Giacomo Sartori: I Am God

January 5, 2020

91soT6cRFeL._AC_UY218_ML3_   I read about this recently, was intrigued and having put it on a wish list, received it for Christmas.

Attempting to visualise God and present him as the first person narrator of a novel is an engaging start. Here is a God who can (and does) boast about his powers and flaunt his capabilities before the reader, at the same time as realising he needs to scale himself down in order for humans to be able to comprehend him and understand (or be interested in) the story he wants to tell. He can also threaten at various points to use his superpowers to intervene in and affect the world and the humans he is interested in, and yet forbears to do so, for a whole range of almighty reasons… He’s consistently disparaging about a man who lived a couple of millennia ago and was allegedly his son.

He seems inordinately focused on the human race and our tiny corner of the universe and acknowledges his creation, but also realises that there’s not much else we are that interested in, so if he is to tell a story it will involve his interest in and interactions with us. He does reflect on other aspects of his creation, both in the universe generally, and also more specifically on his six days’ work designing this planet and its contents; and doesn’t seem particularly impressed by homo sapiens and our sense of self-importance. His tale is interspersed with sarcastic comments and derogatory footnotes on us, our insignificance and our stupidity.

However, in this tale God also seems unduly interested in a small group of misfits somewhere in Italy, and their workplace and sexual adventures – perhaps he’s entertaining himself with experiencing attraction or obsession. He’s a very male God – or that’s the way he presents himself to us in this story, and it’s evident pretty early on that the heroine will ultimately head down a lesbian path… at which point he allows his Old Testament side to show. But he’s a fair God and does not interfere.

It’s clever, and funny at times, an easy read with the occasional thought-provoking idea slipped in, almost as an aside.

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