Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pg. 69: Ron Currie, Jr.'s "God Is Dead"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Ron Currie, Jr.'s God Is Dead.

About the book, from the publisher:

From a mind-blowing new talent, an audacious novel that imagines the world after God takes human form and dies

When God descends to Earth as a Dinka woman from Sudan and subsequently dies in the Darfur desert, the result is a world both bizarrely new yet eerily familiar. In Ron Currie's provocative, wise, and emotionally resonant novel we meet God himself; the Dinka woman whose mortality He must suffer when He inhabits her body; people all over the world coping with the devastating news of God's demise; a group of young men who, fearing the end of the world, take fate into their own hands; mental patients who insist that a god still exists; armies taking up the eternal war between fate and free will; and parents who, in the absence of a deity and the "lack of anything to do on Sundays," worship their children. On the surface, this is a world utterly transformed — yet certain things remain unchanged: protective parents clash with willful, idealistic teenagers; idols are exalted; small-town rumor mills run unabated; and children often don't realize how to forgive their parents until it's too late.

In God Is Dead, Currie brings together a prescient satirical gift worthy of Jonathan Swift, the raw appeal of Chuck Palahniuk's blackest comedy, and the thought-provoking ethical questions of Kurt Vonnegut, all with a light touch, empathy, and wisdom that make for an exhilarating reading experience. Offbeat yet accessible, God Is Dead is an exciting debut from a fresh new voice in contemporary fiction.

Among the advance praise for God Is Dead:
"Bereft and deranged earthlings struggle to adapt to a world without divine guidance in this mordant dystopian fable, its Maine author's abrasively funny first novel.... Very clever indeed: Kurt Vonnegut laced with Louis-Ferdinand Celine."
--Kirkus, starred review

"Ron Currie Jr. has a voice to reckon with. God Is Dead is a stunning work of fiction."
--Marisha Pessl, author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics

"God Is Dead is funny, haunting, and unlike anything you've ever read. You'll think about Ron Currie's world long after you've turned the last page. Weirdly wonderful and wonderfully weird, God Is Dead is absolutely unforgettable."
--Sara Gran, author of Dope and Come Closer

"God Is Dead is a rare gem: a novel of ideas that is full of deep human empathy. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book so brave, so darkly funny, so eager to provoke in all the right ways. This is an exhilarating read."
--Matt Haig, author of The Dead Fathers Club
Ron Currie, Jr.’s prizewinning fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Sun, Other Voices, and Night Train. He has been shortlisted for the Fish International Short Story Award and Swink magazine’s Emerging Writer Award.

Visit Currie's website and his MySpace page to learn more about God Is Dead and his other writing and enthusiasms.

The Page 69 Test: God Is Dead.

--Marshal Zeringue