Review: Deus Irae - Philip K Dick & Roger Zelazny

Title - Deus Irae
Author - Philip K Dick & Roger Zelazny
Year - 1976
Stand Alone or Series - Stand Alone
Pages - 220
Reading Time - 9 days (September 2010)
Rating - 7/10

This book was a changelled to me and my girlfriend. She wanted to read the book and since she is away I complied. It was an intriguing reading but not all that good. What did I like? The general rambling about Christianity and the new church dedicated of the God of Wrath. It was interesting to see the character development but the plot itself was not that good. The chapters in the middle were boring and in my opinion didn't brought anything new besides the physical and psycological trials.

And the story? The story begins some time after the fallout of a nuclear war. There were outspreaded mutations both to animals and humans. This incident led to new messianic religion (Servants of Wrath) who worship the creator of the war's ultimate weapon. This man was called Carleton Lufteufel. In a town, charlotteville, the servants enlisted Tibor McMasters to paint a mural of the god of wrath. (this town is the example of others towns where the God of Wrath is surpassing the Christians survivors. (In my opinion this reference to the God of Wrath makes me thing of the early mentions of God, where he would punish the unbelivers. An anger-driven religion. As Tibor is going to search for Carleton he has some doubts and recured to the christians but after some arguing he makes himself do what he has being paint to do. Did I mention tibor war an armless, legless cyborg phocomelus artist? Then he went about and meet some meaningless beings like lizards, birds, insencts (all sentient beings) and even some artificial inteligence. Meanwhile we get in two or three chapters another point of view of Alice, the intellectually challenged adopted daughter. Alice as she is trying to help Lufteufel to remove a shrapnel (akin to the crown of spines of christ) she gets blood on her shirt. Alice keeps the shirt as it is because it is the only likeness of her father face (akin to Shroud of Turin and Saint Veronica). Alice in the end is visited by Lufteufel spirit after his death but she things he is at peace. In return he removes her disability. Before helping her the "God of Wrath" also helps two persons. First Tibor giving him arms and legs and after removing them and another survivor the palm tree garden (akin to the Garden of Eden). In this we learn that he was an evil earthbound deity. Meanwhile McMasters is not aware of "His" death and is tricked by Pete Sands (a christian) to take a picture of a dying alcholic homeless person. He then draws the picture and it's in many murals on the Wrath of God churches. The end was quite fine with a christian priest thinking of that major event and with a critic image about the religious belief is ofted based on mythological accretions, which may not be valid interpretations of decisive events in the history of faith.

There are some interesting moments with characters thinking what this pilg means to each one. First to the servants of Wrath, then to the catholic priest, to the painter and the one who tricked the painter. This was pretty good. There are some good sentences in the book. I transcribed some of the later ones. A good novel and to anyone who loves a religion/character centerbased novel it should look this way and pick this book. Excelent.

"I wanted to depict that which may not be shown, that which cannot be understood. It is an impossible job. Pride. There is nothing else to me other than my skill. I know that I am good. It is all that I have, though, and I have made too much of it. I had felt, somehow, that it was more that sufficient, not just to make me the equal of a whole man, but to surpass other men, to surpass even the human. I wanted all the future generations of worshippers to look at that work and to see this. It was not the God of Wrath I wanted to look upon with awe, but the skil of Tibor McMasters. I wanted that awe, their wonder, their admiration - their worship. I wanted deification through my art, I see that now." (Tibor McMasters)

"As Milton wrote once, "out of evil comes good". Notice, he said to himself, the relative disparity of the two terms; evil is the most powerful term for what is bad, and good - it barely surpasses the opposite. The Fall of Satan, The fall of Man, the cruxifixion of Christ... out of those dreadful, evil acts came good; out of the Fall of Man and the expulsion from the Garden; man learned love. From a trinity of Evil emerged at last Trinity of Good! It is a balanced thing. (The Catholic Priest)
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