Sunday, April 22, 2007

Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days by Matthew Moses

Although a short novel at 396 pages, Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days manages to pack in religious, secular and celestial corruption, the story of a downtrodden everyman who somehow becomes entangled in it all, and an amusing look into the secret life of angels, binding it all together with keen intelligence and gritty prose.

The novel starts with the painful portrait of a loser.

And Matthew Ford, the protagonist, is not even a likeable loser.

He is the kind of person you immediately become frustrated with, and I found myself muttering remonstrances like: "Three hours of being stood up! That's two and a half hours too long! Don't be a victim!", "The dog peed on your leg and you haven't got time to use the bathroom? Don't you have a hose?", and "Matthew, why is your mother doing your laundry? Empower yourself, man, for goodness' sake!"

(Note that becoming cross with a character is not necessarily a bad thing. It shows you are accepting his reality, and even empathising with him, to an extent. And it is definitely an improvement on being bored and indifferent because you can't relate to a character at all *cough*Cecilia Dart-Thornton*cough*.)

As the story progresses, Ford starts to show promise. The former loser displays a gutsiness and integrity that becomes more and more impressive as he defies the corrupt Messiah, is tempted by Satan, and, finally, guided by Buddha, takes on Armageddon with an army of zombies. By the end of the book I almost liked the guy.

I admit that I found Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days a little heavy-going, because although I like Moses's writing style, I have a certain simple-minded ADD when it comes to my reading choices.

Nevertheless, weighty narrative aside, the novel is founded on an unusual and clever premise that will hook you in and keep you wondering where and how the madness will end.

Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days is not so much anti-Christian as it is anti-establishment. It seems to say, Please, have a closer look. Don't just accept what you're told. If the government is really doing God's work on Earth, then God help us all.

Amapedia has an excellent article about Anti-Christ, which gives a thorough summary of the book and explains the controversy within in far better detail than I ever could.

If you would like to explore the novel further, please visit the book's website to read the first three chapters. Here you will also find Matthew Moses's blog, which comprises educated debate, introspective anecdotes, and dark and often beautiful poetry.

1 Comment:

Enferes said...

Thanks for the review, Ang. I really appreciate it.