By: Sam Moffie
Publisher: Mill City Press
Publication Date: January 2010
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: April 27, 2011
Eli Canaan is a man who lives by most of the commandments. He’s what you would call a good man, although not great. The one thing Eli’s not very good at is being a husband to his wife Abigail. In fact, Eli has a tendency to cheat - more than a little bit - causing strife in their marriage.
Now, Abigail isn’t one to “slink” away or call for pity. She loves her husband, she just needs a way to change his outlook where other women are concerned. So, going to the yellow pages, Abigail finds a Gypsy listing and meets her for coffee at Starbucks to go over a few things. Abigail learns the difference between hexes and spells, and heads into her future with Eli with a brand new, happy outlook.
Eli, while his wife is out of town, has an unusual experience. Not with a woman…with God. And this is where the author takes the reader by the hand and enters a world of true and utter humor and intelligence that is rarely - if ever - found in books on the market today.
Eli finds himself ‘up above,’ where he has an audience with the Big Guy, Himself. God’s voice is that of Orson Welles, and Eli soon finds out that for each person the ‘voice’ of the Lord is different. (i.e., the voice of God to Orson Welles sounds like William Randolph Hearst).
Anyway, Eli is soon introduced to his guide through Heaven. The man’s name is Julius, but after a steam bath, a couple of cigars, and being introduced to a golden ‘celebrity’ locker room, Eli comes to realize that Julius is actually Groucho Marx. Groucho explains what Eli is doing each step of the way, and also tells Eli that he’s ‘up above’ because he has a mission he needs to accomplish. You see, Eli has a purpose under Heaven and through some truly fantastic scenes - like being shown the great, long lines of people waiting to see Moses and Nostradamus, but a clear path to Freud’s front door - this author has literally thought of everything for the reader to enjoy!
From explanations as to why athletes return to earth as flies, and why animals aren’t seen in Heaven; to being in Freud’s office where Mad Magazine fills the bookshelves, and partaking in a conversation with a true atheist - every page of this book shines with charm and wit. A favorite for all will be the Lord’s Son who makes it a point to alert others that he and his Apostles were good at “jokes.” (They kept their stress-levels down.)
This book is an amazing achievement. Although there are many in the world who would find this novel blasphemous, what must be understood is the very true and realistic fact that humor is NEEDED in this cynical world.
Quill Says: A fantastic, fun story that offers a ‘new’ look at what’s really inside the Pearly Gates.