Tuesday, November 27, 2007

God Is Dead - Ron Currie, Jr.

No, it’s not Christopher Hitchens’ latest position paper; it’s an innovative collection of short stories woven around the powerful titular premise. The strangeness inherent in God Is Dead is owed to the fact that though God is dead (a victim of the genocide raging in Darfur), we’re still here. Surprisingly, the end of God does not mean the end of the world, though some of the characters in the book behave as such and some would be better off if it were. Taking up several viewpoints amid the aftershocks caused by the death of the most unifying (and divisive) force in human history, Ron Currie, Jr.’s book doesn’t shy away from bold speculation and surreal satire.

The questions raised by the death of God are nearly infinite. To accept the death of God, you have to accept the existence of God. What’s worse, the death of your god, or knowing that He was alive and you didn’t believe when you had the chance? If there is no more God; what of Heaven? Where do believers turn now? Do they worship their children? Do they worship the dogs who feasted on God’s corpse and gained a strange humanity? Do they worship tenets of philosophy, new schisms forming to take the place of sectarian hatreds? Do they succumb to the futility of life and seek its end now that there is no purpose (as hidden as that purpose may have been when He was still alive)?

Some authors would approach these issues with gentle ruminations; some with understated character studies. Luckily, Currie does us all a favor and turns the wheel hard, landing in a ditch of crazed imaginings, bold-faced irreverence and the audacity necessary to make you think without worrying about the consequences of your conclusions.

2 comments:

sarah marine said...

The suicide scene between the group of suburban friends is especially brutal. How did you feel about Colin Powell in this?

Justin Riley said...

The Colin Powell stuff is strange, and I could see some people reacting negatively to it (I can't help but think that if Currie was African American there'd be some mitigation to any outrage). I find myself nearly impossible to offend so I didn't have a problem with it.

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