99 Stories of God
This book is a collection of exquisite, tiny masterpieces and is perfect for holiday reading. I loved it.
Hard to define, the book is a collection of vignettes- every day life moments – at times darkly ironic at times deeply familiar – exploring our pre-occupation with and relationship to God but in the most deliciously random way. He shows up in random places too – a hot-dog-eating contest, a demolition derby, a drugstore, where he’s in line to get a shingles inoculation and He talks everyday to the most fantastic set of random characters we could hope to find together in a book from Kafka (talking to a fish) to the Aztecs to a lion, Tolstoy to Abraham and Sarah, O. J. Simpson to a pack of wolves.
Alive, ironic, baffling, uplifting – and all of this as I write, surrounded by lemon yellow hibiscus flowers and turquoise sparkling sea -feeling truly blessed. Here’s a taster excerpt which was first published in the Paris Review – the link to the article is at the bottom of the page following n from the extract:
1 Story of God: 71
A child was walking with a lion through a great fog.
“I’ve experienced death many times,” the lion said.
“Impossible,” the child said.
“It’s true, my experience of death does not include my own.”
“I’ve had near-death experiences, however.”
“Quite a different matter,” the child said.
“Shall I tell you what it felt like?”
The fog was so thick, the child could not see the lion. Still, the fog was pleasant, as was their ascent through it.
“I was possessed, overwhelmed, consumed, filled up by a blessed, utterly unknown presence,” the lion said.
“Was it …” the child hesitated, searching for the right word “… consoling?”
“Yes,” the lion said. “An inexplicably consoling irony filled my heart.”
“Will I experience the same, do you think?”
“I don’t know,” the lion said, a little afraid for them both for the first time. “Perhaps not.”
“I would not know what irony is,” the child said.
Excerpted from 99 Stories of God.
Read more from the Paris Review here