Short Review: "The Second Coming" by John Niven
Title: The Second Coming
Author: John Niven
Genre: Fiction, Humour, Contemporary, Religion
Stars: 4/ 5
God really is coming, and he is going to be pissed. Having left his son in charge, God treated himself to a well-earned break around the height of the Renaissance. A good time to go fishing. He returns in 2011 to find things on earth haven't gone quite to plan...
The world has been rendered a human toilet: genocide; starvation; people obsessed with vacuous celebrity culture; 'and,' God points out, 'there are fucking Christians everywhere.' God hates Christians. There's only one thing for it. They're sending the kid back.
JC, reborn, is a struggling musician in New York City helping people as best as he can. Gathering disciples along the way - a motley collection of basket cases, stoners and alcoholics - he realises his best chance to win hearts and minds may lie in a TV talent contest. American Pop Star is the number one show in America, the unholy creation of English record executive Steven Stelfox... a man who's more than a match for the Son of God.
Well, first of all, many people will be offended by this book. Religious fundamentalists, racists, people who are homophobic, offended by casual drug usage, and proper swearing. But who really cares, this book is very funny.
The storyline is very simple, God goes on a holiday for a week in the 17th Century and returns 2011, only to see that mankind messed up all his hard work with pollution, famine, genocide, the exploitation of natural resources and religious extremism.
After consulting Jesus it is clear that he has to return to earth and spread Gods’ message, “be nice”. As struggling Musician, Jesus enters American Idol and by simply saying his opinion to the current circumstances on earth, history simply repeats himself.
The book is definitely not a literal masterpiece and has indeed some flaws but as I already mentioned the book is very funny. I laughed out loud at several parts, especially during the first quarter. I liked the gruesome description of hell, full of politicians, investment bankers and religious fundamentalists. With a really humorous Lucifer and the ironic fact that Hitler has to work as a waiter in a Jewish restaurant.
It’s a good read, full of sarcasm and critic. But it also has a really lovely and human message. “Be nice”, which involves justice, equality and fairness for all people and abolishes hate and prejudice of all kind. At the end, I truly hated mankind how it is right now because this book deals with current events up to 2011 and now, six years later, in 2017 nothing and I mean absolutely nothing has changed. People still hate each other for being different from what they think is right/normal and it also seems that we still try to destroy our world in every way that is possible to think of.