Short, thought-provoking and intelligent. No, I’m not describing an Oompa-Loompa, but Scott Adam’s book, God’s Debris. Those of you who are aware of the humorous comic strip Dilbert may not know that a few years back, the creator went in a wildly different direction with two thought experiments wrapped in books. This is the first. I shall discuss the second at the end of the blog.
The central premise of this book is that the protagonist meets an old man who knows everything about Life, The Universe, And Everything. The charm of the book is that you come away (if it worked – the writer wrote hypnosis into the book) marvelling at the sense it makes and how it all fits together. I first read it as an eBook when Adams offered it free online, and I was absolutely blown away. Naturally, I went on to order it from my local bookstore.
I should explain, I read this book twice. The first time, I misinterpreted the message of the book slightly and thought that it was sending out a straight-up atheist message that there was no God. As a result it depressed me in a big way. Then, when I came back to it, I saw it in a whole new light and I felt enlightened all over again. I took some tips from the book and it really helped me as a person and in dealing with people. In fact, I’d say it probably kick-started my whole happiness phase. Take the fact that I can’t really remember much of anything before that as you will.
There is so much going for this book: it’s smart, it has a really nice cover (a nebula background over space, with the names discreetly printed over it) and it is short, meaning that you can just dip in and out and probably have enough time to absorb one whole chapter. At 128 pages, it is pretty damn short, but you come away feeling like you got value for money (especially if you get the free eBook from the link at the bottom of this blog).
This was followed by a sequel a few years later, The Religion War. This one can’t be downloaded as a free eBook, unfortunately, so you can’t try it out before you read. The thought experiment is now wrapped up in a more coherent plot, with the protagonist getting more of a developed role in this book. I enjoyed this book too, but not as much as God’s Debris, as that numbers among one of my top ten favourites. Scott Adams clearly hadn’t heard of the concept of subtlety when he wrote this book. God’s Debris vaguely hid the ideas that it contains, whereas The Religion War asks you the religious questions point blank at the end of the book. So it is still good, but not as good as the first one. Which is the case with most sequels, really.
If you like having your mind blown, then I highly recommend you take the hour or two out of your day and give this cracking book a read.
Free eBook: http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/godsdebris/