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Shall We Gather at the Garden

Kevin L. Donihe

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Eraserhead Press

Published : 2001

Copyright : Kevin L. Donihe 2001

ISBN-10 : PB 0-9713572-5-0
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-9713572-5-9

Publisher's Write-Up

"It illuminates. It demonizes. It pulls the strings of the puppets controlling the strangest of passion plays within a corporate structure. Everyone, every thing, is a target of Mr. Donihe’s wit and off-kilter worldview...

There are shades of Philip K. Dick’s wonderfully inventive The Divine Invasion (minus the lurid pop singer), trading up Zen Buddhism for unconscious Gnosticism. Malachi manifests where Elijah would stand revealed; and the Roald Dahl-like midgets hold the pink laser beam shining into our hero’s mind. Religion is lambasted under the scrutiny of Corporate money- crunchers, and nothing is what it seems." - From the introduction by Jeffrey A. Stadt.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (010403) Rating (9/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 9/10
This novel is in three general parts. The first part is about a man who joins a group of circus midgets as they market a brand new consumer drink called Bottled Barbed Chains. Drink it, and chains come out of your throat, but in a non-fatal way. With proper marketing, everyone will want to have chains hanging from their throats. They get a famous sports star to endorse the drink, but something goes wrong during the live commercial. The chains spring from his throat in a very fatal way, and he dies on live TV.

The second part of the novel concerns Mark Anders, the author of the first part. It is published as a romance (even though there is no romance in it) and the book quickly becomes a national obsession. People are so enthralled with the story that they read while walking down the street, and walk right into traffic. Others read while driving, with obvious consequences. Anders is not able to go out in public any more, because people who treat him practically as a god constantly surround his residence.

The third part concerns a couple of early 20s, mall food court employee types. After a particularly heinous day, dealing with Mark Anders Day at the mall, they relax with some especially good marijuana. They start dancing, and suddenly find themselves several million years in the future. Their arrival had been foretold by Scripture, and the two find themselves as part of the only church that's left, the Church of the Byrds. Among its holy relics are letters written by David Crosby and the bones of Stephen Stills. Things move right along, until the Church of Lionel Richie sets up shop nearby. A life-or-death battle ensues as the Church of the Byrds feel that they are heathens who must be converted or eliminated.

I'm not sure if this is intended as satire or not, but it is certainly the strangest novel I have ever read. Think William S. Burroughs or Philip Dick (one of the author's inspirations) after ingesting large amounts of narcotics when reading this book. Not just an open mind, but a very open mind, is needed here, so this is not for everyone.

For those who want a mind-blowing story, you won't do much better than this. It's really worth reading.
Paul Lappen (1st April 2003)

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