6 Oct 2014

THE SECOND COMING: A LOVE STORY.

THE SECOND COMING: A LOVE STORY by SCOTT PINSKER.

SOURCE: Received for review from the author.

THE BOOK {According to amazon.co.uk}: Two men claim to be the Second Coming of Christ. Each claims the other is Satan in disguise. But only one is telling the truth. In 'The Second Coming: A Love Story' the devilish new novel by Scott Pinsker, the culture war between Red America and Blue America turns shockingly real when two self-declared saviors appear on earth.  The first 'messiah' attracts legions of liberal and secular-progressive followers with his message of New Age brotherhood, quickly becoming the darling of the left. The second 'messiah' preaches fire-and-brimstone traditional Christianity, gaining a grassroots army of conservative worshippers ready to battle to the death. It's finally happened: Red America and Blue America are headed for Armageddon. 

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue}: Early one pre-solstice morning, mere minutes before the bustle of traffic still-borned nature's sounds, two arch-enemies stood at the crest of universal nihilism.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 117}: 'Cause I gotta tell ya, if I was a bartender and a dude ordered a bottle of wine, well, I'd look twice at a guy whose driver's license simply read 'Joe'. Particularly when his date of birth was December 25th, 0001.

MY THOUGHTS: Less of a novel and, well, more of an essay? A dissertation?  No, neither of these words do the authors original approach to writing justice. A thought experiment as the author described it in his email really does sum up The Second Coming perfectly.

A thoroughly thought provoking read. Mr Pinsker does a great job in setting out many of the age old arguments surrounding the themes of belief in a story of two men both claiming to be Christ whilst accusing the other of being the Devil while America divides itself over the issue with neither 'side' willing to budge an inch.

I loved that all of the key characters - Mary Magdalene or should that be, the only child of Dorothy and Walter, Margaret Magdala? - were Biblical updates - Mary, now a solicitor who 'prostitutes' herself, her, and I quote,'legal career reaped her millions; the plundering and looting of successive generations of robber barons (and just plain robbers) provided the young heiress with millions more', that the 'real' Second Coming was never divulged, that, the arguments laid out, we (the readers) were left to make up our own minds.

A book I had my reservations about when asked to review it as I notoriously struggle with subtle clues and references the likes of which I knew were woven throughout. Whilst I do feel that some of the theology, the 'politics' and overall satire may well have gone over my head I never-the-less found this a highly readable book.

Witty and yet kind of sad, the author pulls no punches in his descriptions of a splintered society. I long to know where part two, Three Days Later: A Revenge Story, will take us.


11 comments:

Stephanie Faris said...

Sounds like heavy reading, but heavy reading helps us grow!

Kelly said...

I'm afraid I grow so weary of the left/right, red/blue, liberal/conservative "my beliefs are the right beliefs" divisions in this country, that this book doesn't appeal to me at all. I don't know...maybe the satire would lighten it all up a bit.

Tracy Terry said...

Perhaps more of a read for people of no faith or for those discovering theirs Kelly. As a non-believer I'm sure I'll have come at it from a different perspective than someone who does believe. Mr T plans to read it sometime so we'll see if this is the case.

Suko said...

What a terrific review, Tracy! I will keep an eye out for this thought-provoking "thought experiment".

Literary Feline said...

Sounds like a very relevant book for the times! I don't know if this one would be for me, but it does sound interesting.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I checked this one out on Goodreads and the synopsis was considerably longer, although just as confusing!

The author does sound like quite a character though and I love the cover art. The memorable lines you chose, particularly appealed to my sense of humour and those first lines would definitely have had me intrigued if there was no other information about the story to hand!

This sounds very similar to a book I read a while back, 'Breaking The Devil's Heart', which really couldn't be explained to someone who hadn't read it for themselves.

http://www.fiction-books.biz/reviews/breaking-the-devils-heart-by-h-a-goodman/

I would probably read this one if it landed on my desk for review, although I doubt that I will be adding it to my shopping list!

Nice review as always and it will be interesting to read what Mr.T thinks about it,

Yvonne

Tracy Terry said...

Similar in some ways to Breaking The Devils Heart which I also reviewed Yvonne. But I felt this a much better read, the plot more relatable to, the characters more memorable.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

i have to admit I would have passed on this one but it sounds more philosophical than religious. I don't mind that. Great review!

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

Scott is pretty quick off the mark ... He has been monitoring the comments on your site and has already contacted me, with the possibility of me reviewing 'The Second Coming'!

If you really think it is a better read than 'Breaking The Devil's Heart' then I may well give it a go!

Yvonne.

Aunt Mary said...

Sounds interesting , another great review . Well done Tracy :)

Brian Joseph said...

I generally find these religious and political ruminations interesting.

I might find this one a little frustrating as I believe that the bad behavior and intolerance in American politics and culture wars is not two sided at all.