After a day of listening to nothing but fake news, I just want to sit by my gold-plated fireplace, stop pretending to care about my presidential duties, and settle into a new book. I recently finished reading King James’s second alternative history novel, “The New Testament,” the second major installment to the series after “The Old Testament.” His novels follow the story of this character named God, a megalomaniac who becomes bored of his isolation and spawns the entire world out of thin air. It was an interesting premise, but I think the author went a little overboard with the alternative facts. On page one, he literally tried to introduce EVERYTHING into the plot, even claiming that the start of his book was the start of the universe.
The first major arc of the story talked about God’s new playground and this man named Adam. One day, God performed a bone grafting procedure on Adam, but then he decided to be clever and turned one of his ribs into a woman. God then tries to impose all these new rules on the couple, but he fails to explain the notion of “right” and “wrong” to them. Adam and Eve accidentally eat the apples that he was saving for later, and God gets so angry that he deports them to this dystopian hellhole called “Earth.”
On Earth, God uses Adam and Eve’s children to wage a long proxy war with his mortal enemy Satan. They both like to kill people, but by the end of the story, God emerges as the victor. Satan is only able to rack up a handful of kills, whereas God is able to annihilate the entire human population.
In “The New Testament,” God becomes a much better person and exhibits more restraint and maturity after fathering a son. After he juked Abraham, he doesn’t joke to anyone about sacrificing their child anymore. He really tries to get rid of all his previous frustration and scorn, and he stops seeing people worshiping idols left and right.
That being said, I feel like these two novels would have been better had the author considered his implementation better. For all the depths of his stories, his books only glorify a small group of characters exclusively from the Middle East. The books make no attempt to reconcile massive plot holes, and it also suffers from a serious over-proliferation of characters.
After reading the Bible, I decided to read “The United States Constitution” written by The People. I must say that for a work of nonfiction, the Constitution isn’t really that historically accurate, and it suffers from the same problems that plague the Bible. The characters in this story are never named, and all you’re left with is this somewhat archaic and delusional narrator. The prologue talks about this collective “we the people,” who came together form a “more perfect union.” The narrator then goes on to speak about how he and this alleged group of people are working to “secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity,” a highly unrealistic goal that I think calls into question the narrator’s sanity.
The author tried to be poetic in the prologue, but he ended up using really fancy words that made you think that he was born 200 years ago or something. The rest of the narrative took on an extremely legalistic tone and introduced a bunch of historical inaccuracies. There was something about a Congress, people called “citizens” who were apparently enfranchised and were supposed to pick people to run their society, and something about safeguards of justice and reserved powers. The author mentions that everything he said was supposed to build up a “representative democracy,” but everyone knows that democracy was a myth created by the Chinese to make American politicians squabble amongst themselves and fool the American public into thinking they have a voice.
Plot-wise, there isn’t really much in the way of suspense, and this story can get incredibly repetitive at times. At the end, you get a list of 39 people, whose identities you’re left guessing about. It’s impossible to tell which one is narrating, and you can’t help but feel that they botched up their collaborative writing and editing process. In the end, I was left questioning the significance of this piece of writing and its purported “historical value.”