Friday, February 11, 2005

Godless--Pete Hautman

I actually started and finished a whole book--and it had nothing to do with babies. Woo-hoo!!

Jason Bock is the product of a hypochondriac mother and religious father. Most of the time things are okay. When Henry Stagg, physically smaller but intimidating, clocks Jason one day, he looks up from the ground and sees a water tower in the distance. That moment changes everything.

Jason decides to create a religion based on the water tower. The water tower is God. Jason is the Kahuna, the founder, and whatever else he wants to be. All he needs is a couple of disciples and he's good to go. He finds them in his best friend Shin, his ordinary friend Dan, a local girl, and the unlikely Henry Stagg. What starts as a summer joke turns into something much more serious. Shin immerses himself in the new religion, claiming that the Ten-Legged One (the water tower) speaks to him and through him. Henry still views it as a joke, but twists it into his own demented version. In the end Jason is left alone.

This is less a book about "religion" than it is about teenagers and cults and society and how easily things get out of control. Some might not like it--crying heresy and other nonsense--but it has very little to do with Catholicism. Jason could have been a dissatisfied Buddhist or Jewish and it would have been the same story. Godless captures that time of teenage confusion when teens question everything and try to make their own answers.

I highly recommend it!

Reading: Airborn--Kenneth Oppel
On My Nightstand: Baby Sign Language

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