And God Said 'Billy!' is a darkly comic coming-of-age story written by the master story teller that House of Sand and Fog author Andre Dubus III hailed as the funniest American writer since Mark Twain. The story is set in the 1980s and is about Billy, a young fundamentalist Christian who feels called to go to Hollywood to make "God's movie." But everything goes off the rails when he accepts a job to direct a soft-porn slasher/exploitation film in apartheid-era South Africa. He makes this "It's a deal not a movie" picture even though he has to bust the US entertainment industry's anti-apartheid sanctions in hopes his "worldly movie" will be "used by God" as a "stepping stone" to making his own divinely sanctioned "End Times" picture. Billy loses his fundamentalist faith, his film career, his family and more.
"When the family business is religion, it is especially perilous. To millions of evangelical Christians, the Schaeffer name is royal, and Frank Schaeffer is the reluctant, wayward, traitorous prince. His crime... is turning his back on Christian conservatives." (The New York Times)
"Frank Schaeffer exposes the insanity and the corruption of what has become a powerful and frightening force in American politics... As someone who has made redemption his work, he has, in fact, shown amazing grace." (Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of A Thousand Acres)
"Schaeffer's gifts as a novelist are more than comic his writing has a deeper river flowing through it, one that is sensual and full of true grace." (Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog)
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Allegory of a fundamentalist
Probably not, because its value wasn't that it was a thrilling, spell-binding or complex story but rather in the meaning one can derive from the allegory of "Billy Graham" for understanding current fundamentalist rationalizations of living contrary to the teachings of the one's chosen deity in the name of spreading His [sic] gospel!
Revealing the full name of "Billy" about 2/3 of the way through the book. It sharpens the irony. The spiritual journey of Billy once he has fled SA one senses is perhaps more autobiographical than contributing to the allegory. It ends somewhat weakly.
No reader can interpret the words like the author.
Stop the carousel and let me off
It was no where near 4 or 5 stars. The first 15 minutes were funny. I get the point about fundamentalist Christianity but it was the same thing over and over and over.
Yes, Frank Schaeffer's non-fiction is much better than this work of fiction. His true story is much more interesting.