by James Morrow
If Kurt Vonnegut and Neal Stephenson got together and wrote a book it might be something like this. It's about God's second child, a girl, born to Murray Katz in Atlantic City during the 1970s. Julie grows up relatively normally, but eventually attracts the attention of both a fringe Christian group and Satan himself.
The beginning of Only Begotten Daughter is great: it's tightly written and just breezy enough to make the most of the jokes work. However, after two or three chapters the book loses focus and begins to meander -- it's as if Morrow didn't have enough ideas for a book this long, or he wasn't up to writing about such a big topic. His descriptions of Hell were particularly unimaginative, except for a few hilarious ironies. Towards the end the book picks up speed and follows through to a logical and fairly satisfying conclusion.
copyright © 2001 John Regehr