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The Book Against God

by James Wood

Thomas has serious problems with his work, his marriage and his relationship with his charming clergyman father. He writes The Book Against God, a book within the book, to avoid facing up to any of them. It’s sharply observed and wittily written, although the humour is of the squirming rather than the laugh out loud variety. Clever, funny and irritating in equal measures!

Extract

Her hair is very dark, fiercely commanded into a pony-tail, which hangs quiveringly, like the needle of a delicate instrument designed to monitor her moods. I got to know this shaking sleek pony-tail very well indeed, because Jane has many moods, and there is no way to predict when or why she will laugh (at which point her pony-tail, laughter's tassel, swings and rocks) or become angry (the pony-tail, now prides' brush, stiff and unmoving, as she tilts her head to the left, and closes her eyes in fury).

Parallels

Father and Son by Edmund Gosse
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
Knowledge of Angels by Jill Paton Walsh
 

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