Book 45: Godless by Pete Hautman
I actually read this book back in November and didn’t want to waste NaNo time writing a review, so I decided to put it off until December started. Seems I managed to forget about it for quite a while. I’m actually not sure how it’s this far into December already. This month has gone by so fast, which is weird because I haven’t actually done anything productive with my time.
Fed up with his parents’ boring old religion, agnostic-going-on-atheist Jason Bock invents a new god — the town’s water tower. He recruits an unlikely group of worshippers: his snail-farming best friend, Shin, cute-as-a-button (whatever that means) Magda Price, and the violent and unpredictable Henry Stagg. As their religion grows, it takes on a life of its own. While Jason struggles to keep the faith pure, Shin obsesses over writing their bible, and the explosive Henry schemes to make the new faith even more exciting — and dangerous.
When the Chutengodians hold their first ceremony high atop the dome of the water tower, things quickly go from merely dangerous to terrifying and deadly. Jason soon realizes that inventing a religion is a lot easier than controlling it, but control it he must, before his creation destroys both his friends and himself.
I’ve never read a book where the character’s lack of religious belie f was a huge focus of the story, and it was a rather nice change. The characters all felt very real, even with their flaws. I know that I tried to create my own religion when I was younger, but it didn’t really go anywhere. It was sort of fun to read about someone else’s attempts. It definitely showed some of the ridiculousness of organized religion, as well as the dangers.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t the most amazing book I ever read, but it was still a good read, and I would definitely recommend it to people who want to read a book about a different religion.