The last time I did not finish a book was last year in summer; I wrote about that one and my reasons for not finishing it here.
Yesterday, I decided to stop reading "The Second Coming" after getting as far as chapter 8 (page 57 of 376). Why?
This book by John Niven was recommended and lent to me for it being cleverly witty and funny, and I must admit it is. I really like the idea behind it:
God takes a short holiday, being of the opinion that things on Earth are going pretty well, only to find upon his return (for him, it was only a week of going fishing, but on Earth, several centuries have passed) that all hell has broken loose. There have been two world wars, genocide, famine, new diseases have developed, slavery is still around, mankind has managed to make a hole in the ozone layer and almost empty His oceans of fish, people are killed for ridiculous reasons in the name of religion (not much different to the Dark Age, really), and there are so-called "Christians" everywhere, making a farce out of what God truly meant when he chiselled that first beautiful stone plate in slanting copperplate with the words "Be Nice".
There are two ways God can go from here: Start all over (that's what John and Peter advise him to do), or send His son down again, giving His creation a second chance to learn the true meaning of "Be Nice". God decides on the latter, and Jesus is sent to Earth once more.
There are some brilliant bits in the conversations between God and His team in Heaven. As I said, I really like the idea behind the book, BUT I don't like how that idea is executed: there is such an inflationary use of the f-word, and there seems to be quite a fixation on all things anal, that I honestly couldn't bear reading the entire book, brilliant ideas or not. Don't get me wrong, I am certainly not a prude and use the occasional expletive myself, but there is something like overdoing it. And in my opinion, unfortunately, John Niven has been overdoing it in this book. There is hardly a paragraph without the f-word in it; hardly a sentence, come to think of it.
So, although I fully appreciate the humour (and, at the same time, seriousness) in the descriptions of what our world has come to, I will not keep on reading this, but am going to return it to the person who lent it to me.