So, recently I finished reading Death: A Life by George Pendle. The book is an autobiography told by Death, the fellow in the black robe who ushers the souls of the dead into the void. Death explains that he is the son of Satan and Sin, born before the Time of Creation. Only Heaven, Hell and nothingness, Earth was still yet to be Created. Much of Death’s childhood is spent with his mother, Sin, as Satan isn’t much of a family man. These are very lonely years for Death, he spends most of the time having sex with his mom, or torturing her for fun. Sin, by the way, is a hideously fat demon with serpents for hair, leaking caustic fluids from every orifice in her body. Needles to say, Death grows up a little odd. He goes on to describe the early, and chaotic first days Creation, the moment he discovers his true purpose in Life, his dealings with God and angels, falling in love with a mortal, his unfortunate addiction to Life, and the fact that he’s really not a bad guy. He’s just doing his job.
Death: A Life is a comedy, a work of satire, and it’s astonishingly boring. God’s kind of a thoughtless bumbler. Satan and Sin are evil, but friendly enough. Jesus is kind of a jerk who tells people, “eat me!” Death is like Santa Claus, he can travel the entire world, completely outside of time, ushering souls into the void. Oh, and everything has a soul, even turnips. Nothing in the book is particularly original, amusing, or compelling. The idea of an imperfect God isn’t new, or interesting in this case. Fiction is supposed to be entertaining, not dull and tedious.1 comment
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