What In God's Name by Simon Rich
Publication date: 07 August 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books
Category: Adult Fiction
Keywords: Fiction, satire, religion, God
Format: Hardcover, eBook
What In God’s Name is a funny and irreverent look at what the world would be like if God ran Heaven as a corporation. As CEO of Heaven, Inc., God has an entire staff of Angels on hand to handle His Earthly affairs. Unfortunately, He is more interested in the Yankees and getting Lynyrd Skynyrd back together than with the plight of humanity. One day God decides to retire and focus on his real passion – an Asian Fusion restaurant – and sets out to destroy the Earth and its human inhabitants in 30 days’ time. While most of Heaven, Inc. is ecstatic about not having to go to work anymore, Craig and Eliza, two Angels in the Miracles department, don’t want to see the humanity go. So they make a deal with God. If they can make two hopeless people fall in love before the 30 days are up, God agrees call off Armageddon.
I picked up this book on a whim after spotting it at my local library. I’d read a good review of it somewhere and thought that the premise was really original. God is like Michael Scott from The Office and Eliza and Craig are Jim and Pam, just trying to hold things together. After too many years of working in an office, some of the situations in the book are painfully familiar. I found Craig and Eliza to be very likable characters. They both want to do a good job and make a difference in people’s lives, unlike God and the other angels. That kind of earnestness is refreshing. I also really liked the idea that there were thousands of “potential miracles” waiting to happen every day, and that even a small thing could become a miracle in someone’s eyes.
The romance that Eliza and Craig are supposed to facilitate involves the two most awkward and clueless love interests you've probably ever met. They were actually so clueless as to be a little unbelievable, but it makes the point. Meanwhile Craig and Eliza are having their own romance issues. I guess even angels find dating a challenge.
This was a cute read but the story was very predictable and, ultimately, forgettable. I don’t think it’s as original as it wants to be. That said, I definitely think you’ll get a few laughs out of it. I’d recommend this to fans of Christopher Moore and religious satire.
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