God Is Disappointed in You by Mark Russell, Shannon Wheeler
Published by Top Shelf Productions on September 3, 2013
Genres: Comedy, Nonfiction
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God Is Disappointed in You is for people who would like to read the Bible... if it would just cut to the chase. Stripped of its arcane language and its interminable passages of poetry, genealogy, and law, every book of the Bible is condensed down to its core message, in no more than a few pages each. Written by Mark Russell with cartoons by New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler, God Is Disappointed in You is a frequently hilarious, often shocking, but always accurate retelling of the Bible, including the parts selectively left out by Sunday School teachers and church sermons. Irreverent yet faithful, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to see past the fog of religious agendas and cultural debates to discover what the Bible really says.
God Is Disappointed in You is a shortened and comedic re-writing of the entire Bible. Yup. You read that correctly.
It’s ok to be wrong once in a while. How stupid you look when you’re wrong is directly proportional to how certain you were right. A wise man will always consider the possibility that he’s wrong and he will welcome a second opinion. Only an asshole thinks his first guess is right every time.
I am the granddaughter of a Protestant minister but I was baptized and raised Catholic. My mom used to read Bible stories to me as bedtime stories. I have read bits and pieces of the Bible (never the entire Book) without being prompted. Also, my favorite Book of the Bible is the Book of Ruth.
With that being said, I really only have a small bit of familiarity with the Bible. Which made reading God is Disappointed in You a hoot, lol. Russell’s writing paired with Wheeler’s drawings really turns God Is Disappointed in You into a real conversation starter. When you add in the amazing work done with the print version it morphs into a (slightly controversial) coffee table book.
“A few hardscrabble pioneers can make a go of it in a lawless wasteland, but if you want the artists, priests, and scribes to come, then you need a wall to protect them. And those are the people who create your culture, write your history. It might be construction works who build your nation, but it’s the nerds who make it a civilization.”
The author’s notes state that none of the content was fabricated, it was just re-written. Russell says that his motivation for writing this book was his desire to make the Bible more accessible. While working on this project, however, Russell states how surprised he was by what he found:
How many dark, hilarious, or truly profound passages the Bible contained that I was never taught, probably because all anyone really wanted me to learn was how to sit quietly, eat my carrots, and feel guilty.
– pg 1
All in all, God is Disappointed in You was very funny and interesting. A solid conversation starter as well. The only issues I had was that – like the Bible – God is Disappointed in You is hard to read straight through. And the joke started to wear thin as I tried to force my way to the end. I do recommend this book with the caution that the overly religious may find it to be offensive.