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Book Review: God Went Fishing By Dennis Shields

Author : Todd Rutherford

Dennis Shields' breathtaking debut, God Went Fishing, will make you laugh and keep you entertained until the very end. Reminiscent of Voltaire's Candide, Shields uses his creative skill to its fullest in this depiction of the "rational universe and that all was for the best in this best of all possible worlds."

There is no denying that this refreshing new novel is thought provoking, and will have its readers reflecting on the way that they go about living. Dennis Shields uses satire, sarcasm, humor, and his main character, Sigmund, to take a stand against the many ills of society.

The roller coaster that is God Went Fishing finds Sigmund celebrating his eighteenth birthday. As for many young men, this particular birthday serves as a landmark event for Sigmund; in fact, his life is turned upside-down when he finds that his father has waited until Sigmund's eighteenth birthday to divorce his son's mother and to tell his son that he and his wife are not actually his biological parents at all. Sigmund's mother rather casually states, "It was with great surprise that my first offspring was . . . the progeny of a dalliance with a fabulous man I met on death row as part of a study of violent killers." One can only imagine the angst at such a revelation.

From the very beginning, Dennis Shields cleverly bombards his readers with the vices of society, and the need to fix them. For example, this passage presents a few such vices: "Your mother is right. There are a few things all women should experience before they are ready for motherhood. Their hearts have to be broken; they should enjoy two men at once, run a marathon and milk a cow."

Although many of the revelations and circumstances that Sigmund encounters are less than ideal, his will does not waver as he continues to journey forward in search of his identity and biological parents. His quest takes him on a worldwide expedition to such locations as Des Moines and Paris, where he encounters and befriends pimps, murderers, Army men, prostitutes, artists, drug dealers, slave traders, and more. Each of these characters leaves a lasting imprint on Sigmund-literally. Dennis Shields expertly employs the exit and reentrance of characters throughout the story. In fact, once a character has been introduced, the reader can be assured that there will be reappearance at some later point in the story.

Sigmund faces the world with the teachings of Bernie, his mentor. As the book unfolds, each scene reminds us that we are not generally living life to its fullest and best. While God Went Fishing is certainly a satire-stoked with humor-it presents a number of serious societal issues that plague the 21st century.

This is an absolute must read that will undoubtedly get the cognitive juices flowing. Dennis Shields' God Went Fishing is a highly entertaining must read that is undeniably relevant in today's culture, and it will have the reader turning pages to the very end.

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Tags:   novel, satire, sarcasm, humor

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Submitted : 2011-01-17    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 477