Sunday, August 12, 2007
God is Dead-Ron Currie Jr.
He's getting good attention from the right places and for the right reasons.
God is Dead is a novel of linked stories that opens with the death of God in the Darfur region of Sudan. After word gets out, each story is a reaction of sorts but Currie does pretty much everything so well here, that the book doesn't feel slight or gimmicky.
From suicide pacts, to despairing parents turning to their children for spiritual comfort, to the highlight for me; the story "Interview With the Last Remaining Member of the Feral Dog Pack Which Fed on God's Corpse, the stories re-enforce each other to the point where the last tale is both cathartic and heartbreaking.
Currie has a uniqueness of voice and knows (mostly) when to ease up on the absurd and let his characters take over. Currie's central notion only rarely overwhelms the nuanced portrait of his denuded characters, both wholly reacting to a warped circumstance, and yet strangely recognizable.
There are elements of other absurdist masters here. Kurt Vonnegut to be sure, a bit of George Saunders, a bit of Shalom Auslander, some Lydia Millet, ( who blurbs on the jacket) but this is no knockoff. This is very strong stuff by any measure, but for a first effort, God or no God;
it's damn near miraculous.
Posted by Dave