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A God in Ruins

3.19 of 5 stars 3.19  ·  rating details  ·  949 ratings  ·  73 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, 528 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Avon (first published January 1st 1999)
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The Red Tent by Anita DiamantThe Birth of Venus by Sarah DunantDevil's Brood by Sharon Kay PenmanPrince of Darkness by Sharon Kay PenmanThe House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert
Historical Fiction for a Friend
48th out of 56 books — 5 voters
Mila 18 by Leon UrisMy Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim PotokThe Red Tent by Anita DiamantThe Chosen by Chaim PotokExodus by Leon Uris
Jewish Fiction And Literature
214th out of 315 books — 24 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
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
Jason Young
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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...
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.
Dec 28, 2007 Andrew rated it 1 of 5 stars
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.
Rob Sullivan
I've enjoyed Leon Uris before, but whoa, this was a pretty special level of bad. Stupid and lazy. Very lazy, actually.
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
Fredrick Danysh
Quinn Patrick is trying to become the second Catholic to become President of the United States. But he has dark secrets in his past that could derail the Liberal from Colorado. The story spans fifty years.
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
I should have abandoned this book early on. I just couldn't bring myself to make the decision.
Fine read, although those rabid folks that can't stand any type of gun control, will hate it.
This book was a really rough start. It is sad to say but this will be my last Leon Uris book. His best was Trinity.
Stephanie Radner
Not up to his usual standard.
he's written better
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 ..
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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.
Steve Woods
Not a bad yarn. Great analysis of the gun problem and the Second Amendment debate as part of the story.
I don't think Uris and I have the same definition of "thriller".

In all seriousness, this is the first Uris I've read and I was really not impressed, but I'm glad to see a lot of other readers felt the same way and that the majority seems to be that this was very much unlike his other work. If that's the case I might give him another try. Maybe.
I took this book, cause Mila 18 is still ahead me to read. I thought about reading something else from this autor. The book is medium - all about serving country and be close with your family, cause the family gives you strength. This is general idea of the book.
I have read many of Uris' books and have raved about them. I couldn't believe this was written by Uris. I kept hoping it would get better, it never did. Typical, expected, exaggerated plot/scenarios. I wondered if this was cranked out in a weekend or ghost written by an intern. It was no where close to his other masterpieces.
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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...
 Exodus QB VII Mila 18 Trinity The Haj

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