Last Christmas, I acquired many, many, many, many new books (every girl’s dream)! I took advantage of several gift cards,
I recently finished one of these not-so-recently acquired books that had been growing so lonely on my shelf for the past 9 months. However, it was more than worth the wait! This book exceeded all of my expectations.
This book is titled “Gods Without Men” by Hari Kunzru. It’s a very unique book, written in a style unlike anything else I’ve read. The book tells the story of several individuals ranging from an MIT-educated Wall Street dad and his autistic toddler, to a young girl who discovers the ups and downs of being part of a desert cult, to a WWII aviation engineer turned cult messiah. The book manages to merge all these lives together without being too obvious and while still maintaining the individuality of each’s circumstance and growth over time.
The book explores the workings of a desert cult over time- from its formation, to its height of popularity, and beyond. This aspect of the novel is purely American. Set in the Southwest desert, outside of a small town with an old diner shaped like a UFO, the parts of the book focusing on the cult offer some thought-provoking mystery as to whether these tales could actually be representative of a part of America’s history that may either soon be lost forever, or continues in our current times as a hidden, secret part of a mostly unexplored, extremely rural section of the modern wild west.
The author is subtle in his connections between the characters, especially of those who impact the story in earlier times- as much as over a century earlier. Throughout the book, these connections and the cultures outlined really made me stop and think about how things and people end up the way they do, and how we arrive on the choices we make which can so significantly impact the rest of our lives. This is one of those books that I’m sure I will re-read several times, and each time I have no doubt that I will realize new connections and subtle points that I had missed previously.
I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone looking for a book with a deep message, but subtle overtones and comedic relief. This book was such an enjoyable read, and as I mentioned earlier, I will likely read this book again several times more. Some of the scenes definitely contain adult-only content, but tastefully so.
So if you find yourself with a gift card as I did and absolutely cannot narrow your choices, consider “Gods Without Men” and even if you wait 9 months to read it, you will not be disappointed!