Thursday, 29 May 2014

Book review: Apocalypse Next Tuesday by David Safier


My edition: Paperback, to be published on 30 May 2014 by Hesperus, 287 pages.

Description: When thirty-something Marie jilts her boring boyfriend at the altar she wonders if life can get any worse. So when a handsome carpenter comes round to work on the roof, she realises she has nothing to lose by asking him out. Even his bizarre assertions that he is Jesus aren't enough to put Marie off – her biological clock is ticking, and it's time to settle down.

Meanwhile, Satan (a dead ringer for George Clooney) is on the prowl, recruiting horsemen for next week's Armageddon, scheduled for Tuesday, and Archangel Gabriel has discovered the pleasures of the flesh and is off on a sex marathon. Things are looking grim. Fortunately, Marie is dating the son of God – maybe, just maybe, he can get things straightened out.

Rating:



Admittedly I wasn't aware of this novel before I was kindly contacted by the publisher with the question if I would like a copy for review, but when I hit the line in the above blurb that described Satan as a dead-ringer for George Clooney I was sold. So as soon as the now hotly anticipated novel made its way into my hands, I started reading it and I didn't stop until I was finished. Partly because it was short, but mainly because it was that good.

Apocalypse Next Tuesday takes characters from religion and propels them into contemporary times, inexplicably powers and all, and makes it work. You don't have to be a religious expert to understand what is going on though. Hints back to biblical times and fables referenced within the novel are all explained, so even the most atheistic of readers will not get confused by a bush suddenly bursting into flames (to name but one example).

And despite the heavy religious theme running throughout the story (I say 'despite' because it could wrongly give prospective readers the impression that this is a bit of dry reading), this novel is very, very funny. With Satan favouring his looks as either George Clooney or Alicia Keys, and God making an appearance in the form of Emma Thompson serving a cup of tea whilst in an English country house (the epitome of Britishness), you know you're in for a humorous ride.

Another reason why I really enjoyed this is because it was such a quick read. I finished it in about two hours, which made it a welcome change from the daunting bulky novels weighing down my to-read pile. It also makes it ideal if you want to take a brief break from such an intense and vast volume by turning to a lighter book (literally and figuratively). The language used is simplistic, which added to the novel being an easy read, and with the story interspersed with newspaper style comics you'd almost assume this is a children's book. Though filled with grown-up themes and prone to taking the mickey out of religion, this is very much a novel aimed at adults.

Apocalypse Next Tuesday is one of the most bizarre yet strangely alluring books I've ever read. Don't let the fantastical take on the biblical story fool you into thinking that this is just a wild ride on a satirical roller-coaster, because there is also an incredibly good story within the novel. It's about love, family and mortality just as much as it is about fancying a hot carpenter who looks like a Bee Gee and can walk on water.

You can purchase a copy of the novel from Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or your own preferred bookshop.



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with him online at:

Website: www.davidsafier.de (German site)

Follow Jesus on Twitter: @Jesus_Tuesday

Follow Satan on Twitter: @Satan_Tuesday

Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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