Monday, July 22, 2013

You Got to Be Kidding! The Cultural Arsonist's Literal Reading of The Bible, by Joe Wenke

You Got to Be Kidding!
The Cultural Arsonist's Literal Reading of The Bible
(also published as You Got to Be Kidding! The Cultural Arsonist's Satirical Reading of The Bible)
Author: Joe Wenke
Publisher: Trans Uber
Publication Date: September 26, 2012
I'm not sure what a "cultural arsonist" is, but this book is pretty funny. It's not, in case you were wondering, "serious scholarship." A lot of other reviewers seemed to be all up in arms because they were "serious biblical scholars" and they felt Joe Wenke just wasn't up to the task. He's not trying to be up to that task. He's being facetious, half-serious. He's pointing out the ways in which a literal reading of the bible would lead to absurdity (think A.J. Jacobs' The Year of Living Biblically). 

But he's not, I don't think, trying to be farcical or even deliberately offensive (a lot of reviewers accused him of that too). He makes some excellent points. If you've carefully read the bible and haven't had some of these same questions, I'd like to know why not quite frankly! 

Honestly, my biggest complaint wasn't with the content or the subject matter but with the font choices. The digital copy I had seemed to have about ten different font types and sizes, sometimes switching within the same word. It was beyond distracting. I'm guessing I must have just gotten a corrupted file or something (it was sent to me by the publisher through Net Galley) because the preview on Amazon looked completely fine. I usually email the publishers when things like this happen, but sometimes it can take a while to hear back from them. So I'll just assume it was a problem with the file I received and not a quirk of the book itself.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

The Year of Living Biblically
Don't Stop Believin'

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