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The Second Coming

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  4,672 ratings  ·  439 reviews

God really is coming, and he is going to be pissed. Having left his son in charge, God treated himself to a well-earned break around the height of the Renaissance. A good time to go fishing. He returns in 2011 to find things on earth haven't gone quite to plan...

The world has been rendered a human toilet: genocide; starvation; people obsessed with
Paperback, 376 pages
Published April 7th 2011 by William Heinemann (first published 2011)
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,672 ratings  ·  439 reviews

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May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
This book is very, very funny. It is not a literary masterpiece and has lots of flaws. It will also offend many many people. It will particularly offend religious fundamentalists (especially Christian ones) and those who are racist and homophobic. Oh, and if you are offended by swearing and casual drug use, you may also have problems with it. When I say swearing, well it's not the odd damn and blast, just a little stronger.
The premise is quite simple God goes for a weeks fishing in the 17th Cen
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Rarely nowadays do I finish a book in a day, but this one had me harking back to the days when I would regularly do this. It hooked me and sucked me in, and I read it in a couple of lengthy sittings. It is a little patchy in places and perhaps seeks to shock just a bit too much at times, but these are small flaws in an excellent book.

God comes back from a fishing trip (lasting 400 earth years) and is not happy with the mess humans are making of the earth - when he left to go on his holiday the R
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Partiamo da un presupposto: io non sono religiosa, lo ero da bambina, ho fatto persino la Cresima, ma crescendo mi sono allontanata sempre di più dalla Chiesa, arrivando ad oggi a non credervi più per nulla. Faccio questa premessa più che altro per dire che a me il libro è piaciuto molto, ma non credo sia una lettura adatta a tutti, in particolare i ferventi cattolici potrebbero avere un malore già dopo poche pagine.

Devo dire che ho iniziato questo libro con aspettative contrastanti: da una part
Sam Quixote
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
God comes back from his fishing holiday to find that since he's been gone (a few days in Heaven but centuries on Earth) things have gone badly. Looking at what he's missed, He particularly doesn't like the 20th century. God makes up his mind to send Jesus back down to Earth to remind everyone of his one and only rule - "Be Nice" - a rule that Moses decided to ignore and come up with 10 of his own.

Down on Earth, Jesus is 31 years old, in a band, something of a stoner, and being nice to everyone.
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many moons ago I read Kill Your Friends and I loved it, so I am not sure why it took me so long to read another book by John Niven however I have now, and I am very glad that I finally got round to it.

If you’re religious, and easily offended, then avoid this book. If you dislike profanity then avoid this book.

Conversely, if you enjoy perceptive humour that nails many a sacred cow, and that simultaneously manages to be perceptive, quietly profound, compelling, original, amusing and outrageous th
E’ fondamentalmente una cretinata, ma, a suo modo, è una cretinata simpatica. E qualche cartuccia niente male la mette anche a segno, tutto sommato.

“Fate i bravi”, vah, perché, a quanto pare, quel malato di protagonismo che era Mosé le ha sparate davvero grosse. Dio intendeva tutt’altro. Infatti, poi, gli ha fatto un culo così!

Letteratura. Quella sì era roba buona. Bello che l’avessero inventata.
Stefania Pastori
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ecco il Gesù che tutti vogliono. John Niven, se solo non avesse questo cognome dalle riminiscenze così hollywoodiane, che il Signore lo abbia in gloria, ha scritto un testo tra i più fantastici che abbia letto negli ultimi anni. E dire che leggo un centinaio di libri l'anno, 10 più, 10 meno. Sa miscelare misticismo e populismo, spiritualità e bassezze, musica e letteratura, catarsi e miseria, ecologismo e riciclismo, rivincita e demagogia, guerra e amore, depressione e lieto fine
L'inizio non è stato dei migliori: una parodia che ha il suo punto forte nel personaggio di Dio che dice parolacce a tutto spiano e non disdegna le canne. Ho immaginato una lettura noiosa con toni eccessivamente sopra le righe. Invece, mi sono trovata coinvolta nella storia di Gesù Cristo e del suo entourage di emarginati: intendiamoci nessuna rivelazione e una trama che si svolge come da copione, ma scorrevole e rilassante; se credessi che esistono libri da ombrellone e libri per tutto il resto ...more
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A woman saw me reading this book (albeit with a different cover) and asked me if I was reading a book about Jesus. "Yeeeees," I replied hesitantly. "Where can I buy it?" she pushed. I told her Amazon, not disclosing that I got it from because this will never, ever, ever be published in America.

And it's our loss.

What you need to know is the Christians have it all wrong. Moses was an egotist who made up the Ten Commandments himself. All God wanted to say was "just be nice." God LOVES
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't praise this book highly enough. The blurb says that around the time of the Renaissance God takes a week off and goes on holiday, since everything on earth is going swimmingly. When he gets back, earth time running differently to heaven time (Einstein was right), it's the early 21st century and, to put it bluntly, everything has gone to ratshit.

So, God decides to send his son back to teach mankind how they should be living...

My husband read this a while back and told me to read it because
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There is a scene halfway through this book where JC rips into a cover of Springsteen's 'Born to Run'. It is a manic delight to read, and I'm sure that John Niven took great pleasure in writing it. Niven, a journalist who worked in the music industry, is Scottish, and his nationality is very much in evidence here in this anarchic, profane and undoubtedly hugely controversial story of Jesus Christ's return to Earth. Sent by his father, horrified by what people had done in his "name", JC plays into ...more
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ich habe mir schon mehrmals vorgestellt, was passieren würde, wenn Gottes Sohn wie prophezeit in unsere heutige Welt (zurück)kommen würde. John Niven ist mit diesem Roman eine großartige, ironische, sehr böse Satire gelungen, die ganz schön gehörig an den Grundfesten unserer Gesellschaft, an unseren Werten, allen Religionen, dem Papst, den amerikanischen Christen und am american way of life rüttelt. Sprachlich und inhaltlich ist der Roman excellent, die Story ist ist rasant und keine Sekunde lan ...more
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was close to great... It was mostly fun to read, well written and it had some crude humor and quite obvious twists of Christian theology.
And that was my main problem with this book: It is right in your face. No subtlety, no not so obvious sarcasm or irony. It was all there, right in the open.
The idea was actually better, than the plot in the end. What would Jesus do, if he came back to earth? Not exactly a fresh and original idea. 
And mixing that with having him apply for a talent scoutin
Mariafrancesca di natura viperesca sta con  Orlando
Su dio condivido in tutto e per tutto Ivan Karamazov: non può esistere un tipo, né in terra né in cielo ( a maggior ragione lassù) che abbia dignità di esistenza finché c’è un solo bambino che soffra sotto le bombe, spiaggiato, affamato, seviziato o semplicemente e innocentemente malato. E seppure esistesse e mi trovassi al suo cospetto gli girerei le spalle rinunciando al suo paradiso.

Con questi pregiudizi sulla categoria, il libro - banalotto nell’elencare tutti i mali elencati quotidianamente
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gesellschaftskritik verpackt in einer absurden Geschichte ist eigentlich genau mein Ding, doch mag ich es mehr, wenn diese Kritik dann unterschwellig und subtiler geäußert wird. In 'Gott bewahre' fliegen einem die Fehler der Gesellschaft nur so um die Ohren und der Autor kann einfach nicht anders, als seinen Frust über alles was in der Welt so schief läuft rauszulassen. Das kann man mögen, muss man aber nicht.
Allerdings erzählt John Niven dies in einer sehr unterhaltsamen und etwas anstößigen G
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our times are truly troubled with war, genocide, disease, and hate lurking around every corner. In "The Second Coming", God sees that everything is screwed up after returning from a short vacation. After short deliberation, he decides to use the only cure for the problem. He sends Jesus back in. Now, the returned savior must brave life as a struggling musician, whilst simply getting people to "Be nice!" Seeing it as a good chance to spread his message, Jesus decides to enter the competition "Ame ...more
May 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
se torno mi raccomando: Fate i bravi!

dissacratorio e divertente
questo romanzo si legge d'un fiato
non richiede niente altro che una mente aperta
e la voglia di sdrammatizzare
ma in cambio dà un sorriso che si allarga a mano mano che scopriamo che non è come ci avevano insegnato che Dio vuole che noi ci comportiamo...insomma il Suo comandamento era UNO solo: Fate i Bravi!
quindi Dio ritorna da una vacanza e si trova di fronte al
mondo così come lo abbiamo ridotto
le guerre di religione lo lasci
Angela Gambirasio
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anche le recensioni positive lo definiscono "dissacrante" e ciò mi dà molto da riflettere su cosa la gente consideri "sacro". Magari è un libro politicamente scorretto, ma che si fotta il politicamente corretto. Certo, i cattolici non ci fanno una bella figura, ma purtroppo quasi ogni giorno ho modo di constatare che il presunto scimmiottamento che ne fa il libro è dolorosamente vicino alla realtà di molti praticanti (praticoni?).
Io un Gesù così, che raccatta da strada il primo barbone che vede,
Davide Rubini
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If somebody asks me for a fun, smart, controversial novel I never hesitate. This is my suggestion and I have yet to find something better. Niven puts your beliefs upside down and in his usual irreverent style show the inner side of a religion, not necessarily bad but surely powerful.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, einaudi, inglesi
Non gli avrei dato due lire, confesso. Anche perché solitamente sono molto diffidente rispetto ai libri "divertenti", tendono a venirmi a noia abbastanza velocemente (es: il vangelo secondo Biff, divertente dopo un po' anche cheppalle eh). Sghignazzi alle 7.40, da sola, sul bus, sei al 10%. Ok, al 30% ne avrò le palle piene...e magicamente al 70% hai ancora voglia di andare avanti e te lo finisci dopo una pipì arrivata un'ora prima della sveglia.
In pratica, Dio torna dalle vacanze, vede
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a quite serious and sad topic, about humans and religion and how humanity is going to hell. But the topic is handled with so much irony and humor that it was just fun to read. I loved the beginning and enjoyed every site of the part in heaven. Afterwards it slowed a bit down, but that was ok as the story needed to evolve. Even though it got less there was still a lot humor and I also loved the references to the book Kill your Friends. So if you want to read this, start Kill yo ...more
Tom Loock
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked The Second Coming a lot, but it is a odd book: The first 70 odd pages take place in heaven and are extraordinarily funny. At that stage, I was really excited about the novel. Once the story moves to New York City however, the tone changes increasingly and towards the end, little of that humour is left (though delightful little sparkles pop up now and then). Having said that, the story of Jesus is not exactly a comedy.
Mind you – it's still a very good book and if it weren't for the over-a
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mmmmm avevo iniziato questo libro due settimane fa pensando che l'avrei finito in pochissimi giorni invece a circa metà libro ha iniziato a stufarmi.... mi spiego meglio.
L'idea poteva anche essere bella, e lo è, ma dopo un po' è noiosetto... Ok che Dio, Gesù e tutti gli angeli e i santi sono dei fricchettoni, ma l'ho trovato un po' troppo volgarotto. Alcuni personaggi che entrano in scena in seguito (giro di parole per non spoilerare) sono troppo volgari! Non che ci sia scritto chissà che parola
"A volte ritorno" di Niven ha come protagonista un Gesù molto alternativo: fan di Hendrix, ribelle, non si risparmia qualche parolaccia, ha una faccia tosta e un'anima semplice e innocente che lo porta ad agire sempre per il bene comune. Niven ha creato un personaggio buono ma statico, un po' piatto; scelta giustificabile se i caratteri dei personaggi secondari spiccassero di più per portare un po' di pepe nella storia. Solo la personalità di Dio è soddisfacente e ben inquadrata.
Purtroppo nem
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's the first book by John Niven I read and I must say I'm a little disappointed. I loved the beginning, heaven was great. I laughed a lot for the first few pages but after that it wen downhill. The depiction of hell wasn't really inventive and the rest of the book was a little too easy. I liked the character of Jesus but every other one (apart maybe stelfox) was a little too much one dimensional and you could see the ending coming miles and miles away. Too bad. I not a religious person so I wa ...more
Sep 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Heaven is a better place than earth. Nothing new so far. But in this book even hell is a better place than earth, more entertaining, funnier and more interesting people there. So my advise is: Read the first chapters, skip the middle part and look forward to the last part.

The book teaches another lesson: You can write a funny book about bad people, you can write a sad book about good people but you CANNOT write a funny book about a good man. So the two commandments should be like this:

1. Be nic
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not really something you'd call fine literature, but a rockin' good time, with its heart in place and many enough spikes and arrows directed in all the right directions. Plus some real poignancy towards the end. Good enough to make me want to check you 'Kill Your Friends', Niven's first novel.
Chiara Ropolo
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Il mondo per com'è oggi necessiterebbe di un aiuto divino, anche quello ipotizzato da Niven. In questo libro si ricalca in chiave moderna la venuta di Cristo, il suo ritorno, con analogie impressionanti sulla sua prima volta, il tutto condito da molte parolacce e molto rock.
No, non ho bevuto e forse da questo libro mi aspettavo qualcosa di diverso, sicuramente di ridere di più. Quello che ho trovato però mi ha stupita e conquistata, facendomi scoprire
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Presa coscienza del fatto che l’ 80% delle mie letture sono composte da:

- Drammi inglesi;
- Drammi giapponesi;
- Drammi cinesi;
- Drammi turchi;
- Drammi americani;
- Drammi mitteleuropei;

Ho deciso che la prima lettura dell’anno doveva essere qualcosa di decisamente più divertente.

Ecco quindi l’irriverente (ma saggio!) «A volte ritorno» di Irving, un libro che parte da un presupposto fondamentale: poiché nell’universo nessuno lavora più di Dio, anche Dio a volte ha bisogno di una vacanza.

Ma poiché i
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Born in Irvine, Ayrshire, Niven read English Literature at Glasgow University, graduating in 1991 with First Class honours. For the next ten years, he worked for a variety of record companies, including London Records and Independiente. He left the music industry to write full time in 2002 and published his debut novella Music from Big Pink in 2005 (Continuum Press). The novella was optioned for t ...more
“Cosa cazzo c'era da interpretare in «FATE I BRAVI»?” 3 likes
“When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America you get a front row seat.’ George Carlin” 1 likes
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