This book is ridiculous. Absolutely nutter-butters, run-up-the-wall crazy. I can’t believe I read it. I can’t believe this is an actual book that exists in this world. I have never read anything like this, and I don’t expect to ever again.
And that is endearing as hell. I can’t tell you the last time I read a book that constantly surprised me, that went against everything I ever expected from it. I can’t tell you the last time a book just took me on a God damn adventure.
Despite its length, this book does not muddle, does not make the reader sit through a hundred lines of dialog just to get to the juicy parts of the story. There are multiple sections in this book where the main characters are about to go on a long stretch of their trip, and I thought to myself “Oh great…here comes the boring bit,” but it seems the author agrees with my sensibilities, and instead just skipped that part, with only a one sentence acknowledgement that the traveling even took place.
I cannot express how refreshing that is; things just keep happening. Even attempting to summarize the entire plot would be madness, because it does not waste a single page of its four hundred plus story with trivial matters. The easiest way I can explain it is that it’s a story about an actress who learns her father is in the poor house and owes a massive debt. Desperate to save him, she agrees to go on an adventure, traveling to the Galapagos Islands to disprove God for a local contest. The reward for which is big enough to free her father from financial debt.
And that is only about thirty pages of the book. Throughout its finely-crafted narrative such wonders appear:
- A priest who endeavors to eat the Book of Revelations page by page.
- A drug den filled with time-travelers.
- A French balloonist who drops snakes on people.
- A cult based around mediocrity.
- A fake Noah’s Ark.
- A group of children riding atop giant tortoises.
Like I said before, ridiculous! This book just continued to make me laugh. The lines are witty, the word-play ingenious, and the sense of the absurd handled so deftly that it makes it feel like just another part of the world.
Admittedly though, despite all the praise I lavish on this book, it has the definite chance to offend people. As previously mentioned, the story is about a woman attempting to disprove God to save her father, and though I found that the author handled the subject with grace and tact, some people may have trouble dealing with the heavy atheist ideas in this book. It did not bother me in the slightest, but if you are of a more religious persuasion I can’t promise anything.
For those that are undeterred by that warning, I recommend this book highly. It’s an energetic trip through philosophy, geography, and psychology that dives into the depths of the atheist vs Christian debate and then soars upwards with an expansive vocabulary, and an even bigger sense of adventure!
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