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What in God's Name

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  2,427 ratings  ·  407 reviews
Welcome to Heaven, Inc., the grossly mismanaged corporation in the sky. For as long as anyone can remember, the founder and CEO (known in some circles as "God") has been phoning it in. Lately, he's been spending most of his time on the golf course. And when he does show up at work, it's not to resolve wars or end famines, but to Google himself and read what humans have bee ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published 2012)
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,427 ratings  ·  407 reviews

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Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
You know that rom com that's in heavy rotation on that basic cable channel? The one with the "charming" pratfalls and reheated Simpsons jokes and magical ethnic secondary characters who have amusing grammar and exist to help out the hapless leads? But you watch it to the end because it's super short? Yeah, this is that.
Peter Derk
May 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Okay, the premise of this book might sound a little cheesy. Let's face it, we live in a world where some dopey 4 year-old gets brainwashed by his even dopier dad regarding his experience in heaven, and all of a sudden we've got a runaway bestseller. Or some jackoff gets hit by an 18-wheeler and then lets us know what heaven is like, and we decide to buy that one too.

It seems a little odd to me that the only people who seem to glimpse heaven are those who have lost 90% of their vital fluids or ha
Drink up. The world’s about to come to an end.

When a story starts off with a God bored by real-world events and favoring a kind of spiritual porn, then you know you’re in for a ripping good time. The end of the world has never seemed so funny as God decides to cash in his chips and leave the table while two Angels bank everything on one last desperate throw of the dice. The scramble to save the world by getting two socially inept losers to exchange a kiss gets ever more frantic as the clock tick
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The best fictional depiction of God I've come across since Alanis Morrissette was in that Kevin Smith movie. I laughed out loud, which I almost never do, being old and somewhat bitter and stuff. Amazing. I even stopped watching Pawn Stars so I could finish this. Which never happens.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2018
God decides he wants to open an Asian fusion restaurant. He plans to bring the human experiment to an end within a month. Two angels in the Miracles department make a bet with God that if they make a miracle of their choosing happen (get two people who already like each other to go on a date and kiss), God will postpone the apocalypse. However, the angels can't defy God's laws in order to make these two hapless individuals get to it. It's quirky in tone, even at times self-mocking with regards t ...more
Lucas Lanza
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Livro divertidíssimo que trata com muita leveza questões como livre arbítrio, casualidade e as infinitas variáveis que regem nossas vidas humanas. É sátira social, é comédia de erros (e acertos), é reflexão existencialista - tudo isso dentro de uma narrativa leve e que te faz virar as páginas até o final. Recomendo!
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an extremely quick, enjoyable read! Very funny but with a nice heart/sweetness too.
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Celestial powers trying to influence earthly amusing read.
Heaven Inc is a big company and God is its CEO. He's an ideas man who spends most of his day in his swanky office watching baseball and NASCAR. His Angels spend their time arranging miracles where they nudge small details of life to try to make humans end up with happy results. They are able to watch any episode of history from multiple angles and therefore spend their time fascinated by the love lives of Americans. Africa gets two mentions - Nigerian e-mail scammers and a Tanzanian farmer whose ...more
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Fun book.
Definitely something different and refreshingly so.
What if God just decided he wanted to do something else instead of taking care of humans any longer? And what if an Angel made a bet that if he could get two socially awkward, shy people to kiss then God would not destroy the world?
The characters were entertaining, from bored God to his mostly naked prophet Raoul to the Angels, Craig and Eliza, and my favorites, the Archangel Vince and the human, Raj. The will all attempt to save the w
Charles H
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I first read this book because I was reading all of Simon Rich's short story books. I did not realize this was a novel when I picked it up and it did surprise me. In a lot of his books he wrights hilarious short stories about God and heaven. This novel was almost his nod to all of those. He takes a lot of small things from his stories. There is one small point about an arc angle who was responsible for a sextuplet birth.

Overall the story told was funny and original. Some parts were told through
Oct 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
I read this book because my book club voted for it. I would not have picked it up otherwise, knowing from the synopsis that it wasn't for me. But that's part of the beauty of book club, right? To perhaps get out of your element? At any rate, this turned out to be a very light book - a fast read with characters that were not particularly well developed. The premise is clever enough, but to me it reads with a very "jock," slapstick, frat house sense of humor that I don't really enjoy. As some sort ...more
Amy Warrick
Aug 19, 2012 rated it did not like it

Somebody owes me. I read about this book SOMEWHERE and based on the description, actually BOUGHT it, which means that I seriously wasted whatever the Kindle price was.

The premise of this book is good - God as CEO, angels as cubicle-bound salarymen, all supposed to be funny - and the description I read compared the author to Terry Pratchett. Not quite.

The writing is clunky and amateur. It is BAD. This is a book which lacks character development, realistic dialogue, and any sort of common sen
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the past couple of months, I had read a variety of different genre. One genre that I hadn't got to read was humor. Looking for a book in the humor section seemed easy at first, but later would prove to be quiet difficult. Trying to find an interesting, yet funny book was hard. Very hard. So let me stop wasting your time and just cut to the chase. After reading the first couple of pages of What in Gods Name, I fell in love. The book had everything you want in a humorous book. The book for sure ...more
Mar 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: do-not-recommend
DNF'd at 30%. I am all for comedy. I am all for kindly making light on any situation. Heck, I even make fun of myself. I am not someone that is easily offended or takes things too personally. Because, well... life is too short! With that being said, I do not appreciate this author's take on this topic. Going into this, after I was interested by the synopsis, I assumed it would be a lighthearted and even silly book that would make fun of a religious topic but in a respectful and comical way. That ...more
শুভঙ্কর শুভ
পৃথিবী থেকে মনুষযতব মুছে গেছে। ঈশবরেরও মন উঠে গেছে নিজের সৃষটি থেকে। তাই যখন পৃথিবী ধবংস করবে বলে ডিসিশন নেয় ঠিক তখনই দুই দেবদূত এর বিরোধিতা করে। মানে দুই পকষ হয়ে গিয়ে বা যুদধ বা এমন কোনও হিরোয়িক কিছু করে না। ঈশবরকে বোঝায়, যাতে পৃথিবী ধবংস না করে। তো ঈশবর গুগলে বলগ সারচ করতে করতে (যে বলগ গুলোতে মানুষ কিনা আবার ঈশবরের নামেই নিনদা লিখে- পৃথিবী ধবংসের এটাও একটা কারণ।) দুই দেবদূতকে শরত দেয়, যা পূরণ করলে পৃথিবী বেঁচে যাবে। এই ছিল ঘটনার মূল। কিনতু এত হাসি রসাতমক ভাবে লিখা এই বইটা এত সুনদর ভাবে অনেক কি ...more
Brennon Behrmann
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
The idea is unique and worth exploring but this book could have been so much better without the bad language. If a book needs to drop an f-bomb 1 every 5 pages then the entire book needs to be edited for better vocabulary.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this one. I love books about angels, and this one had a really cool concept. Heaven is a corporation and God is sort of an egotistical, self-centered dick. It was shocking, offensive, and funny at times.

The reason why I'm giving it such a low rating is because there was so much fat-shaming at one point. The angels decided to give a man food poisoning to get him to lose weight. It was horrible. I know this book isn't serious and it's all for comedy value, but it just took it
Feb 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
Made it to page 75 and put it down. Ridiculously sophmoric...
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After running Heaven for millenia, God has grown bored and spends his days golfing, micromanaging NASCAR, and bugging his angels to get the remaining members of Lynyrd Skynyrd back together. When a lower level angel in the Miracles department named Eliza calls God out on not answering the prayers that she had spent several years painstakingly color coding and sorting, he decides to fold the business and pull the plug on humanity. After all, it’s xenon that’s the money maker for God, not humans.

Wynne Kontos
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've been delinquent with books lately. Having been in transition, I've been reading "the Sun" magazine (an excellent literary magazine for any writer/reader/thinker) and doing away with hard back pages.
But when I read a review of Simon Rich's new book "What in God's Name" I knew I'd found the book to come back to. Welcome to Heaven Inc., where God is the CEO and Heaven is actually a business run by all of Heaven's new entrants. God's rule is that you work in Heaven Inc. for 40 years before you
Elisha Condie
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Simon Rich! I first noticed this guy when I was reading a humor anthology from the New Yorker. Everything he writes really made me laugh. And I just found out he writes BOOKS! I couldn't get to the library fast enough.

And there's something about a book that looks at heaven or God but in a slightly irreverent way that just SLAYS me. This book is about Heaven, Inc., the corporation in the sky where God is the CEO. Angels work in all kinds of departments and Craig and Eliza work in Unexpected Mi
Wart Hill
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
You can read this and other reviews at Things I Find While Shelving

Imagine if you will that God is the bored CEO of a Celestial conglomerate: Heaven, INC. He tries to care about the more important aspects of his by-proxy creation: humanity (he got bored and said “make mortals” and mortals got made, you see). But all he really wants to do is watch Nascar and football and listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd. And play golf. And create Asian Fusion restaurants.

There are Angels, of course. Archangels, Angels, a
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Heaven, Inc is a huge corporation led by the founder and CEO, God. He’s not really into working anymore. God is ready to retire and open an Asian Fusion restaurant, but first he has a surprise for the humans on Earth. When he retires, he plans to destroy Earth as well.

God’s employees at Heaven, Inc. aren’t concerned about Earth. They are just happy that they will now be able to sit back and enjoy life when God retires. However, there are two employees that aren’t thrilled with the Earth’s possib
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I won this book through the fantastic First-Reads program.

What in God's Name sees Heaven as an incorporated company, and God as the rather incompetent CEO. It isn't so much that humanity was a failed experiment of the company, but rather that they serve no purpose other than amusement. God no longer sees humankind as profitable, and would much prefer to open up a restaurant. Craig and Eliza, two Angels working in the Miracle Department, would be out of a job if God destroyed humankind. Thus, the
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Disclosure: I received this Advance Reading Copy for free through Goodreads First Reads. Thanks to the publishers for the opportunity to read this book for an unbiased review.


In this comedic fantasy, Heaven is a huge bureaucratic corporation, with low morale everywhere and rot at the top. Craig and Eliza, two of the remaining idealistic angels, enter into a bizarre bet with God, with the fate of the earth at stake! Can they answer the prayers of two socially awkward New York misfits who
Maya Panika
What in God’s Name is funny, off and on; the humour feels forced for the most part, though I laughed long, hard and out-loud at the bit with Regis Philbin. Other than that… I’m finding it hard to find anything to say about this book.

What in God’s Name is a very short novel that imagines God as CEO of Heaven inc. God doesn’t have much time for humanity, he doesn’t answer prayers, he’s lost what little interest he ever had in Earth. Humanity has become such a bore, God thinks he might just end the
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've been in a reading slump lately, because since the begining of the year I've read very bad books. This is just what I needed! I got it as an audiobook at audible.

It's very funny, light, fresh and interesting. The audiobook is read by the author, and he did a very good job.

I loved the way God and Heaven are portrayed, because I also imagine God being like that, and because it reminded me of my favorite TV show "Supernatural" and their angels.

I do not recommend this to very religious people
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, humor, romance
Insipid. Pure and simple. Not funny. I like all kinds of humor, high brow down to low brow. This was dull. I've laughed more at the silly jokes shared on social media than this book.

And, to be honest, though this is a work of fiction, it troubled me that they made God such a laughing stock. No matter what anyone's religion, there is a fine line between irreverence and blasphemy, & I feel the author crossed that line. That's just my opinion; I respect other peoples' right to feel differently.
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
So, in this version of the world, God is the CEO of a large corporation and one of his many responsibilities is looking in on earth from time to time, but mostly just to rig sports competitions so that his team or player will win. I discovered after I finished the book that the writer writes for "Saturday Night Live" and that explains a lot.
The humor is really exaggerated and slapstick. The book is short and mildly amusing but I am not impressed over all.
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Simon Rich (born 1984) is an American humorist whose first book, Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations, was published by Random House in April 2007.

Rich is an alumnus of The Dalton School and a former president of The Harvard Lampoon, and the son of The New York Times editorialist Frank Rich. He received a two book contract from Random House prior to his graduation from Harvard University in 200
“Dreams were invented by Angels to test out their beta programs.” 1 likes
“There were a lot of fun things to do in heaven. But none were as thrilling as what you could do on Earth.” 0 likes
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