Humor is hard to do. It probably ties with horror as the hardest type of story to develop and sustain through the end of the book. Thankfully, both God and amanuensis David Javerbaum, a veteran of The Daily Show, are able to pull it off. For one thing, God is aware (as one would expect from an omni-omni being) of his own sense of humor, although he occasionally suspects that it may border on the sociopathic.
So now we have, from his own lips, the truth of the stories collected in the Book that has the highest sales in the history of the world, even though the royalties don’t quite match the revenues. We learn the truth about Creation – yes, it was Adam and Steve – the zing that’s going to greet new arrivals at the Golden Throne, and the greatest Broadway show of all time. And hey, God does have favorite sports figures, with drastic repercussions for The Second Coming.
In the midst of this tell-all confession, God opens up about his relationship with his children. Yes, plural. Jesus is the middle child. His older brother Zach is nicknamed The Holy Ghost for his favorite trick, sneaking up his brother and yelling, “Boo!” His younger sister is Kathy, whose envy of Jesus’ sacrifice led her to beg her Father to allow her to do the same. (You’ll have to read the Book to find out how they accomplished it.) But Jesus is not only His favorite, he’s the only one who can overcome His Father with The Look.
The big issue, though, is the one that is fast approaching. Although they don’t buy into Him, God is really impressed with the vigor with which the Mayans worship, so He’s decided to go with their calendar. Humanity: October 28, 4004 BC – December 21, 2012. RIP. And just to prove that he’s not fooling around, he’s given us day-by-day warning signs. (My favorite is August 11 – “Reenactors at Colonial Williamsburg declare independence from management, asserting their inalienable rights to “life, liberty, and employee discounts at Busch Gardens”. Since CW employees already have discounts, we can check that one off as already accomplished.)
OK, so you’re not supposed to take it seriously. There’s no doubt about that, even though God takes pains to tell us on several occasions. The Last Testament is a parody that explores the gap between people’s interpretation of the Bible, and their actual knowledge of the Book, interpreted through the lens of a writer familiar with history, theology, exegesis, psychology, and current events. And if you decide to take it any other way, check out Againesis 19:4. With tongue firmly in cheek, David Javerbaum has delivered a funny book that succeeds in making the reader look at the world from a new angle. And that’s why humor is hard to do.
Check the WRL catalog for The Last Testament