I know Michael Boatman most from his work on the television show Spin City (very cool if you’ve never seen it) so when I saw his book on the library shelf I was intrigued. Last God Standing is written from the perspective of God, who has decided to abandon heaven to experience a human life, hoping to be a stand up comic. But of course this leaves certain realms in chaos and with the pantheon of gods suddenly acting crazy, Yahweh has to figure out what’s going on.
Writing a book from God’s perspective is an interesting challenge, and I’m sure that many people will find it blasphemous and controversial, but how are you supposed to capture the voice of the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Almighty and have it come across as authentic? Well, Boatman’s writing style certainly helps. He lends a wry commentary on religious belief and the state of humanity with cinematic visuals. I’d love to see some artistic renditions of the battle scenes between gods, for his descriptions are vivid.
The book is well-paced and I found it extremely easy to read. I enjoyed how the author found ways to explain the existence of different gods and managed to blend them into one culture. The ultimate message of the story was one that I agree with as well, and the journey to get to that point was highly entertaining. It touches on pretty much all the major religions, and the not-so-major ones too. I do think the double-meaning of the title is a little misleading though, as I didn’t find Yahweh’s stand up career to make up a huge part of the book.
But to put yourself in the mind of God is an audacious effort by Boatman and it could easily have crashed and burned. Thankfully he has the talent to pull it off with aplomb. Last God Standing is a brilliant book and perhaps Michael Boatman should focus more on the written word. I know I’m looking forward to anything else he writes.