In the beginning, when I was very young, it came to pass that a friend handed me a book saying itwas “Good.” I opened it, years later, one quiet evening when nothing was penciled in on my socialcalendar and I had long polished off my brothers’ and sisters’ collections of, among others,cheesy novels from The Bay, bestsellers. National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Akwesasne Notes,High Times and True Romance.

Verily, I say unto you, I was shocked. Not only because they’ve banned and set fire to reams uponreams of great literature that contain less sex, violence, incest, rape, murder, mayhem, war,voyeurism, exhibitionism, jealousy, adventure, poetry and rock ‘n’ roll than this. But shockedthat its authors never won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The two main characters, God and Satan (Mr. God and Mr. Satan to us), who just might be one andthe same, childishly gamble with the lives of Job and his family, destroying Job and raising himup again. God, the good character, is capable of turning evil when it suits his purpose.In I Samuel, chapter 18, it is written, “And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spiritfrom God came upon Saul…”

The best lines are, of course, reserved for Satan. He promises Jesus, the self-proclaimed God Jr.,“All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and towhomever I will give it, If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.”

Wise Jesus, of course, tells him to bugger off. He knows Satan will one day work for Hydro-Quebec, making promises and reneging on them. (“And I will make the rivers dry and sell the land into thehand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand ofstrangers”: Ezekiel) Read this anthology of some of the greatest stories, poems, love letters everwritten.

A sampling: “Thy breasts are like two young roes that are twins.” “How fair and how pleasant artthou, O love, for delights!” “Let us get up early to the vineyards, let us see if the vinesflourish, whether the tender grapes appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: There I will makethee my loves.” “I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”

Holy Bible; In the King James Version By Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, etc.
Thomas Nelson Publishers, NYC, 1984