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God Is Dead

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,368 Ratings  ·  303 Reviews
An electrifying debut from a provocative new voice in fiction that will remind readers of the best of Vonnegut
Ron Currie's gutsy, funny book is instantly gripping: If God takes human form and dies, what would become of life as we know it? Effortlessly combining outlandish humor with big questions about mortality, ethics, and human weakness, Ron Currie, Jr., holds a funho
ebook, 192 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by Penguin Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paul Bryant
Jun 01, 2010 Paul Bryant rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Well this is a tough review to write because this is Ron Currie's first book and I wish him well. And I really wanted to like this one a lot - you know when you get good vibes from a book as soon as you hear about it. And it isn't bad. But I just didn't really get where Ron Currie was coming from. The concept, which is in the blurb is that God, having taken human form, actually physically dies and never comes back. And the news gets out, and the book traces what then follows from this revelation ...more
Jul 04, 2009 Jordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This books reminds me of a man you meet in a cool bar, you have had a few drinks and the lighting is low. However you are bumping and groovin' to the beat when a man approaches you. He seems exciting at first, unlike the usual guy that you run into at this bar. Thing get going, you dance, he seems incredibly exotic and intoxicating, exactly what you have been looking for. He doesn't need to explain his opinions, he just has them, but he is so confident in what he says you can't help but hang ont ...more
Miss Michael
Jul 07, 2008 Miss Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miss Michael by: Marco
First, you have to assume that God exists. Then, you have to assume that it would be possible for him to die. I can do these things. Willing suspension of disbelief and all that.

However, that didn't stop the book from reading a little like a writing exercise, more for the benefit of the author than the reader. And I found the sole character who is featured in more than one chapter to be pretty un-compelling. And the ending felt kind of rushed.

Still, the ideas explored are interesting. The book s
Aug 23, 2007 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: alive
Whaapow! Jealous and inspired. The book starts out phenomenally and then just gets better and better. It’s like watching someone tiptoe out onto a frozen pond, then slowly gain confidence, and soon he’s jumping up and down, trying as hard as he can to smash his safety, inviting his friends out there, inviting a marching band, just confident and having a great time. A deft, highwire act of a book, never mind debut.

Quick synopsis: God comes to earth in the form of a Darfur refugee and is killed b
Aug 21, 2009 Pinky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review buried in comments below (#2)....
Sep 17, 2010 Mon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
God is Dead is technically a collection of short stories loosely spanned over a period of several decades after God's death as a mortal on Earth. Its format becomes the greatest challenge, you never quite know what's happening and at what point you're in terms of the overall 'plot'. Except for the first story (which is truly remarkable), the rest fell short once you take them apart. They last couple of stories depend largely on the strength of the first one, and it becomes obvious as the narrat ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Yennie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2015 Elia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very ambitious title. A collection of short stories describing what could happen following god's death. Each is very unique and the best is kept to the last part.
Oct 05, 2008 Christian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book on a City Lights staff recommendation. I thought it would be one of those "funny" books without much of substance, and I read it to read something enjoyable after finishing a torturous novel. Unlike that book of similar length, this one flew by, and in fact, I didn't want it to end as quickly as it did.

It is a funny book, but is certainly not without substance. Comparisons to Vonnegut are appropriate, and that is no doubt partly why I liked it. This book contains a lot of absu
Anita Dalton
I bought this book at Christmas time, and I very nearly put it back on the shelf because the cover appalled me. It features a dog sitting outside a cage. Inside the cage is another dog, curled up in a miserable little pile. I couldn’t tell if the caged dog was dead or asleep and not knowing made it worse. In fact, just thinking about the picture is making my stomach hurt a little. I cannot abide it when bad things happen to animals. This reaction taints a lot of my interaction with the world. I ...more
Sep 04, 2009 Beth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love this book -- I really, really did. In fact, after reading Everything Matters!, I couldn't wait to read it to the point where I abandoned the other book I was reading to buy and read this one first. So, believe me, giving it one star really hurts :(

This book starts out very strong -- I was in love with the first story, and the next couple stories were fairly good too... but, then, the book seems to meet the same fate God did, and I found myself trudging along painfully through th
Feb 04, 2015 Dessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in the airport when my flight was delayed. At one point, the fellow sitting across from me leaned forward.
"Excuse me," he said, "but that's a very provocative title. Does the author make a good argument?"
"It's fiction," I said, "but yes."
Wendy K
This book was interesting but overall not as compelling as I think it could have been. There were so many big ideas that I felt just weren't fleshed out well enough. I mean, I guess it's up to you to invent whatever kind of world you want to envision god being dead in, but this felt like so many loose ends to me. I don't know if the alternative is writing a crazy long, epic novel, but there were many roads I would've continued down happily if I could have. Except the one about the wild dogs who ...more
Misha Husnain Ali
Dec 18, 2011 Misha Husnain Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-2012
I quite enjoyed this collection of short stories. Straight off the bat, the author displays a strong hand with characterization when he describes god as tragically failed and powerless, someone who has not only lost the power to grant forgiveness and absolution to others, but seeks it for himself (herself?).

Out of the lot, the interview with a feral dog who fed on the remains of the dead god and gains omniscience as a result, with tragic consequences, was one of my favorite stories. The slight
Sep 25, 2012 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Karen by: The Strand Bookstore
I bought this book purely because I was dashing into The Strand to get The Lacuna to read for my 2-person book club with Caitlin and I literally stopped dead in my tracks because I caught out of the corner of my eye a quality of line in the cover art that reminded me of the drawings in Dogs and Water one of my favorite ""graphic novels"" of all time. Much of Anders Nilsen's other stuff is pretty difficult to get your hands on and I must have had hope for a second that he had another big book tha ...more
Jesco White
Nov 08, 2007 Jesco White rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tortured agnostics
In God is Dead, Currie empathetically illustrates humanity's self-centered motivations in their relationship with God. What is more interesting is the fact that he does so by beginning with the premise that God has actually died. By accepting this premise, the reader can be entertained by mankind's need to believe in a God as a mixture less of hope and more of self-interest.

Without the initial premise (God is dead)the reader is left with a social commentary reflecting the less entertaining reali
Jul 11, 2007 Clifford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every story in this book is a gem; honestly, the only flaw is that I wanted one more story to fill it out. See my review at

Also, my review from Amazon:
I don't think readers should over-examine this story collection/novel for its religious message, since the premise isn't theological -- it's just wildly imaginative. What if God manifested himself in Darfur in the body of a Dinka girl and died there? One answer is that the world, learning of God's death, spins ou
Mar 19, 2013 Pagonper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
El punto de partida es que Dios ha muerto, a partir de ahí Ron Currie Jr. entrelaza varias historias en las que vemos el cambio que la muerte de Dios ejerce en la sociedad.
Me ha gustado, tiene partes geniales pero también algunos problemas. El principal problema es que al ser relatos se notan altibajos, mientras algunos son brillantes y llenos de imaginación, otros me resultaron más sosos y sin interés y el ritmo se rompe, acabas un relato y no te dan muchas ganas de seguir con el siguiente. Ot
Mar 28, 2012 Stephan added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are thinking about writing a linked collection of stories
I consider many linked collections of short stories to be collections of short stories written by fine writers who woke up one day, usually after speaking with an agent, and wished they'd written a novel. Instead of going off and writing a novel, these people push their current collection into a new mold, then announce, even in the company of novelists, "I just wrote a novel." All loud and proud.

Ron Currie's God Is Dead is that rarity of linked collections, in that it uses it form to its advanta
Jan 12, 2009 Toby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A crazy ride that leaves you in the ditch half way home. The first few short stories were pretty interesting. He has a Vonnegut-esque way of introducing hard-to-imagine ideas without really explaining them, but somehow making it flow in such a way that they are believable... at first. But where our beloved Kurt (RIP) only made you believe more as the story went on, Currie, flops haphazardly into scenarios that are beyond crazy and just downright pointless and mindless. It starts to seem like he ...more
Feb 10, 2016 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-disco
This is more of a 3.5 star book, I liked the book and it was really good. It's a very unique premise, God has taken the form of a refugee woman to see the hardships people are enduring up close and in person. While she's in the camp, there is a raid and everyone is killed. What follows is more like a series of short stories on how the world reacts when everyone learns that God is dead. Starting with that first day and then moving on in the future as everyone begins to move past this knowledge an ...more
Jun 12, 2014 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I was fully expecting to love this book. Comparisons to Vonnegut? Great! Cover illustrations by Anders Nilsen? Fantastic! Interesting plot hook? I'm in!

But my experience with the book was, unfortunately, not as satisfying as I was hoping for. The first chapter, featuring a blustery, caricature-grade Colin Powell stomping around the Darfur region of the Sudan, presented a rocky start for me. It seemed, to me, as if Currie were trying too hard to be funny and edgy. As a result, I found the first c
I did not realize this novel was composed of interconnected stories before I read it. The first story - "God is Dead" - sets the scene. God has inhabited the body of a Dinka woman refugee and is wandering in the desert in Sudan looking for a 15 year old boy named Thomas Mawien, who has escaped from the Janjaweed (the rebel group that kills everyone and everything in its path, unless it is a child that they enslave). The Dinka woman has an infected wound in her leg and is dehydrated. She makes it ...more
Nov 14, 2007 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm in the middle of this book
I didn't know what to expect
but literally I couldn't put it down.
phenomenal narrative, interesting, controversial, wow, i'm into it. we'll see how it goes . ..
pretty disappointed
interesting book
but too many turns and knots, and things to figure out, didn't really have any cohesiveness to it
Sep 24, 2010 terrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i didn't much care for the title at first, but the book was insightful and thought provoking. a what-if look at GOD coming to life as a woman and then dying. our behavior as humans after we learn that GOD is dead, turns shockingly close to the way we live our lives now...
Mar 02, 2014 Aim-ish rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is depressing. It has a lot of interesting and clever ideas, but none of the narrative was compelling to me. It was hurt saddening and pointless.
Jun 25, 2009 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Post-modern fiction without those pesky footnotes. Vonnegut without the brilliance. Cormac McCarthy without all the blah blah blah. Plus, talking dogs.
Best stories: ""The Bridge", Indian Summer" and "Interview With..." being the stand-outs.

I've been a fanboy of Currie Jr. since Everything Matters!, but had not read his debut until today. I wolfed this down over the course of one day up in Whistler. The imagery is powerful, the prose realistic and (mostly) steady through the interweaving stories. It's a solid read but feels like he's still searching for his voice. At times the scenes are scorching with intensity to the point of absurdity. A so
Nancy Doerrer
This debut novel is a collection of stories, based on the opening premise that God took human form in present day (in the form of a young Dinka woman in the Sudan). She is killed in the Darfur desert, and God dies as well. News spreads quickly and every news story demonstrates the consequences. Bizarre things happen--people start worshipping children, clergy commit suicide, and a pack of feral dogs that feasted on God's corpse begin speaking and experiencing emotion. This series of stories is at ...more
Jami Hunt-Williams
I don't know what to think.
But I know what I believe.
So I will say that if you are a believer, this book will only strengthen what you know to be true about God as a Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If you are not a believer, read very, very closely the chapters about the CAPP and the suicide pact.
What a portrait of desperation and sadness, of the blind leading the blind... the saddest part is that if you observe the world you are living in, it's really not that different.
Good book for discussion,
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Young Lions Fiction Award Finalist 1 21 Mar 25, 2008 09:38AM  
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Ron Currie, Jr. was born and raised in Waterville, Maine, where he still lives. His first book, God is Dead, won the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library and the Addison M. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His debut novel, Everything Matters!, will be translated into a dozen languages, and is a July Indie Next Pick and Amazon Best of June 2009 sele ...more
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“I am not your God. Or if I am, I'm no God you can seek out for deliverance or explanation. I'm the kind of God who would eat you without compunction if I were hungry.” 8 likes
“He forgot about me almost as soon as I disappeared from sight.” 4 likes
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