Whom God Would Destroy
by Commander Pands
Pantsateria, 300 pages
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When an author called “Commander Pants” contacted me asking if I’d read his book, Whom God Would Destroy, comparing it to the often-absurd work of Christopher Moore, whose writing I love, I was a bit skeptical. In truth, I was a bit worried that this book would be fodder for fueling an outdoor fireplace, rather than an entertaining read.
Two chapters into the book, I was happily proved wrong, and even though I began reading it in late October, and finally finished it in January (due to it getting lost in the house, my reading mood changing, etc.), I have to say it was one of the most provocative and funny novels I’ve read in a long time, and you should not assume that the fact that it took me seventeen years – well, seventeen weeks – to finish is at all a commentary on the book itself.
The basic premise is simple: God, calling himself “Jeremy” comes back to earth to check up on us. Of course, life has changed a lot since the robe and sandals days of Jesus, and he has to assimilate everything from fast food to digital information and public access cable. That alone would make any novel entertaining, but then Commander Pants ups the ante, introducing us to patients and caregivers in a mental health facility, and using his absurd tale to confront the very brutal realities of sanity vs. insanity, socially acceptable behavior, and mind altering prescription drugs ranging from “mild” anti-depressants to anti-psychotics.
And that’s all before we find out that the aliens just might be real, after all.
If you want a rollicking good read that really examines the social conventions of mental health, you need to read Whom God Would Destroy.