Just finished reading this great novel – Blasphemy by Douglas Preston. It was, as they say, ‘a real page turner’ and boy, does he stick it to the religious right. Interestingly, Amazon’s suggested book to buy with this one is The 6 Sacred Stones by Matthew Reilly, another fast paced action novel.

From the author’s web site:

The world’s biggest supercollider, locked in an Arizona mountain, was built to reveal the secrets of the very moment of creation: the Big Bang itself.

Will the Torus divulge the mysteries of the creation of the universe? Or will it, as some predict, suck the earth into a mini black hole? Or is the Torus a Satanic attempt, as a powerful televangelist decries, to challenge God Almighty on the very throne of Heaven?

Twelve scientists … are sent … to turn it on, and what they discover must be hidden from the world at all costs. …, a secret that will either destroy the world…or save it.

At over 400 pages this is a fair sized novel but I managed to read it in a few days, the plot rolls along faster and faster until the twist towards then end.

The book pits science against religion, with politics intricately involved. A bit like real life actually. Some of the characters are well written, Douglas has managed to capture the religious zealot very well. There are sections in the book that could have come straight off any of the many fundamentalist Christian web sites or blogs. His portrayal of the TV Evangelist (Spates) is just like many of the real TV Evangelists, only in it for the money, fame and power. They say one thing and then do the other.  Several times in the book the religious person’s ability to justify any indiscretion or atrocity and then either ask for God’s forgiveness or blame it on God’s will is demonstrated. The following examples is from an early section in the book:

Every sermon seemed to generate vilification from the atheist left. It was a sad time when a man of God was attacked for speaking the simple truth. Of course, there’s been that unfortunate incident in the motel with the two prostitutes. … Spates had asked for and received God’s forgiveness.

blasphemy_cover I’d like to discuss this book more, but I don’t want to give too much away. If you like a good action packed intriguing novel Blasphemy might be one to read.

I think Christians should read this as well as us atheists, it might make them think about the machinations of the religious fundamentalists and how dangerous they can be.

There are plenty of favourable reviews for this book around the web, including an interesting interview with the author at ITW.

And remember ‘Blasphemy is a victimless crime’

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5 Comments to “Book review – Blasphemy by Douglas Preston”

  1. (namedrop) I met Matthew Reilly a few years ago – got him to sign my copy of Ice Station. Not bad as an action writer, bit cliche though

  2. ozatheist says:

    Sean … you bastard :lol:

    agree Reilly’s a bit clichéd, but his books are good reads (you just have to switch your rationality off while reading)

  3. Should be very popular amongst the religious – naughty sean, naughty sean :)

  4. Poodles says:

    I just finished reading The Wheel of Darkness by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. It was the latest in the Alyosis Pendergast series. It was OK, not as good as some of the others. I have never read anything by either of them alone. I might just have to read this one. :)

  5. T&A says:

    Sounds like a great read! I’ll put it in the queue!

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