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How Like A God Hardcover – Jan 28 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (Jan. 28 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312862636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312862633
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,243,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition
How Like a God is a fantasy novel. Rob Lewis, an ordinary computer programmer with a wife and two kids suddenly develops superpowers. He discovers he can read other people's minds. He soon discovers he can influence others and even change their memories. After inadvertently causing an injury and a death, as well as finding himself unconsciously influencing his children, he runs away to, first lose, and then find himself.

This novel has an interesting premise. What would an ordinary man do when given extraordinary powers? The author uses Jungian concepts and references to the story of Gilgamesh which adds some depth to the novel. I enjoyed some of the characters, especially Edwin Barbarossa, a scientist who befriends and helps Rob. The intriguing premise, some interesting references and characters almost were enough for me to overlook some faults. However, there were some aspects of the novel that I didn't like as much. Rob makes some very stupid choices. I know he is supposed to represent the "everyman" but a bit more intelligence would have engaged me more in caring what happens to him. His wife was particularly unlikable and made me question his judgment in continuing to love her. His decent into madness, and moral bankruptcy, was far too quick and appalling to be believed. I realize the author was trying to show that everyone has a light and a dark side but I don't believe that everyone has an inner pedophile rapist. The ending was a bit abrupt, but apparently there is a sequel.
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By Caitlin on Dec 5 2003
Format: Paperback
I was talking about this book to a friend and flipped open amazon.com to look up the spelling of the author's last name -- and was shocked to see so many negative reviews of this book. It's been a favorite of mine since I found it, worth many rereads.
Questions of pacing reflect each reader's own preferences, of course, but for myself I found nothing rushed or unexplained, and I found the ending deeply satisfying. I hesitate to suggest it of strangers, but perhaps other people read this book too quickly and missed the themes so eloquently resolved by this ending.
(For some context, I have been a voracious science fiction reader all of my life, with a slight leaning toward space opera and fantasy; I have only small experience with comics.)
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By A Customer on Oct. 13 2003
Format: Paperback
Please, don't waste your time reading this pedantic book. The author clearly thinks she is a superb writer, but unfortunately has a tin ear.
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Format: Hardcover
How Like a God, really does have an interesting premise, thats the reason I read this book.
I thought it would be interesting to see how the power of a God would effect a regular human. What would he do with it? How will it change him?
Although this book attempts to take on these issues, it just seems like the are all half hearted attempts. Ultimately this book leaves one feeling unsatisfied.
It is also worth commenting that the books dialouge is so silly and child like at times, it appears that the author simply is attempting her hand at some form of satire. The character repeatedly yells " Holy Mackerel ", and my personal Favorite " Holy Mike!"
Although there are some interesting themes in this book, I just dont think it is worth the time to read it.
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Format: Hardcover
Like many, the description of this novel's premise hooked me, but within only a few pages, I was literally groaning out loud.
Brenda Clough's idea was wonderful, but was squandered on an execution so amateurish, I find it hard to believe a qualified editor even read it. Truly, the dialogue was so silly, it verged on parody. (Adult american men do not EVER say "Gee whiz!", or "Gosh, no!" or "Holy Mike!". And no straight man I know responds to another man's filthy appearance with "My goodness, you're a mess! Let go shopping!")
The characters in this book were no deeper than the pages they appeared on, with trivial acts causing absurd levels of tormented 'soul-searching' in one chapter, and life-altering events tossed off with a shrug in the next.
If it wasn't for the fact that I was truly intrigued by the premise, I would have done the (for me) unthinkable, and tossed a hardcover in the trash. Note to the publisher: Hire someone who knows how men talk to each other to at least read what you're considering putting into print... I'm seriously wondering about the quality of the other books bearing your logo.
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Format: Hardcover
Brenda Clough calls her "Gilgamesh" books, _How Like a God_ (1997), and _Doors of Death and Life_ (2000), "suburban fantasy", and indeed they depict suburban life pretty well: home improvement, day care, commuting, minivans, even believable contemporary American Christians (a rarity in SF!). For that alone these are refreshing books.
_How Like a God_ concerns Washington area software developer Rob Lewis, the father of 18 month old twins, and the loving husband of Julianne, who works in the fashion industry. One day he suddenly realizes that he has an unusual power: he can read minds, the minds of anybody on the planet, and he can control people. After a few mild experiments, he tells his wife, and her response appals him. She wants him to influence her employers to help her career, and then she wants him to look for great personal power: run for President, perhaps. Horrified, he makes Julianne forget everything, but soon her realizes that he can't control his power, and that he is altering his twins unconcsiously, making them act extra mature without even knowing it. In despair, he runs away to New York City and spends months as a homeless man, using his power occasionally to cadge meals and housing. His humanity begins to slip away from him, and suddenly he realizes that he is becoming a monster. When he finds himself about to rape a teenage girl (by making her want it), he starts to break out, and looks for help. His only help is from a chance encounter with an NIH microbiologist, Edwin Barbarossa, a fundamentally good man at a very deep level. The rest of the book follows Rob's gradual return to humanity with Edwin's guidance, and also Rob's eventual encounter with the mysterious and surprising source of his power.
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