The world has problems!And no one knows that better than God.(He sees everything, remember?)He decides it's time for that ultimate wake-up call. Only this go-round, the Big Man is giving his Daughter a shot.Her name is Ilona.She's 18, lives in the East Village, listens to alternative music, dates, drinks, and has no problem telling the Pope and the President that they better get their act together...pronto! But like every Savior, Ilona has a deadline.She needs to get her message (the 11th commandment: "Be Kind") across now.And what better way than through the media.She becomes a sensation, promoting her word on various talk shows, and from her vantage point on the cover of every magazine.Ilona is the new "It" girl, the messiah for the X-Generation: cool, quirky, and sexy. And as Jesus Christ's kid sister, she's not about to take any crap from the men who've been running the show. As with her Brother before her, there are the doubters amongst us. People who feel that God has no right rewriting the Bible and that Ilona is the black sheep of the Holy Family.But God is not about to stand by and watch as his little girl is "crucified."He's had enough of the hypocrisy, and takes out a little revenge on those who refuse to believe...opening the door for Ilona to work her divine magic.THE SECOND GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD is a comic gem of a tale, reminiscent of the work of Nick Hornby, Tom Perrotta, and Kurt Vonnegut, which the New York Times called "an irreverent look at the Second Coming" while the Los Angeles Times said it was "a very very funny book."Hip, enchanting and life affirming, like a female "The Catcher in the Rye," THE SECOND GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD tackles all the big issues: Good, Evil, and Rock 'n' Roll. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (39)
Thank you from the author...
I just wanted to say thank you for all the kind words over the years about my first novel...it's much appreciated!
P.S. Please make sure tocheck out my two most recent films both available on Amazon: Friends with Benefits and You Are Alone
Grab yourself an ice cold Rolling Rock and sit back...
"The Second Greatest Story Ever Told" may not actually live up to its name but it's pretty damn close. Anyone who enjoys the spiritual irreverence of Tom Robbins or Christopher Moore's "Lamb" is guaranteed a big kick out of this. As is anyone who just needs a bit of cheering up, to be honest.
It begins in the 1970s. Having already sent his Son (perhaps twice), God decides that humanity is still doing it wrong and sends his Daughter. She takes the human form of Ilona Ann Coggswater from Cooperstown, New York who, as she grows up, takes on a one-woman mission to save the world from itself and teach her simple, two-word message - "Be kind".
There's some wonderfully funny satire here as the Daughter of God faces the trials and tribulations of any major celebrity (including a hysterical scene in which she appears in a cola commercial directed by Adrian Lyne), some manic surrealism (Bechard's description of Hell is the stuff of genius) and the occasional spot of righteous polemic on environmental and political issues. However, all over every page, is a massive heart, presumably still bleeding from the pin wound it got when Gorman Bechard's stuck it on his sleeve. I think it takes guts to write such an unashamedly optimistic novel and to do it without a shred of cynicism or self-consciousness but it's precisely this that makes it so much fun to read.
The style of the writing (which often mimics the Bible, repetition and all) is distinctive and Bechard's "voice" feels strong and assured. The book is littered liberally with his obsessions (the author has boasted that this is the only novel in history to feature a fictional vesion of The Replacements) and one could easily level the accusation of self-indulgence at him. However, it's nice to see someone indulge, even gorge themselves, on the things they truly enjoy instead of just wrestling with their demons, for a change. That's not to say there isn't a serious (and even, once or twice, deeply moving) side to the book but its main agenda is clearly to make the reader smile. Something it did admirably in the case of this reader.
There are so many goofy jokes and quotations that'll stay with you and make you want to spout them at all your friends. You'll just be gutted that none of your friends will get the reference. My recommendation therefore would be to buy one for yourself and one for a buddy. It's worth it.
Ilona and Tab will save us.
I was working for a national chain "MacBoox" when this first came out.I read it then and promoted it heavily that Xmas.We sold out.The next year, we ordered it again, still in hardcover, and sold out again.I've read it a few times over the years.I still love it and, yes, I still drink TAB.In fact, I still often think of this bookand Ilona when buying or drinking TAB.And I certainly always remember to try remember to "Be Kind" or was it "Be Nice"?I did write "try", didn't I?I need to dig it out and read it again.It's been far too long.
Best wishes, y'all,
Must Reading for NY Mets and All Baseball Fans
This book is hilarious. Since the other reviewers here discuss it as work of political and social satire, I'll mention it as a great and funny baseball book. Ilona, the daughter of God,comes to earth in the 1970s, lives in Cooperstown, NY the home of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, and is a devoted Mets fan. Her thoughts on the Mets and baseball generally are priceless. Bechard, who loves the Mets, writes with great insight into the psyches of fans. I put this book in my bookcase with the baseball books. By the way, I'm a Yankees fan but these days I can understand loving a team that finds a lot of ways to lose.
One of my favorite books
One of these days, I hope that Bechard can get this back in print -- heck, even Xlibris or one of the other POD printers would do. I've wanted to give away copies of this book for years, but haven't been able to locate enough, and there are very few people whom I trust enough to lend my copy. I really want to pay the man a few more times because no other book has ever given me as much faith that humanity can change... if only given the right incentives.
Not for the dogmatically inclined, though. If Biblical rules that served to sustain a desert dwelling people surrounded by hostile enemies 5000 years ago are rules that work for your modern, relatively peaceful life, then you will probably not be able to cope with this book. If irreverence about faith, dogma, deification, life in the public eye and the media bother you, well... first, lighten up, because you're not getting out of this life alive, and you can either laugh while you're here, or cry, and laughter's a lot better for you. Then... maybe consider reading this.
Now, it's a little dated -- but any of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s can feel right at home in the pages of this story.
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