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An Ontological, Existential, Tripped-Out Tempest in a Cosmic Teapot

A review of Dylan Callens' 'Operation Cosmic Teapot.'

Callens combines a touch of Douglas Adams, a dash of Dave Barry, and the allusive dexterity of James Joyce, mixes it up with a whole lotta blasphemy, philosophy, psychology, mythology, history, comparative religion, science, drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll, to produce one of the most unique books you will ever read.

God (with a capital “G”) is just one of many (lowercase) gods who work at the call center of Heaven, Inc., an enterprise headed by Friedrich (God is dead) Nietzsche (Follow me so far?) These gods range from past performers such as Ishtar, Baal, and Osiris who, together with uppercase God, field prayers (calls) from their devotees; except of course Jehovah, who is a telemarketer cold calling witnesses.

Nietzsche’s board of directors include such luminaries as a foul-mouthed Einstein, a psychotic/pedophile Jacob Grimm, an inquisitive Isaac Newton, and a Leonardo Da Vinci whose speech patterns resemble Mr. Bacciagalupe from Abbot and Costello; not to mention Jean-Paul Sartre and his main squeeze, Simone de Beauvoir.

Fantastic in every sense of the word, Teapot is a wild ride of reference, allusion, and in-jokes spanning virtually every topic in the encyclopedia. Readers need not have multiple PhDs to join in the fun; but it wouldn’t hurt.

Anyone who has ever prayed, knows God is a slacker when it comes to answering the phone, so Nietzsche plots to fire Him by sending Him to the firm’s shrink. Psychoanalyzed by a coked up, doped up, glue-sniffing Sigmund Freud, we find God is constantly late for work because of his drinking with Bacchus, as well as a number of other almighty salacious facts of His past including the blasphemingly delightful details of an anticlimactic love tryst between God and Mary.

The writing is crisp, snide, and thoroughly seductive, spiced, not just with wicked allusion, such as Sartre shouting - “Hell is... you people!” - or God saying – “I'm bigger than the Beatles;” but great imagery like, "The small crowd fire-crackered with applause. "

Add to this an escaped band of Norse gods teamed up with the half-blind Sartre, bumbling their way through modern-day earth, and this book is an absolute, positive, must, must, must-read for anyone with half a brain, or those aspiring to that level of gray matter.

Thus sprach Zarathustra … Well, thus sprach me, anyway.

Operation Cosmic Teapot can be found on Amazon here

Ferguson's books can be found here.

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