God Is Disappointed in You is for people who would like to read the Bible…if it would just cut to the chase. Stripped of its arcane language and interminable passages, every book of the Bible is condensed down to its core message, in no more than a few pages each.
Many, many times in the past I tried my best to crack open a Bible or make my way through a Torah to see what each say for myself, without being filtered through someone else or parts being left out. Written by Mark Russell, this condensed version is still filtered through someone else, but done so in a way that gets to the heart and point of the many passages that have shaped the world so much.
The result is a hilarious book that’s often shocking, some times blasphemous, but always funny with a huge heart. This is Sunday School for the information age. It cuts out the often rambling paragraphs and gets to the point of the deep meaning behind it all with the addition of including some of the historical context that might be selectively left out of church sermons.
Russell is backed up with cartoons by New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler who adds to the witty commentary with his simple, yet brilliant, cartoons that make you pause and think, much like Russell’s prose. The two together are a pair that doesn’t necessarily challenge religion, but instead challenges the reader to come up with their own thoughts and interpretation.
I found myself laughing out loud, to the point that those around me thought I had lost my mind. My further explanation of what I was reading was often met with a horrified look as if the mere existence of this book was an affront to organized religion.
And that’s what’s amazing about it all. This book will offend some, but it celebrates the works it interprets and does so with more sincerity and honest than many of the religious officials who have dedicated their life to it all. The Top Shelf description really sums it up really well, “this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to see past the fog of religious agendas and cultural debates to discover what the Bible really says.”
Story: Mark Russell Art: Shannon Wheeler
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Top Shelf provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review