Towing Jehovah
Written By James Morrow

God is dead. Damn. Now what? What to do with the body? Who is to know about His death? Who gets invited to His funeral? More to the point, what will happen to humanity if word of His death gets out? And an even more interesting question: what did He die from?!

Jame Morrow's book, Towing Jehovah is a delight to read. A divine comedy, one could say. It was published in 1994 by Harvest Books, Harcourt Brace & Company, 525 B Street, San Diego, California 92101 USA. ISBN 0-15-600210-8 with 371 pages.

The Vatican hires Captian Anthony Van Horne to command a supertanker and tow Jehovah to His final resting place in the Arctic. Along the way he encounters love, mutiny, debauchery, dispondant angels, starvation, millitant (very!) atheists (who don't act anything like atheists,) and, eventually, personal salvation--- a salvation of his own making, and which he pays dearly for. The book is pure satire, with a very baroque world-view. In Morrow's book, Dostoyevsky's claim that "without God, everything is permitted" gets the bit in its teeth and runs wild.

The Divine Corpse is two miles long, floating face up in the Atlantic Ocean--- with a serene, rather pleased smile on Its face. It's a long way to the Arctic. Feminists want the body destroyed, since God really was male after all; the atheists want the body destroyed for, well, all the obvious reasons. Van Horne wants to preserve the body and prove to his father that he can get the job done, no matter the problems.

One of the things I didn't like about the book was the way the millitant atheists behaved: when presented with news that God actually does (er, did) exist, they do not accept the fact like most atheists would and become theists: instead they decide to sink God's body (all but one atheist, who castigates them for the hypocrites they are), for the good of humanity.

Another satirized issue was how people behaved once they knew with certainty that God is not watching them: in the book, some of them degenerate into hedonistic beasts, with only sex (anal, oral, or viginal) and alcohol (beer, wine, or gin) on their minds. I cannot conceive this being a valid response to the death of God: moral and ethical behavior is not predicated upon the existance of God or a belief in God, though many theists believe otherwise: I think Morrow understand this--- that's why he is satirizing the belief.

On the Shy David Book Review Scale from one to six stars (six being best), I think this book deserves four stars. If you like fiction with a theological bite; if you like subtle sarcasm and ripping wit, you will like this book.

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