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Kenny Kemp

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Member Since: Before 2003

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I Hated Heaven
by Kenny Kemp   

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Books by Kenny Kemp
· Lightland
· Dad Was A Carpenter
· The Welcoming Door
· Dad Was A Carpenter
                >> View all

Category: 

Action/Thriller

Publisher:  Alta Films & Press ISBN-10:  1892442108 Type: 
Pages: 

278

Copyright:  Jun 1 1998
Fiction

Amazon
Alta Films & Press

When Tom Waring finds himself in Heaven, he's surprised. It's not at all like he thought it would be. Instead of issuing him a harp and halo, he's given a cell phone, a day-timer, given a job and sent to school. And when his request to return to Earth to keep his promise to his unbelieving wife that he would come back from the dead and tell her if there really was a Heaven is routinely denied, Tom must make a fateful decision: Should he risk everything--even his very soul--to keep his promise to his wife?

Tom Waring, true believer, is in Heaven, but it doesn’t feel like it. Before he died, he promised his wife April (a reluctant agnostic) that if there really was an afterlife, he’d come back and tell her all about it. But Heaven isn’t all angelic choruses, harps and haloes — it’s more like a cross between IBM and the DMV. Tom is issued a cell phone, a day planner, sent to school and given a job. In short, Heaven is more like graduate school than Sunday School. And when his request to return to Earth is routinely denied, Tom must risk everything— even is very soul— to break out of Heaven and return to Earth in order to keep his promise to April. Full of fascinating characters, plot twists galore, a fascinating look at Heaven, and a marvelous surprise ending, I Hated Heaven surprises, pleases and stuns. This is like no book you’ve ever read--a romantic adventure that makes you think. Excerpt
Tom hugged her and was rewarded with a blinding vision of red streaks. He struggled for consciousness, whispering. “It’s time . . . I’m being called home.” April pulled back, trying to see him through her welling tears. All their disagreements about the purpose of life, about the existence of God, about what comes after ran in an endless loop in her mind. He might believe, but she didn’t, and besides, this was Tom, her best friend, sweetheart, husband and lover—it simply wasn’t fair. For this reason and a thousand others, April just couldn’t believe, and so this moment felt like the end of her life as well as Tom’s. She took a deep breath. “Oh, Tom, you love me, don’t you?” Tom nodded. “Then promise me something.” “Anything.” He smiled weakly. April looked at Dr. Gardener and the nurse, who were talking quietly, their backs turned. She bent closer, whispering. “When you get on the other side—if there is one—and there is a God, promise me you’ll come back and tell me . . . . ” So begins Tom Waring’s adventure in Heaven, a place totally unlike the Club Med afterlife vacation he’d imagined and hoped for. Instead, it’s a cross between the DMV and IBM; more like graduate school than Sunday School. And when his request to return to Earth is routinely denied, Tom must make a fateful decision: should he risk everything—even his very soul—to keep his promise to April?

Professional Reviews

Booklist
"A construction worker named Tom Waring finds out what heaven is like in Kenny Kemp’s I Hated Heaven. Tom dies suddenly of pancreatic cancer in the midst of a full, more or less happy life. He goes to “Paradise,” not a purgatory but a sort of staging area for Heaven — and where Kemp works out his rather imaginative theology. Trouble is, Waring left a lot of bills, a trusting young son, and a loving wife whose agnosticism is only strengthened by the sorrows thrust upon her. What kind of God, in other words, would call away a good man leading a worthwhile and vital life? Thus Tom spends his time in Paradise trying to return to Earth in this original, comic novel."

Linda Thomson, TPI
"A well-written novel with delicious characters and enough truth, satire, romance, and mystery to keep any reader turning the pages."

School Library Journal
"A wonderful treat for those who enjoyed the films "Ghost," "Heaven Can Wait," "What Dreams May Come," and other stories of life and love after death. Tom Waring is a dedicated Christian married to an agnostic. Stricken suddenly with terminal pancreatic cancer, he promises his wife April that he will return after death to tell her that heaven exists. The fly in that ointment is that Tom finds Heaven to be most unwilling to allow him to complete his mission. The story then alternates between his attempts to fulfill his promise and the grief suffered by April and their son. Worried about not spending eternity with his beloved wife, Tom breaks all the rules in his attempts to communicate belief in God to her. Although mostly predictable, the ending does have some surprises. YAs who enjoy a good love story, some tears, and a happy ending and are not too finicky about how heaven is portrayed will find much to enjoy here."


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Reader Reviews for "I Hated Heaven"

Reviewed by me 9/26/2001
stupid no meaning didnt make sense
Reviewed by Kenny Kemp 9/25/2001
I just loved this book! It is easily the most inventive novel I have read in years. And the ending is just astonishing! A real barn-burner, feel-good story with believable characters and a wonderful theme! Read it!

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