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

A God in Ruins

3.2  ·  Rating Details ·  1,156 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Spanning the decades from World War II to the 2008 presidential campaign, A God in Ruins is the riveting story of Quinn Patrick O'Connell, an honest, principled, and courageous man on the brink of becoming the second Irish Catholic President of the United States. But Quinn is a man with an explosive secret that can shatter his political amibitions, threaten his life, and t ...more
Paperback, 517 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Avon (first published January 1st 1999)
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 A God in Ruins, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A God in Ruins

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 15, 2007 Steve rated it did not like it
Leon Uris got old before he died. It's too bad he published this book first, because old people lose the filter between their thoughts and what they say out loud.
Oct 27, 2012 Zeo rated it did not like it
Oh, embarrassment. I read this shortly after it came out and thought, in all my fifteen-year-old wisdom, that it was SO. FUCKING. AWESOME. It was my Atlas Shrugged , people. It promised me the political optimism I craved, and I promised right back that I'd reread it in 2008 and see if the real election of that year compared.

And then, in the years to came and as the specifics of the book became a blur and all I could remember was feeling like this book was the shit, I recommended it to people. I
Laura Rittenhouse
Sep 07, 2010 Laura Rittenhouse rated it it was ok
This book wasn't for me. Which given the author is more likely my problem than his. The premise is intersting enough - the lives of 2 candidates for the US presidency, one incumbant business genius and one newcomer idealist, are told through flashbacks. The personalies are developed nicely, if a bit obviously by this method. Subjects such as gun control and the impact of humans on the environment are touched on. But it was all a bit heavy handed for me. I didn't like either of the candidates and ...more
Dec 13, 2007 Jennifer rated it really liked it
The story of an orphan from a Catholic Adoption Home who kept family records very secret. The young boy is adopted by an Irish Catholic couple and grows up into a very honest, principled and courageous man on a remote Colorado ranch. The author goes back to WW II giving us a background on his parents and those around the young man. As a middle aged man we find that he is Governor of Colorado and on the brink of becoming the second Catholic president of the United States. But his secret past - of ...more
Jason Young
Jun 07, 2012 Jason Young rated it did not like it
Republicans are stupid, greedy, amoral s.o.b.'s with no redeeming qualities. Liberal democrats are the saving grace to all that is good in the world. Gun owners and anyone associated with guns are violent, anti-social, anarchist criminals just waiting to cause death and destruction. Liberals are intelligent and witty.

The saddest thing about this book is the underlying story was interesting, but all the religious dogma worshipping at the alter of liberalism really ruined it for me.
The writing was
Jan 26, 2010 D.w. rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
During a recent trip to the hospital, this book was handed to me to read and pass the time. A good opening had the potential to grab you. Leon Uris doesn't disappoint here. The shoo-in for the presidency in november's election, an orphan raised roman-catholic, finds one week before the election that his birth-parents, both deceased, are Jewish.

That could be a great premise but then what... The story falls apart. Uris tries to create tension in our two party system in the US with the histories of
Apr 26, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Those who hate, must hate this book.

I had heard of it, but I had never before seen it. Those who support unlimited firepower for every one regardless of their ability or their record; those who seek to enlarge themselves by being prejudiced against everything and everyone; those who distrust the educated because they couldn't find it in themselves to become educated; those who find a million excuses for their failures but never see how their own choices have put them where they are; and those wh
Jan 22, 2013 Alisa rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Exodus will always be my favorite Uris book, but this one comes in a close second. Some of the other reviews I find shocking, especially those dealing with his description of technology, but after working in the computer industry for nearly 30 years, I've met many people who lacked more common human attributes and more closely resembled computers in their thought processes and mannerisms. I found the characters realistic and the storyline compelling. In fact many ...more
Jun 24, 2010 Chuck rated it really liked it
Our story opens in the autumn of 2008 and we are introduced to the Democratic candidate for POTUS who is leading the incumbent in the polls by a few percentage points. We learn that he is an orphan and he has just learned that his biological parents were Jewish. Through flashbacks that take place
throughout most of the book we learn how he and the incumbent arrived at this point in their lives. This is not Exodus or QB VII but it's a pretty doggone good read. Uris, like so many of my favorite au
Akd200 Martin
Aug 28, 2012 Akd200 Martin rated it did not like it
I have read Leon Uris and liked him, this is not the case with this book! This is another book that just got worse and worse. At one point I was wondering if Leon just wanted to make another Michel Crichton book. I was very hopeful that it was going to be a wonderful book, but then it got worse as I realized it was about crap that I did not care about. I got to around page 500 and I could not get myself to finish it...
Jun 22, 2008 Bethany rated it it was ok
This was a book crossing book. I found it with some free newspapers in a local food coop.

This is the story of two men. It chronicles their childhoods and their ultimate rise to the position of President of the United States. It seemed to me to be an incredibly masculine book in a way that sometimes alienated me as a reader.
Rob Sullivan
May 28, 2008 Rob Sullivan rated it did not like it
I've enjoyed Leon Uris before, but whoa, this was a pretty special level of bad. Stupid and lazy. Very lazy, actually.
Dec 28, 2007 Andrew rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
This was by far the worst Uris. It was as if someone else was writing, someone with a political agenda and far less storytelling ability than Uris.
Bonnie Peterson
Jan 04, 2017 Bonnie Peterson rated it did not like it
Should have been better,
Nov 24, 2016 Lainey rated it did not like it
Storyline and characters were not interesting - did not finish.
Mar 05, 2017 Batu rated it it was amazing
Looking at the other reviews, this book seems to be one that you either hate or love. It's not vintage Uris, but it's still good story telling. Perhaps the author just wanted to try out something new and that disappointed many long-time fans. I enjoyed it. The idea of repealing the 2nd amendment is a bold one--maybe that's what upset some readers. The Irish Catholic adopted boy who learns that he has Jewish parents is a loose frame around this interesting examination of Americans' rational and i ...more
Alan Kaplan
Feb 01, 2017 Alan Kaplan rated it did not like it
In my youth, I read many books by Leon Uris including Mila 18 and Exodus. These books were all best sellers and they were considered classics. Mila 18 is an incredible story about the Warsaw Ghetto during WW II. It is one of the best books I have ever read. Uris wrote this book at the end of his life. This book has been sitting around my house for years, and I finally decided to read it.
It is about an orphan who is running for President of the United States when he discovers that his birth paren
Jul 29, 2015 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathy by: I've read most other Uris books
Shelves: read-as-an-ebook
Since I was in high school (quite some time ago!) I have enjoyed Leon Uris' novels. I discovered there were a couple I hadn't read and decided to get them.

Mistake. This novel in no way gave me the same enjoyment I remember from reading his early works. It was a basic political novel (which is fine to read sometimes), but I can't say I really liked any of the characters that much. When the only reason you want one person to come out on top is because you dislike the opponent more, that's sad.

I al
Mar 08, 2011 Jenny rated it it was ok
Having only read "Exodus" by Leon Uris, which I thought was excellent, I was really looking forward to a good read with this one. The first couple of chapters were great as we know right from the start that Quinn suddenly finds out that his birth parents were Jews just before the presidental elections. I liked the flash backs to begin with of his and his parents early life and that of Thornton Tomtree, who is the present president. However I found the story slowed down and I struggled to keep go ...more
Rhett Smith
Apr 09, 2016 Rhett Smith rated it did not like it
Overall, I am not a fan of this book. It is not worth reading.

yet, I greatly appreciate the main premise of the book (which only really involves the first 20 pages and the last 10 pages of the book.)

Funny note: I took this book from Leon Uris' summer house on Shelter Island. After he died, he left a library of misprinted editions of this books. I've slept in his bed, and stepped on his floor.

When i was done reading/skimming this book, I shot it multiple times with a 22mm rifle. It now resides i
Jan 08, 2015 Mike rated it it was ok
Recommended by a friend over a decade ago, I really struggled with this book. Not sure why, but it just didn't grab my attention.

Contrary to my review on James Patterson's Thomas Berryman Number, I won't read any other Leon's because of reading A God in Ruins.

Which begs another question: Do you finish a book if you don't like it?

I always do as I often wonder if it'll get better and wouldn't "cheat" the author by not finishing. Lots of blood sweat and tears go into writing and wouldn't short chan
Aug 08, 2015 Francine rated it liked it
I found this book while looking for another book with the same title. Copyrighted 1999 it deals with the history of the presidential candidates in 2008. It ends in 2009 with a Jewish president taking office.
I always liked Leon Uris writing. Has it changed or have I become more impatient?
Note to self. Don't write about the future. No author could have foreseen the events of the 2000's in 1999. 9/11 and a African-American president.
Not in your dreams.
Feb 05, 2013 June rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2010 Jessica rated it liked it
Compared with the other Leon Uris books I've read, this one wasn't that great. Although the book was over 10 years old, it did have some interesting parallels and insights that are interesting to think about. One of the main characters in the book was computer genious and it showed how we can rely too heavily on technology as he thought himself all powerful due to his own abilities. I expected more from this author.
Jun 09, 2012 Cherie rated it it was ok
While I have loved some books by Leon Uris, this was not one of them. This was not historical fiction like Exodus, Mila 18 or the Haj, but was a story about an American and his rise to political prominence and his unexpected discovery of who his birth parents really were. I did not like the people in this book. I did not like how they interacted with each other. I was really quite disappointed in this Uris book.
Jun 02, 2009 Craig rated it liked it
The book was well written. Especially if you enjoy it for liberal propaganda. I forget how many times Uris points out how much the Clinton's were victims. The protagonist is a virtuous liberal and the antagonist is a greedy evil businessman conservative. The inside cover states "illuminates the major crisis shadowing America at the dawn of a new millennium" Leon Uris wants the government to take away your guns. I need a new Vince Flynn novel, now.
Lukman Manggo
Mar 10, 2011 Lukman Manggo is currently reading it
I was curious with its title, how come God would ruin, then I tried to enjoy the cover, about to read on its first five pages and seems good. It is about one Jew, who first he was a catholic, then on his candidate as president of the USA, he discovered as a Jew...then would became the President of the United States. (?) It has been drawn me to read more. Seems good to read i think ..
Lets read then what it inside ..
May 25, 2016 Clint rated it it was ok
I'm Canadian, so the ongoing nonsense between Democrats and Republicans is of no real concern to me.

I thought the premise of the book sounded promising - a multi-generational view of the run-up to a modern election.

It was a good story, but the writing was almost unbearable for me at times. The intimate dialogue was particularly bad, whether it was between characters who were lovers, or parents, or friends. It was just forced and awful.

I read it, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Jul 22, 2007 Sammy rated it it was ok
the book could've been so much more, considering the premise. I was rather disappointed considering the author's previous works and the amount of research and detail that went into his writing. I am speculating that since this was the last book by the author, it was either heavily edited or written mostly by someone else. It just seems so different from all his other books.
Sep 05, 2015 Tony rated it it was ok
I wondered at the two star ratings of this book prior to reading it. I have read other works of Leon Uris and enjoyed them. I foyndmyself constantly falling into the holes in this story. Then crawling out wondering where I was and what had happened. The story felt a bit like a fantasy of what a presidential election might be like. Meh ...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A World Without Ice
  • A History of Zionism
  • Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush
  • The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America
  • Hitler's Panzers: The Lightning Attacks that Revolutionized Warfare
  • Find Me
  • The Iron Man
  • Life Interrupted: Trafficking into Forced Labor in the United States
  • Almost Dead
  • Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation
  • Elephant Winter
  • The Incumbent (Madison Glenn #1)
  • Earthworm Gods: Selected Scenes from the End of the World
  • Egypt on the Brink: From Nasser to Mubarak
  • A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers
  • Calumet "K"
  • The Plantagenet Chronicles
  • Dark Mysteries of the Vatican
Leon Marcus Uris (August 3, 1924 - June 21, 2003) was an American novelist, known for his historical fiction and the deep research that went into his novels. His two bestselling books were Exodus, published in 1958, and Trinity, in 1976.

Leon Uris was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Jewish-American parents Wolf William and Anna (Blumberg) Uris. His father, a Polish-born immigrant, was a pa
More about Leon Uris...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »