At his best, Christopher Buckley writes breathtakingly hilarious novels. God Is My Broker is one of them.
However, if you’re a devotee of Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie, or one of the many other high-profile self-help gurus who have streaked across the American firmament over the past century, you may not laugh. But who knows? Since Buckley (born a Catholic) takes on the Catholic Church with equal verve, you might enjoy the book, anyway.
In God Is My Broker, a certain Brother Ty has chucked a career on Wall Street — a singularly unsuccessful one, if the truth be told — and become a monk in an upstate New York monastery called Cana dedicated to the teachings of a masochistic saint. Unfortunately, Cana is on the ropes. Its source of revenue — sales of a uniquely awful wine called Cana Nouveau — has, shall we say, dried up. (Cana Nouveau is so bad that the Vatican blames a serious setback to the health of the Pope to a sampling of the stuff sent as a gift from Cana.) To reverse the monastery’s desperate financial troubles, Brother Ty decides to let God be his broker, looking for buy and sell signs in his breviary in combination with current business rumors. Meanwhile, the Abbot turns to Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, and their brethren for guidance. The result of these twin devotional habits are the 7-1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth, which are conveniently spelled out as the story is told.
God Is My Broker: A Monk-Tycoon Reveals the 7-1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth by Christopher Buckley and John Tierney (1998) 212 pages @@@@@ (5 out of 5)
OK, so, you’ve gotta read it to make any sense of this proposition. And, unless you’re in thrall to a latter-day guru, you’ll probably enjoy it. A lot.
For further reading
I’ve previously reviewed Buckley’s Little Green Men, Florence in Arabia, The White House Mess, and They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?, which I regard as a true classic of political satire. In fact, You’ll find this and the author’s other satirical books reviewed at Christopher Buckley writes satirical novels that are very, very funny.
If your taste runs more to genre fiction, check out:
- 20 excellent standalone mysteries and thrillers;
- My 20 favorite espionage novels; or
- Great sci-fi novels reviewed: my top 10.
And you can always find my most popular reviews, and the most recent ones, plus a guide to this whole site, on the Home Page.