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Anthony Miller

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What Would Satan Do?
by Anthony Miller   

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Category: 

Humor

Publisher:  Brother Maynard Publishing ISBN-10:  B005MKZEJ0 Type: 
Pages: 

399

Copyright:  September 12, 2011 ISBN-13:  9780615540023
Fiction

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Satan retires from Hell, only to find that someone else has gone and started up Judgment Day without him.

 Disgusted with God's plan for Judgment Day, Satan has quit his job and left Hell in favor of a quiet retirement in Washington, D.C. But life on Earth is tricky for an ex-angel with a short fuse and no impulse control. When a parking attendant mysteriously bursts into flames and a fat lady ends up in low-Earth orbit, Satan finds that he suddenly has a lot of friends at the FBI. Worse, there are signs that the governor of Texas has somehow gone ahead and started up the end of the world without him. The Prince of Darkness heads for the Lone Star State, where he tangles with a megalomaniacal televangelist, joins the Militant Arm of the American Geriatrics Association, and wields the Flaming Stick of Divine Justice at a Jesus impersonator called Festus. Through it all, one thing is clear: Someone has to put a stop to Judgment Day. Now, having spent millennia trying to wreck the place, the Devil may be the world's only hope.

Excerpt
There are days when it is appropriate to stomp the hell out of a frog, and days when it is just better not to. The trick is to know which is which.
Satan shot an evil look at the creature on the sidewalk. Fuck frogs, he thought, using the new vernacular he hadn’t quite got the hang of yet. Fuck them to fucking Hell.
He had on his favorite Italian shoes – made out of baby cats or something really nice he couldn’t remember – and they were no good for stomping much of anything, let alone juicy amphibians. But the little bastards were everywhere, just begging to be obliterated and, in the case of a few particularly cheeky ones, having their innards ground into the pavement.
The frog croaked and Satan snapped – Italian shoes be damned, this frog was going to die. He raised his leg high, preparing to stomp down. But then the clock tower tolled, and he realized he was late for class. When he looked back, the frog had hopped away, thereby narrowly escaping stompy, cat-shoe death.
He heaved a weary sigh. His shoulders slumped. After a few strange looks from passersby, he also put his foot down and stalked off to class.
The day had started so well. He wasn’t sure why – yesterday’s therapy session had, after all, been a complete waste of time. The woman hadn’t told him anything helpful. She’d been too busy screaming after he had set her on fire. He’d liked her though – what was her name? Dr. something or other. Whatever. He’d still felt pretty good when he’d woken up this morning.
He’d been having too many anger management episodes lately, too many things he’d had to explode, light on fire, or evaporate – the man on the street, that other man on the street, the lady standing next to the man on the street, the movie theater, all those people inside the movie theater, Pennsylvania Avenue between M and H Streets – the list was really longer than it ought to have been. But then, this morning, he’d woken up feeling like this was it; like he was really going to be able to change this time.
It hadn’t taken very long for his optimism to fade, though. He’d only gone a few steps from the parking garage when he’d seen his first frog of the day. And then he’d seen about fifty of that frog’s slimy, froggy friends, at which point the morning’s cool demeanor had checked out, leaving the Devil teetering on the edge.


Professional Reviews

Review by Imachaiaddict at Cannonball Read IV
Those of us who simply love to read will know that some books barely scratch the surface of your soul, while other books leave an indelible imprint on your psyche. For me, this was one of those books. We meet Satan while he is on his way to his job teaching a History of Religion course at Georgetown University. There are frogs everywhere and they are thoroughly disgusting to the Prince of Darkness and he would love to stomp them to death, but doesn’t want to ruin his expensive Italian leather shoes.

Before he can really get into his lecture, students pepper him with questions about the recent string of bad storms and plagues that some were calling signs of the Apocalypse. The students want to know if it is the end of the world as they know it. Satan replies, “I had nothing to do with any of that!…Nothing! And if I didn’t do it, it can’t be happening! So it’s nothing!”

Meanwhile,the pastor of a megachurch in Texas has been preaching about Judgment Day, even offering services to help parishoners get their worldly affairs in order. He wasn’t worried about not convincing people of the end of the world. He had inside information.

After Satan realizes that someone is indeed trying to bring about Judgment Day, he drives off in his white Lamborghini to find the culprit. Along the way, he has encounters with archangels, televangelists, militia members, CIA agents and a Jesus impersonator named Festus P. Bongwater. They all converge at the megachurch to find out if the world will end or not.

If you loved “Good Omens” by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, you will feel right at home with this book. The writing is witty and clever and made me really laugh out loud in spots. This book is so good, I wish I had written it.


Red Adept Reviews
I received What Would Satan Do? (The Satan Series), by Anthony Miller, as a review copy for Red Adept Reviews, in Word document format and converted it to mobi for my Kindle. Formatting of the converted file was very good, so I did not check it against the mobi file available on Amazon (besides I was laughing too hard to care).

Description (from Amazon.com):

Disgusted with God’s plan for Judgment Day, Satan has quit his job and abandoned Hell in favor of a quiet retirement in Washington, D.C. But life on Earth is tricky for an ex-angel with a short fuse and no impulse control. When a parking attendant mysteriously bursts into flames and a weight-challenged woman somehow ends up in low-Earth orbit, Satan finds that he has attracted the attention of several meddlesome federal agencies. Even worse, there are signs that the governor of Texas has somehow gone ahead and started up the end of the world without him.

The Prince of Darkness heads for the Lone Star State, where he tangles with a megalomaniacal televangelist, joins the Militant Arm of the American Geriatrics Association, and wields the Flaming Shotgun of Divine Justice at a guy whose hobbies include invading churches to denounce ritualized cannibalism. Through it all, one thing is clear: Someone has to put a stop to Judgment Day. Now, having spent millennia trying to wreck the place, the Devil may be the world’s only hope.

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

Plot: 5 stars

This was a totally crazy, wild, politically incorrect, vulgar read, and I loved it! The author was able to sneak in subtle, underhand references to current events and personages (and none were flattering…), find something absurd in the everyday occurrences and chance encounters that we all have, and still managed to make a fairly profound statement about Good and Evil in our current times. That’s quite a bit to pack into 5000 locations!

Who has not watched someone wearing too-tight jeans try to pull a cell phone from their pocket? Who has not been on an elevator with (or behind) a person who can’t make up their mind which floor they want? Who has not called a utility company and been told that there’s a 3-day wait for a service call – in the middle of winter when there’s no heat in the house? The author puts Satan in these situations and gives us – vicariously – the power to do something about it. And mayhem ensues! Who knew that Satan has a hidden loathing for toads and frogs? Or a weakness for fine Italian sports cars? Or an inordinate fondness for Star Wars? Our modern life is full of temptations that even the Lord of the Underworld is not immune to. And in human form, the Lord of the Underworld has to muddle through the trials and tribulations of modern life, just like ordinary folk do – only he can get even!

Characters: 5 stars

Satan was the main character, and he was drawn as a contradiction – urbane and intelligent, with a fierce temper, yet taking anger management classes. He is bored with is duties as Lord of the Underworld and wanting adventure ‘topside’, but totally out of his depth when confronted with our everyday craziness. It’s a sad statement on humanity that Satan is the most sympathetic character in the book. There are times when he shows a split personality – on the knife-edge between Lucifer, the Son of the Morning and Satan, the Prince of Darkness. Good and evil; innocence and fierce anger; wisdom and credulity all mix together and create a very human character out of a very inhuman being.

Several of the other major players were intended to be parodies or caricatures of politicians or other prominent figures and they were portrayed as exactly that – caricatures of a caricature even. Yet for all that, it was usually easy to identify who they represented. And the representations were apt.

Other major characters – Liam, Lola, Festus, Raju – seemed to be based less on a specific person than on Everyman – showcasing the good, the bad, the crazy, the vulgar, and the heroic that lies in all of us. All were thrown into situations of cosmic strangeness, where they could only stand and gape, then make the best of it according to their abilities. The author was able to capture the essence of the ordinary person’s bewilderment when confronted with events that just don’t compute – that are contrary to our mundane reality.

Writing Style: 5 stars

The author’s writing style is where I have my only quibble. He loves 4-letter words and uses them liberally. A little too liberally for my personal taste, although I do feel that in many cases, they were truly appropriate for the scene or the character. Other than that, the author’s style is a delight, and he kept me snickering, or laughing out loud, or even choking on my soda throughout the book. I just whizzed through it, only putting it down because I had to get up to go to work the next day. The author has a keen, merciless, eye for the absurd in daily life, and he makes our secret thoughts while watching the foolishness of others come alive, all the while poking fun at the fact that we are just as foolish as the ones we’re watching! This book is totally politically incorrect – but the incorrectness is spread with an even hand. No one group or idea or philosophy is singled out. We are all held up for ridicule, and such is the author’s skill that we laugh at ourselves right along with him. If you can’t laugh at yourself as well as at others’ foibles, give this a pass. But if you have a sense of humor and delight in the absurdity of the everyday, you’ll probably find this great fun. And fun it is – there isn’t as much as a hint of malice in the laugher.


The Literary Mind Blender
Review By: Kate Steves, obsessed book reader and - book reviewer. Can also be found on her personal blog http://www.ufreviews.com/

Synopsis: Disgusted with God’s plan for Judgment Day, Satan has quit his job and abandoned Hell in favor of a quiet retirement in Washington, D.C. But life on Earth is tricky for an ex-angel with a short fuse and no impulse control. When a parking attendant mysteriously bursts into flames and a weight-challenged woman somehow ends up in low-Earth orbit, Satan finds that he has attracted the attention of several meddlesome federal agencies. Even worse, there are signs that the governor of Texas has somehow gone ahead and started up the end of the world without him.

Blender Review: The title of this book most definitely is striking, and my first thought upon seeing it was “oh boy this title is going to get a reaction”. However after reading the synopsis I decided it was worth a read. I haven’t read a lot of comedic books, so my only hope going in was that it maintained the same level of funny that the synopsis has. Thankfully, Miller delivered, and the book was hilarious.

Satan as a character is really amusing to me. The book starts off with Satan already abandoning hell to live on earth, and it turns out Satan is passing his time, or rather amusing himself, by being a professor teaching Introduction to Religion. To say Satan’s take on religion is interesting would be understating it.

The Satan we all know about is the one who wants to bring about the end of the world, but not Miller’s Satan. Satan has got it all figured out, if he starts the apocalypse, he loses, so Satan says screw it and goes to earth. Turns out someone else had other ideas, and starts everything without him.

Throughout the book Satan is trying to figure out what is going on and essentially how to stop the end of the world from happening. Although you shouldn’t go thinking of Satan some great guy looking out for humanity, Satan often leaves bodies and more than one fire in his wake. Satan does everything with his own flare.

The book includes a lot of interesting and amusing characters, a ex-CIA guy, a “dirty” hippie, a hot FBI agent, a power hungry governor, and of course a televangelist. Miller’s take on how the world works is a hilarious commentary on our society. As a native Texan myself I also love how so much of the story takes place here in Texas; there were so many instances of me thinking to myself, “I know exactly what he means”.

Overall, this book is great fun read. And while there is of course the humorous element, there is a lot of great commentary on our society. The writing is smart too, which is a huge plus. I think this is a great read for anyone who is wanting to escape the world for a little while and have a little fun, it will definitely make you laugh.


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