BOOK REVIEW BY ROY E. PERRY
The Life of God (as Told by Himself) by Franco Ferrucci is the English adaptation (1996) of Il Mondo Creato (1986). It is a work that causes vastly different reactions.
Fundamentalists describe these memoirs of God as irreverent, iniquitous, idolatrous, sacrilegious, and blasphemous. Liberal readers (including the present reviewer), who perhaps possess a better sense of humor and an appreciation of religious satire, enjoy it as a hilarious comic romp.
In this novel, God is a self-described “heretic and atheistic deity” (non-theistic in the sense that he rejects the orthodox version of himself—a version of a God that humans have created in their own image and whom, astonishingly, they claim to know personally).
Through millennia of evolution, God becomes incarnated in plants, fish, reptiles, mammals, and finally in the “improved” simians known as humans. Neither omnipotent nor omniscient, God fumbles and stumbles his way through life. He muses this confession: “Failure is part of my existence.” Befuddled, confused, and often depressed, Ferrucci’s deity suffers bouts of amnesia and insomnia, and often falls asleep for centuries.
In his restless peregrinations and incarnations on Earth, God meets (among others) Moses, Seneca, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Columbus, Mussolini, the Buddha, the Pope, and even the Prince of Darkness (although the last-mentioned encounter may have been merely a bad dream).
God is aghast when Moses attributes draconian commandments to his authorship—laws that are contrary to his own benign, benevolent, gentle, and non-judgmental nature. Moreover, God unsuccessfully seeks to convince Dante that humans are ephemeral animals who do not survive death. God tells the poet that his work, The Divine Comedy, contains serious errors and that there is no afterlife—no inferno, purgatorio, or paradiso.
When God surveys his creation, he shudders to see “nature red in tooth and claw”; everywhere his creatures are killing one another. And his (allegedly) highest creation, humans, are the greatest predators of all, perpetrating rape and pillage, incessant wars, and heinous brutalities. He struggles to understand human beings, for their strange behavior shockingly deviates from his well-intentioned plan.
Near novel’s end, God, disappointed and disillusioned over his failed experiment, contemplates packing his bags, abandoning Planet Earth as a lost cause, and skedaddling toward the most distant galaxy. Perhaps on another world his fondest hopes for creation can be fulfilled.
Dogmatists who interpret the Bible literally should avoid this novel like the plague. However, if you’re game for a witty, creative, intelligent, and imaginative work, give The Life of God (as Told by Himself) a try. It’s an iconoclastic masterpiece.
For other book reviews by Roy E. Perry, please visit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2MVUWT453QH61/ref=cm_cr_auth/002-6294896-4602409?%5Fencoding=UTF8
David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of ”Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels ”Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and ”Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer. ************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:
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Editor’s Note:”Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering thoughts from the shadows of a great American city. Dave Carew