Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Book Of Eli by Sam Moffie

Eli Canaan wakes up to find himself in heaven, or at least he thinks it's heaven.  He believes he has led a good life, except for the fact that he has been a serial adulterer for all his married life.  He cheats with new women, women who he's been involved with for years; any woman, any time.  Surely that can't be so wrong?

As he starts to try to navigate his new surroundings, he is assigned a guide.  A heavenly angel?  Sorry, not so.  Instead he finds his guide to be Groucho Marx.  Marx arranges a series of interviews for Eli to explain both how life on Earth works from God's perspective and how Eli's life is viewed from above.

Each visit gives Eli new perspectives.  He is taken to talk with Sigmund Freud, who explains how the relationship between human men and women works.  Donald Joseph, a master winemaker, explains addictions and how they work to Eli.  Jesus explains the role of humor in human lives and explains the basis of the Ten Commandments.  Immediately afterwards, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the only unhappy person Eli meets, explains why she is still an atheist, even in Heaven.  Ayn Rand explains her philosophical and economic beliefs, and then Eli is given the chance to meet with his mother and hear her story from her perspective.  The book ends with Eli's audience with God, and God's decision about what happens to him next.

Sam Moffie takes on the philosophical questions of why we are here, why we have estabished values in society, and how to get back on track when one has strayed.  He does so through the use of parables, but even more, through the use of humor and wit.  Eli is a wiseacre who is slowly led to understand the reason for human life and the role of religion in it.  This book is recommended for readers who are interested in a breezy look at what life means and how to make the best of it.

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