3 out of 4 stars
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One fine day, God decides to take human form, come down to earth, and interact with humans to gain a deeper understanding of humanity. To make these interactions happen, he meets a psychologist named John, befriends him, and introduces himself as Rogelio. John is the only human to whom God reveals his true identity.
John, of course, has trouble believing that this is God himself until the latter makes some of John’s most ridiculous wishes come true in that very moment. God’s first request to John is to arrange for a meeting with reputable and knowledgeable representatives of various religions to help him ask them relevant questions.
Opting to ask questions that make the men open up honestly during the meeting, God learns why people of different faiths pray, believe in hell and heaven, and follow their respective religions. That’s when he also meets an agnostic philosopher and learns what makes some of us question the existence of God itself. Everyone present in the interview develops a deep understanding and respect for each other.
Most of the questions God poses to the men are controversial. This part of the book includes those questions we have always wanted to ask fellow human beings belonging to other religions and the answers we have been searching for. I do wonder how God would have answered those questions if we had posed them to him; however, the answers provided by the characters do throw a lot of light into the mysteries of the different religions.
One main message this book carries is to trust in God. Rogelio is shown as a highly talented, perceptive, wonderful character; however, he is also shown to not know some things. He admits that there are several things that could have been done better by him while creating our world and its people, and that’s what makes his character all the more likable.
Chats with God in Underwear by Eduardo Chapunoff is a stunning portrayal of how God would want us to love, live, and believe. We journey along with John as God’s friend and enjoy the humor and the healthy doses of spirituality that the story serves up. This is a standalone book currently and is not part of a series, so the reader will not find the story difficult to follow.
The author uses metaphors successfully in many parts of the story to help the reader gain important insights about the characters. Though there are many participants in the story, all are important and help the reader understand God and how he constantly works toward helping his creations. One of the key characters in the book is a nymphomaniac, and readers who don’t want to know more about those who suffer from this condition better should give the book a wide berth. Also, there are several pages devoted to the discussion of religion, but it’s mostly in a positive light. Taking everything into consideration, I found the book to be thoroughly captivating.
The writing was uncomplicated and engaging. Chapunoff vividly describes the character of Laura and shows, in a most refined manner, how she finds herself sexually attracted to many members of the opposite sex. He creates solid images of the difficulties of raising a rebellious teenager and how John struggles to even have a decent conversation with his own son. I also enjoyed God’s reactions to Laura’s seduction tactics and how he masterfully manages to keep her at bay.
However, I was not a fan of the frequent occurrences of incorrect sentence constructions, missing punctuation marks, and typos. These misses did affect the reading experience at times.
The mention of John’s wife having nymphomania, her attempt at having intimate relationship with God, an intimate scene between another couple, the controversial questions about the beliefs of the major religions, and the occasional use of swear words make this book suitable for a mature audience. It is quite possible that these themes turn some readers away. However, I found the book to be refreshingly direct. I appreciate the fresh lessons it provided me with, especially with relation to what the different religions believe in. I would not be surprised if the author reveals that some of the events narrated in the story have been based on his personal experiences. The book was engaging enough to make me curious about what could come next if there was a part two.
I only wish the author could address all the typos and grammatical errors for the book to take home the perfect rating, which I so want to give it. Unfortunately, I can only rate it 3 out of 4 stars at the moment.
Let me end with a quote from the book that provided me with food for thought; in fact, I can’t get over these lines even now: “If you are going to pray to me, don’t bother. Just talk to me. We’re a few inches away from each other.”
Chats with God in Underwear
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