What in God's Name by Simon Rich
A Novel

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Rich displays a real love for his characters...The young author has an obvious affection for the underdog, and a soft spot for those who work hard at what they do.
-NPR

Synopsis

God decides to close up shop on Earth -- unless two idealistic angels can make a miracle happen
Welcome to Heaven, Inc., the grossly mismanaged corporation in the sky. For as long as anyone can remember, the founder and CEO (known in some circles as "God") has been phoning it in. Lately, he's been spending most of his time on the golf course. And when he does show up at work, it's not to resolve wars or end famines, but to Google himself and read what humans have been blogging about him.

When God decides to retire (to pursue his lifelong dream of opening an Asian Fusion restaurant), he also decides to destroy Earth. His employees take the news in stride, except for Craig and Eliza, two underpaid angels in the lowly Department of Miracles. Unlike their boss, Craig and Eliza love their jobs - uncapping city fire hydrants on hot days, revealing lost keys in snow banks - and they refuse to accept that earth is going under.

The angels manage to strike a deal with their boss. He'll call off his Armageddon, if they can solve their toughest miracle yet: getting the two most socially awkward humans on the planet to fall in love. With doomsday fast approaching, and the humans ignoring every chance for happiness thrown their way, Craig and Eliza must move heaven and earth to rescue them - and the rest of us, too.
 

About Simon Rich

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Simon Rich "is still the freshest, funniest new writer today," according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He has written comedy for the New Yorker, Pixar, Saturday Night Live, the Believer, and various movie studios. He's the author of two collections, Free-Range Chickens and Ant Farm. His first novel, Elliot Allagash, was optioned for a film by Jason Reitman. Rich lives in Brooklyn.
 
Published August 7, 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books. 241 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for What in God's Name
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Patrick Cassels on Aug 03 2012

The novel’s secular bite is most evident in scenes like these, but Rich knows how to balance the smart with the funny. When “What in God’s Name” bares its teeth, it’s because it’s laughing.

Read Full Review of What in God's Name: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Alfred Hickling on Sep 11 2012

The narrative can be a little strained – the fate of mankind depends on a romantic comedy played out by a pair of introverted New Yorkers too timid to ask each other out...

Read Full Review of What in God's Name: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Michael Schaub on Aug 08 2012

Rich displays a real love for his characters...The young author has an obvious affection for the underdog, and a soft spot for those who work hard at what they do.

Read Full Review of What in God's Name: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

Reader Rating for What in God's Name
73%

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