Monday, February 02, 2009
Thomas M. Disch - The Word of God
Organised religion certainly needs the fun poked at it, and Thomas Disch certainly does that here. Now any book that contains the line "Jesus loved creme brulee" would be a sure fire hit with this avowed atheist, but Disch's book is so much more than that. It pokes fun at the concept of religion and God, by being the word of God himself. In this case, the God (there are many) is the author himself. Self declared as such, Disch argues his particular world view, proves his point with a few minor miracles, and tells the improbable story of his origin.
Along the way, we meet a few famous characters in history, many of whom are tangled up in a complex plot of Satan's to destroy Thomas Disch's parents liason, and thus prevent God occuring. One of the side effects of this, is that Germany and Japan will win World War II. The chief instrument of Satan's scheme is the resurrected Phillip K. Dick. For the purpose of this novel (and perhaps in reality) Phillip K. Dick holds an almightly grudge against Disch, carried with him down into the bowels of hell after his death.
It's all quite fun - very little of it means anything particularly deep, though we have the occasional nugget of philosophical thought, ruminations of opera and art, and snippets of favourite books and poems (some of which are even real I trust) but mostly this should be read for the cynical humour and barbed jokes.
It is a clever book, worth reading, if only to annoy and amuse someone more religious than me.