Tiffany's Reviews > Heaven is Small

Heaven is Small by Emily Schultz
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's review
Jan 15, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, great-can-lit, canadian-fiction
Read from May 17 to 19, 2010

What an odd little book. That may not sound like a compliment, but I mean it in the best way. I thought Heaven Is Small was going to be lighter than it was, but I was pleasantly surprised by its originality and wit. While I didn't find the writing especially superb, the concept made up for it: Gordon Small is dead, and his heaven is working as a proofreader for a romance publisher where no one really seems to know they're living the afterlife.

How Schultz came up with the idea that heaven should be the worst kind of corporate America I'm not sure. At first I thought this was sad, that the afterlife we tend to picture as divine end up being a factory that churns out ridiculous stories of unrealistic "love". But then I let go of all that shit and remembered I'm an agnostic who believes there is no possible way of knowing what the afterlife has in store for us. Why couldn't it be just as manufactured and controlled as Schultz depicts?

The last half of the book is a fast read as Gordon starts to fuck with Heaven's system through his attempts to make everyone aware of their death. He also reaches out to the land of the living by replacing a romance novel's text with his own. His actions transform Heaven Is Small into a compelling mystery that had me ploughing through the book at full steam. I'd recommend reading this as a respite after a particularly heavy book, but that's not to say it's fluff, either. This book kind of laughs in the faces of life and death at the same time, showing us that our notions of both can be truly absurd.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Alexis I felt exactly the same way about it. Sometimes I felt the writing was really clunky and made me look twice at it. I thought it was because she was trying to imitate Harlequin, but then I realized it was her writing style.

A friend of mine is friends with the author. I told my friend I thought that this book would make a good movie. Apparently the rights have been optioned.

Tiffany For sure, I think Schultz still has some stuff to learn about writing gracefully. But I'm happy to hear the film rights have been optioned, as I also thought it would make a great movie. Hopefully it gets off the ground!

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