florida theme park-until a conniving judge decides to put Him on trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published September 15th 1997 by Mariner Books (first published 1996)
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Alice in Wonderland by Lewis CarrollThe Phantom Tollbooth by Norton JusterThe Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil GaimanTowing Jehovah by James K. Morrow
Quirkiest Books
8th out of 20 books — 22 voters
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SF & Theology
100th out of 212 books — 304 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sep 06, 2007 Tracey rated it liked it
I found Blameless in Abbadon for $4.00 at Half-Price Books (brand-new trade PB version) a month or two ago & finally got to read it.

It's a sequel to Towing Jehovah, taking place a few years later when an Arctic earthquake shakes the body of God loose from its icy tomb. It is determined that God is comatose, not dead - and the body is taken to Orlando, where it become the centerpiece of Celestial City USA.

However, the story primarily revolves around Martin Candle, a Justice of the Peace in Ab
Jun 15, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing
So, interested in reading a 400+ page comedy on the subject of Theodicy? Interested in venturing literally into God's skull? Do you ever feel you've been slapped upside the head by the Ontological argument? This book is for you. Never has the problem of evil been more fun.

For those of you who aren't into the fun branch of theology known as theodicy, it deals with the paradox of if god is all knowing, all powerful and all good, why is there evil in the world? This has been debated by theologians
Feb 18, 2016 Alex rated it it was amazing
James Morrow is a writer of religious and philosophical satire clothed in absurdist Vonnegutian fantasy - particularly of the abstract philosophical or religious concept made flesh in the form of absurdist fantasy (and indeed as the source of much of the absurdism in that fantasy). This is never more so than in his Godhead trilogy, where he takes the Nietzschean theme that God is dead and makes it flesh, literally in the form of a two mile long corpse - or Corpus Dei - in the Atlantic Ocean. ...more
Jul 10, 2015 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
One of the funniest books I have ever read in my life. If I had underlined every phrase I thought was funny, there would be ink on every page, in almost every paragraph.

The second part of a trilogy that began with “Towing Jehovah.” Exploring a world where God’s dead body is the hot topic. Incredibly funny, culturally aware, poking fun at every race, age, religion, and stance.

Particularly loved the bits written from the Devil’s point of view: The one thing he got wrong was my age. While poets com
Craig Evans
Oct 09, 2016 Craig Evans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From suburban Philadelphia (with references both to TLA on South Street and to Lower Merion (I lived 3 blocks from the border at City Line when I lived in Phila)) to The Hague for a "Trial of all Existence" (also noted: a Hostetler farm in central PA (the author lives in State College), and Olean NY (only 70 miles from where I live now)), the author pulls few punches in this novelized analysis of theodicy and the intellectual gymnastics undertaken to support the innocence or guilt of Jehovah in ...more
Apr 05, 2016 prcardi rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, rated-r, humor, series
Storyline: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Writing Style: 2/5
World: 1/5

I'm sure Morrow is deserving of some appellation: "king of small ironies," or perhaps "wizard of the quip," but, ultimately, this wasn't enough to turn Blameless in Abaddon into an engaging novel. The book is divided into three parts. The first is chock full of witty observations that entertain for a short time. Most of them, however, would have fit just as neatly into another book Morrow was writing and did not appear to uniquely build up
Mar 02, 2009 Ryk rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Satire fans, Christians, theologians, fantasy fans... everybody, actually
Recommended to Ryk by: Jon wolf
The second in a loose trilogy by Morrow, the book continues the story of what we, as humans, want to do with the physical body of God which, presumed dead in the first book "Towing Jehovah" , is in fact merely in a coma. The main character is a modern-day Job and has decided to bring suit against God in the World Court in The Hague, The Netherlands for all the suffering He has caused or criminally failed to stop.

Like Neil Gaiman, Morrow combines snappy dialogue, well-honed satire, awesome resear
Aug 22, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian
A dense but engaging read about the unlikely topic of theodicy, Blameless in Abaddon is equal parts serious theological examination and snarky comedy. In other words, classic Morrow. Blameless in Abaddon is technically a sequel to Towing Jehovah, but it could easily be read independently. I also think it's a much stronger book and wrestles with more interesting issues than its predecessor. Morrow is not religious, and I'm consistently impressed with his ability to address the problems within org ...more
Tyler Anderson
Mar 03, 2009 Tyler Anderson rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books of all times. I was handed this and went screaming through it before I knew that it was book 2 in a trilogy, and I would probably recommend that they be read in order. If that doesn't fly, though, any one of them stands entirely on their own, as well.

Not only a beautiful book told with a grimy, visceral humor: it's also a frolicking intro to the field of Theodicy. Which is exactly what you've been looking for.

Actually, I don't think people in the United States today sh
Zachary Stewart
Not as good as Towing Jehovah, much less open minded in its theology. The writing is still good and really brings out the emotion, however much more on the negative side of things as compared to the first book. Also seems to ignore many of the events of the first book, as expected as Towing Jehovah was meant to be a stand-alone, not the start of a series. Of local interest to those of you in Central Pennsylvania, Abbadon PA seems to be a conglomeration of several Centre County towns without the ...more
Jul 04, 2008 Tom rated it liked it
A sequel to Towing Jehovah. God dies and falls to earth. His two mile long body is shuffled around as an amusement attraction. A man decides to sue God in the world court. Multiple references to the book of Job are probably going to impel me to re-read that book of the bible.

The book is a lengthy theological discussion of why God allows bad things to happen, running through all the theological arguments - free will (man makes decisions and pays the price), hidden harmony (everything must have a
Nov 25, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
Second book in the trilogy following Towing Jehovah. The best of the trilogy. A man whose wife dies of cancer and who himself is dieing takes god's dead body to the Hague to face war crimes trials posthumously. It covers Bertrand Russel's famous points from his lecture Why I am not A Christian and includes a lot of historical figures, including Tommy Aquinas. The book is clearly written from an agnostic's perspective, but I enlightened liberal Christians are not offended by this book. I'd love ...more
Apr 15, 2016 Jerico rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite Morrow book. God's corpse (from the last book, but don't worry, they're self contained) is on trial in the Hague and a prosecutor from Abaddon dying of cancer is running the trial. There's a lot of Vonnegut in this book, not in the form of imitation or ripoff, but in the same wry worldview and tragic sense of humor. The book is written with a very polished hand, mixing fantastic and mundane in an entirely natural fashion, letting both escalate in a feedback loop until the ...more
Nov 24, 2013 William rated it really liked it
This is a very disturbing satire, be forewarned. God is on trial for crimes against humanity and his prosecutor is a modern day Job. On one hand, the book is very funny; on the other, it has given me nightmares. I've been up since 3:00 a.m. trying to calm my imagination down. This the second book in a trilogy but each book can be read separately. I wish this book had been around when I had taken philosophy in college. Maybe I would have understood more. Certainly there is much to debate between ...more
E. S. Collins
Oct 31, 2007 E. S. Collins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, literature
James Morrow is my favorite living author and this is my favorite of his books. If you've ever asked, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" then you should read this. The main character has decided that no answer is good enough and puts God on trial for crimes against humanity. It only gets better from there.

This is the second book in the Godhead Trilogy so read Towing Jehovah first. It will not disappoint.
Oct 16, 2008 Dergrossest rated it it was ok
Very interesting premise about the divine and evil ruined by the author's ramblings about the details of same. The ending was disappointing as it degenerated into jibber-jabber about a pile of shit. Maybe Job would have the patience for this, but I could not get past the smell. Still, as long as you are not easily offended by slights to Jesus and Christianity in general, this book contains some ideas worth thinking about.
Brian Steed
This book was my first exposure to the idea of “theodicy,” defending God’s goodness in the face of the “problem of evil” seen throughout the world he allegedly created. As with Towing Jehovah, Morrow gives the opposition a sympathetic reading, and makes reasonable concessions where appropriate. Morrow’s literary musings on religion never read like atheistic proselytizing, but genuine explorations, as if we’re watching Morrow himself trying to shape his own worldview.
Apr 20, 2009 Nicole rated it liked it
Recommended to Nicole by: George Egonut
Shelves: fantasy, own
A very interesting and well-written work of fiction.
It addresses the question that most non-believers (and Christians in moments of weakness) have, "Why did God let this happen?"

Although I did not agree with some of the content in this book, I felt that it was well-woven and imaginative. I had empathy for the main character, a lost, sad man who was very real.
Jan 30, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite of the "Corpse of God" trilogy, as a judge who just suffers the twin blows of losing his wife and being diagnosed with cancer decides to sue the dead (but still somewhat viable) body of the Main Attraction. The best part is in the middle, where he and a team of scientists plunge into God's brain to interview various Biblical and historical figures to determine the nature of evil.
May 05, 2009 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x2008-9-season
A worthy followup to the first volume that leave one very curious where the third installment will go. Keeping a theological dictionary on hand wouldn't be the worst of ideas for the frequent - but intrinsically necessary - references to obscure philosophical suppositions and heresies.
Layne Lebahn
Nov 05, 2010 Layne Lebahn rated it really liked it
Not as compelling as Towing Jehovah, but more intellectually and emotionally rewarding. Morrow traded the shock and disgust that permeated Towing Jehovah and traded it for a more human story - with more character development. The ending made me cry like a baby.
Nov 15, 2013 Sue rated it did not like it
Thank God I am finally done with this lousy book! I was excited to read it because I liked Towing Jehovah so much, but this book's endless explorations of the nature of evil felt redundant and bleak. I felt the author was beating me over the head with his message.
Jul 17, 2009 Annemarie rated it it was ok
Even despite my obvious academic love for religious studies (or perhaps because of my obvious disregard for theology) this book bored the shit out of me. Excellent job of paralleling the protagonist's whiny uselessness with that of Job's. Kudos and thumbs down, James Morrow.
Brian Bohmueller
Jan 23, 2014 Brian Bohmueller rated it liked it
moments of solid satire and plenty of inspiration to think deeper on mindful virtues alongside a comatose god... the plot itself dragged at points
Sep 20, 2012 Victoria rated it did not like it
Officially done with James Morrow. Repulsive, violent, and most offensively boring. Theodicy deserves better than this.
Jan 02, 2008 Burkey rated it really liked it
the second in the god head trilogy, also smart and hilarious. dipping into some bible stories, very creative style, a good read.
Jocelyn Montalvo Cullum
I registered a book at!
Kbuxton rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2013
Charlie rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2009
Marianne rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2007
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Born in 1947, James Kenneth Morrow has been writing fiction ever since he, as a seven-year-old living in the Philadelphia suburbs, dictated “The Story of the Dog Family” to his mother, who dutifully typed it up and bound the pages with yarn. This three-page, six-chapter fantasy is still in the author’s private archives. Upon reaching adulthood, Jim produced nine novels of speculative fiction, ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Godhead (3 books)
  • Towing Jehovah (Godhead, #1)
  • The Eternal Footman (Godhead, #3)

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