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Book Review: Good Book by David Plotz

good book plotzThe full title of the book is, Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible. The background of how Slate.com Editor David Plotz came to write this book was very interesting to me. This was one I picked up as part of the Dewey Reading Project. I needed a 221.

Raised Jewish but not devout, Plotz is in a lengthy wedding ceremony when he gets bored and decides to crack open the Bible in front of him. I won’t tell you which one, but he reads a story that he thought he “knew” quite well, but finds it contains all sorts of things he has no memory of. Things that you couldn’t really teach in a Sunday School class. A whole mess of salacious and baffling events that intrigued him enough to read the entire Old Testament and comment on it.

It’s fascinating stuff. A Jewish man of 35 sits down to read the Bible, and tries to be as objective as possible as he recounts each chapter of each book. It’s not judgmental and whenever it pokes fun, it is in the most gentle sense of the word. Many books about religion or books of Scripture are too sneering to really engage me, but Good Book was a wonderful look at something I grew up with–something I also do not know as well as I think I do.

Above all, though, this book made me laugh. I smiled on very page and laughed several times in every chapter.

Whether you’re an atheist, a person of any faith, a Biblical literalist or a scriptural laissez-faire advocate, I really think there will be something of value in this book to just about anyone, even if it’s just a chuckle. I loved it. I’m about to pick up Plotz’ other book as well, The Genius Factory.


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