How Like A God Hardcover – Jan 28 1997
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Rob Lewis, an ordinary computer programmer with a wife and two kids, becomes something extraordinary one day after he wakes up and discovers he can read--and control--other people's minds. It's an ability most people dream of having, but for Rob it quickly destroys his life. There is a death, injuries, the threat of warping the lives of his children. Rob flees to New York where, homeless and destitute, he contacts Edwin Barbaross of the National Institutes of Health. Together they travel to Uzbekistan, where Rob will face both the source of his powers and his own inner demons.
From Library Journal
Clough's (An Impossible Summer, Walker, 1992) hardcover debut offers a suburban fantasy in which Rob Lewis wakes up one morning with the ability to read?and, ultimately, influence?the emotions of people around him. Frightened, he leaves home, drifting aimlessly through New York City until he meets microbiologist Edwin Barbarossa, to whom he turns for help. Clough explores power, control, and friendship in a well-crafted psychological study. Recommended.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
_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.Read more ›
The whole novel seems hurried, it goes from beginning to end too quickly. Usually this is the sign of a real page turner, but not in this instance. I never developed any feelings towards the characters and the writing seemed to lack any punch. Perhaps I was biased by having just finished George R.R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones" just prior to this, but I don't think so. Not once during "How Like a God" did I encounter a piece of writing that made me go back and reread it or read it to my wife (unlike the previous book I had read).
In conclusion, I just felt that the entire time I was reading this novel that I could write this well myself. That does not warrant a good review. Perhaps this book should have been titled "How Unlike a Writer"
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on Dec 5 2003 by Caitlin
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.Published on Oct. 13 2003
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... Read more
The author has done an excellent job at providing deep, thoughful and yet creative characterizations. Read morePublished on March 21 2000 by Gary Rogers
"Flat" characters! I found the characterization the most appealing facet of this novel. Rob is a decent, 3-dimensional man with a loving, very entertainingly realistic... Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2000 by Margaret L. Carter
Had this book been released by Image comics, with dramatic and colorful artwork done by someone like Todd McFarlane, then it would have gotten my enthusiastic vote. Read morePublished on July 23 1999 by Josh I. Mangum
The premise -- being able to control reality through will -- is very interesting. However, the writing style is very uneven, many of the characters are flat, the dialogue get... Read morePublished on April 28 1999
... is what the book should have been titled ... This book is pretty awesome and really has a bunch of REALLY cool elements ... Read morePublished on Sept. 7 1998
I'm not a science fiction fan. At least, I didn't think I was until I read Brenda Clough's book, How Like A God. Read morePublished on Feb. 19 1998