Friday, July 2, 2010

My review of The Bible

I won a contest over at Friendly Atheist for this review of The Bible.

Random Press’s latest release, “The Holy Bible”($29.95), is not worth your time. The book is a mishmash of ancient myths thrown together in a barely coherent attempt to form some sort of narrative. The author, who remains nameless, has decided to attempt to write an epistemological novel, similar to Brahm Stoker’s “Dracula”, in that it is made up of letters and other writings from people in the fictional world. This worked for Stoker, but here, it is chaos.

It is no wonder the author published anonymously. The book desperately needs an editor, as it seems like, at times, like a first draft. The narrative is sketchy and full of plot holes. The author has repeated the same story several times with different details, and overall, has failed to get his point across to the audience.This is one of the downfalls of the modern digital publishing age where anyone can produce a book.

In truth, it seems he author has tried to do for “The Lord of the Rings” what “Wicked” did for the “Wizard of Oz”. The book makes the most sense when read as the story of Sauron from his followers’ point of view. His constant commands in the early part of the novel to invade and wipe out all those who are not his chosen, his appearances in different forms (from human-like to a flaming shrub) and his insistence on ignorance and obedience in his followers matches perfectly with the dark lord of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. The names have been changed, I’m sure, because Tolkien’s estate would have never granted publishing rights to this hack. Where Tolkien created a consistent and massive back-story for his novels, the author here has not gone through the trouble. I doubt this book will ever be taken seriously, and will slip into obscurity soon.
If you like this sort of writing, I would recommend The Silmarillion over this any day. Tolkien’s deities are kind-hearted and just, if a bit naive, and the creation story is a lovely symphony, not the lazy “Fiat Lux” that begins this waste of paper and ink. Even last year’s “Quran” is a more coherent read.
1.5 stars.

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