June 14, 2007

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God Laughs & Plays: Churchless Sermons in Response to the Preachments of the Fundamentalist Right, by David James Duncan (Triad Books, 2007, 231 pages)
Reviewed by Mary†C. Johnson news@hippopress.com

Brought up a Seventh-day Adventist, novelist David James Duncan (The Brothers K, The River Way) fled fundamentalist Christianity at the earliest opportunity, as soon as his mother and grandmother loosed their hold on him, and has spent several decades with the Bible, the Koran, the Upanishads, Buddhist wisdom, and the wild salmon of the Pacific Northwest.

God Laughs & Plays is a selection of Duncanís speeches, interviews and essays, in which he muses on religion, the environment and writing. Duncanís pre-Iraq War reflections are startlingly prescient. His fly-fisherman-and-trout story will leave you bent from laughter and shouting ďAmenĒ at his metaphor. Never dry, never preachy, Duncan is a mystic with both feet in a trout stream. Recommended for those in search of a spirituality that loves the world and challenges its inhabitants to honesty and action. A