God Is Dead
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God Is Dead

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,937 ratings  ·  283 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...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by Penguin Books
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Paul
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
Jordan
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
Michael
Aug 23, 2007 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Miss Michael
Jul 07, 2008 Miss Michael rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Mike
Review buried in comments below (#2)....
Mon
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
Yennie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christian
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...more
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
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
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...more
Karen
Sep 25, 2012 Karen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Clifford
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 http://perpetualfolly.blogspot.com

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...more
Pagonper
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...more
Stephan
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...more
Beth
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...more
Toby
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
Mark
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...more
Kari Hawkey
Although I am not a fan of Nietzsche (the title is a nod to his famous quote), I am however a huge fan of linked collections/novel in stories. This book is one of my favorites to attempt this genre. Not only are the stories amazing as stand-alone short stories with compelling characters, but Currie does an outstanding job with world-building. The book may seem dark to some, but it is insightful, witty, and funny. I know I will be reading this again in the near future.
Jess
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
Krys
God comes to Earth, occupying the body of a Dinka woman. Woman (and God by extent) is killed by militia. Feral dogs eat God's corpse and obtain divinity. People build temple dedicated to said feral dogs.
All of that is great, and sounds like the beginning to a good book.

But everything that follows fell flat for me. They're essentially short stories of a post-God world (and looking at what people choose to worship in God's place), but so much of it felt pointless or un-realistic.

For example, I can...more
terrie
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...
Aim-ish
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.
Julia
Post-modern fiction without those pesky footnotes. Vonnegut without the brilliance. Cormac McCarthy without all the blah blah blah. Plus, talking dogs.
Jami 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,...more
Jared Della Rocca
A phenomenal book tracing four or five different protagonists in the aftermath of the death of God. While the back summary utilizes the words "outlandish humor" I wouldn't really note it for its humor. Rather, at best its a dark humor, very much akin to Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut. The effects of the death of God are really profound as people become spiritually unmoored and struggle for a way to find a new direction in the world. A relatively quick read, there's more than enough there to be appreci...more
Judith
God is Dead by Ron Currie, Jr. begins just days before the death. God had taken the form of a young Dinka woman in the North Darfur region of Sudan, having been driven to witness the horrific conditions of the people, by the guilt he felt about his inability to rescue his creations from
one another. When it was discovered that God had died, early suicides were among clergy, and the chaos that ensued took many lives. As order was restored, large numbers of parents with nothing to do on Sundays to...more
Laura
I borrowed this book from a friend who asked me if I preferred "depressing fiction, or really depressing fiction." This is what I got when I requested the latter.

As a fan of dystopias and post-apocalyptic stories, I was pleased with this book, which sort of fits into those genres but is sort of a genre of its own. In this series of vignettes, Currie gives us a glimpse of how society breaks down and attempts to re-form after humankind learns that there once was a God, but now he's dead. My favor...more
David Scott
There were a lot of things that I liked and disliked about this book, but the thing that gave me mixed feelings was how the book strayed from being about the death of God to just ordinary life afterwards. One story seemed completely independent of the "God Is Dead" plot line completely, holding its own as a story with or without the stories before and after it.

However, this may be a good thing. I'm sure the reader might be tired of getting hit over the head with the details of God's death throu...more
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Young Lions Fiction Award Finalist 1 19 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
More about Ron Currie Jr....
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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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