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God Game

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  522 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Andrew M. Greeley, the phenomenally popular novelist and priest, is best known -- and loved -- for his understated Catholic morality and compassionate understanding of human foibles. In The God Game, now available in a brand-new trade paperback edition, Father Greeley takes a new and fascinating twist on an old cliche: What if -- by using a sophisticated computer game with a healthy do ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 30th 2000 by Forge Books (first published January 1st 1986)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  522 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Linda  Branham Greenwell
Feb 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, sci-fi, fantasy
This is not your typical Andrew Greeley mystery.
In this book Greeley presents us with the unusual scenario of a priest (not unlike the author) spending an evening playing a computer adventure game. His home is struck by lightening, something is scrambled, and suddenly the images on his screen are real -- and the real characters think that he is God. The lives of the people are dependent on his ability to control their actions. Which is not an easy task, because of that little thing called
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
This is my favorite book from one of my favorite authors. I've read most of Andrew Greeley's fiction as you can see from my book list.
This story is unique, I've never read one like it.
The narrator, while trying to hook up his computer during a thunderstorm, somehow in a lightning strike, on his screen he can view another world, a world in which he is God. This sounds very religious but it isn't. It's more about what it's like to be God, how even though he is telling a person what he
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book. If Father Greeley had left out the references to specific computer technology, it could have occurred in today's world as easily as in the 1980s. I really enjoyed the story within a story within a story framework, and the 1st person point of view of the narrator, really both narrators, is entertaining even as it introduces unreliability. I accepted that the narrator was the author until the "Author's Note" intruded, at which point I realized that both the narrator was essentially fic ...more
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really am not too much into fiction, but I really enjoyed reading this book and couldn't put it down. It's an older book so some of the newer generations might not understand the old tech in it, but it's a really good read.
Peggi Warner-lalonde
A philosophical fantasy - to be honest, not as enjoyable as I had hoped.
Patricia Gallant
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. The whole concept was amazing for back when it was written, now it's more of a reality in today's computer games world.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Great concept, fascinating insights...ruined by relationships in which strong women become indecisive, giggling dependents & men are wishy-washy, remote, and violent. What a disappointment.
Jan 31, 2012 rated it did not like it
I picked up my copy from a used bookstore, so i don't regret buying the book. The fact is it's a fantasy novel from 1987 based on a playtest of a pc game, and of course something goes wrong (or right). The game is a simulation of a world where the player is the god, made me think of Black & White until i read the book. So the technology being talked about is obsolete by today's standards which you can't blame the author for since i knew the story was older, but it does affect the experience ...more
Nev Percy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deborah Ideiosepius
I enjoyed this one, I had never heard of the author but it was the nearest thing to science fiction I could find in the Kalgoorlie hospital library.

Very soft core sci-fi, more like fantasy and a little bit clumsy in the writing department. It is a basic retelling of the storyline where a person becomes the “God” of a world through machine intervention (in this case a computer struck by lightning – in the manner of the movie ‘Electric Dreams’). I have read stories dealing with this concept befor
Johannes Herrmann
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diversion
I've read this a few times, and will no doubt read it again due to the amusement factor. It's relatively well written, and fans of cross-over series (interactions between out world and fantasy ones) may well enjoy it. It makes quite a few literary references, but since I've never read into deconstructionism they go right over my head.
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It's always hard to read a book based around technology which is so clearly dated; you find yourself pausing to consider how silly it sounds today. When I first read it twenty years ago it was a little ahead of the game and still sounded slightly old-fashioned; now it clearly isn't even that!
But in the end that doesn't matter. What matters is whether the story is good, whether the characters are engaging, whether the writing works. And in all of those respects, it is still as good today as
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of Greeley's best - but I can say that about several of his novels. The emotional investment of God in each human's life is played out with humor, drama and insight in this novel. Greeley's fascination with teenage girls and their sometimes surprising feminine wisdom is present in this novel as well. I'll be honest, I've never played any sort of computer game like the one in this story - but my daughter has. She loves The Sims, and I've been nagging her to read this book now that she's in he ...more
May 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Premise of the book is that lightning strikes while someone is playing a computer role playing game and suddenly the game is a portal to another world and the player is now the being called God for this world. Andrew Greeley is a Catholic author so it's a deliberate attempt to draw religious parallels, but it is interesting to consider the interplay between free will and God's commands, as the narrator experiences something similar to what it must be like for God as he deals with us.

Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, favorites
This book was written in the 80’s so the technology is outdated, however that doesn’t make it any less of an enjoyable read. The characters are memorable, flawed, and all too ‘real.’ The story does take a twisting and winding way to get to the action, which can make it feel slow. I took breaks from the book, but was always pulled back into its world by the nagging voice in the back of my head that kept wondering about these ‘Sims’ lives.

This is not a book for everyone, but if (like me) you are
Amy Qualls
Jun 21, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
Oh, how lusciously dated this book has become, thanks to advancing PC technology. Greeley is a guilty pleasure for me. Never the greatest writer, but always a lovely sentimentalist, I keep coming back to his books even though I really don't understand why. This one I've reread a couple of times and boggled at how quickly his details dated it.

It's cyberpunk written by a priest. It's not quite punky and it's not quite religious. Yet I have a strange affection for it anyway. Perhaps I'm
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Though now a little dated, this is still a good read. While it still holds tales of morality and ethics, this is a little more subtle than other stories written by this author. When i first read this years ago I enjoyed it so much I passed it on to a friend who in turn did the same to another friend. We all got something a little different from it. The strength of Greeley's writing is that he makes you care about the characters.
Aug 12, 2007 rated it did not like it
Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. Every second of this book made me cringe. The plot was stupid, the characters unlikeable, and I could not get past how much I disliked the misogynistic narrator, whom the author, probably deliberately, did not always keep separate from his own voice.

I stopped reading half way through, and a book has to be really awful before I do that.
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'ver read this book many times over the years and continue to enjoy it. On this read through I found the author's notes quite distracting where I have liked them in the past. Still a cool concept and an interesting idea.
Kathy Sebesta
May 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Even if you can overlook the woefully outdated technology (I think the copyright is 1989, and you know what computers were like back then), the fact is that there's simply no plot and nothing to read. Don't bother.
Nov 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
A fabulously strange book for a priest to write - what's assumed to be a computer game is in reality another world and the player is God. I read it several years ago but it still amuses me to think of it. Would you really want to be God?
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
If I had read this when it first came out, it would have been awesome. Since I only read it a few years ago, it brings back memories of the days when computers were clunky and had a mystery to them. Fun and funny, as with other Andrew Greeley books.
Marianne Boutet
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked the premise of this one - through circumstances the MC becomes in charge of his D&D-type game's characters' fates. Well worth the read.
Jim Dykstra
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books. A compelling story line filled with memorable characters. Weaves fantasy and theology into a wonderful story of loving God and loving each other.
Aug 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
A computer game well written.
May 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, didn-t-finish
Lovely concept but utterly unreadable. I love the idea of the book and opening line but the idea is buried under so much unnecessary verbiage about things that have no impact on the story.
Yvonne Wecker
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not my favorite Greeley novel!
May 25, 2013 added it
This was an interesting tale of computer games and fantasy. He had great foresight considering where computers are now.
Lonna Cunningham
I registered a book at!
Donna Ippoliti
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love a book that makes you feel like you are part of it.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Author Greely(?) [s] 5 33 Sep 21, 2007 10:38AM  

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Andrew Greeley was a Roman Catholic priest, sociologist, journalist, and author of 50 best-selling novels and more than 100 works of nonfiction. For decades, Greeley entertained readers with such popular characters as the mystery-solving priest Blackie Ryan and the fey, amateur sleuth Nuala Anne McGrail. His books typically center on Irish-American Roman Catholics living or working in Chicago.
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