The Book of Eli
by Sam Moffie
Mill City Press

"I love Kilgore Trout. You should read him when you get a chance, Mr. Canaan."

Eli is a married man who is something of a control freak. He does all the right things, like taking care of his family and job and car, to the nth degree. He is a good man with a good job and good family. His sex drive is the only crack in this veneer of perfection. He cannot get enough. His wife cannot meet his needs, and the allure of other women proves irresistable. Adultery has become his lifestyle, and he has no control or desire to stop. Not until his wife finds out and hires a gypsy woman to place a hex on him, that is. During the next romp with his favorite married woman other than his wife, he finds himself suddenly talking to God. Eli Canaan is no longer on earth, and a process of painful introspection regarding his sinful lifestyle begins.

The author weaves a unique interpretation of the afterlife as a madcap opportunity for insight and self-evaluation. His quirky approach to morality has his main character talking with the spirit forms of Groucho Marx and Freud, Madalyn Murray O'Hair and Ayn Rand, Jesus and the Big Man Himself, God. Humor punctuates and lightens the heavy introspection and theologizing and the author pulls no punches in describing the dynamics of sexual compulsion. The result is an earthy realism that combines with light-hearted banter that goes against the grain of most religious fiction. The result is a serious attempt at understanding human weakness and sexual compulsion in blunt and realistic terms. Perhaps the main message is the need for humans to take responsibility for their own failings and stop projecting them on others, be it a sexually unresponsive wife or a supernatural devil who tempts. Moffie's approach is non-conformist in many, many ways and is thoroughly adult in tone and language. It is a refreshingly original take on religious ideas.

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