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Extended Audio Sample What in God’s Name: A Novel, by Simon Rich Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (635 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Simon Rich Narrator: Simon Rich Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Welcome to Heaven, Inc., the grossly mismanaged corporation in the sky. For as long as anyone can remember, the founder and CEO (known in some circles as “God”) has been phoning it in. Lately, he’s been spending most of his time on the golf course. And when he does show up at work, it’s not to resolve wars or end famines, but to Google himself and read what humans have been blogging about him.

When God decides to retire (to pursue his lifelong dream of opening an Asian fusion restaurant), he also decides to destroy Earth. His employees take the news in stride, except for Craig and Eliza, two underpaid angels in the lowly Department of Miracles. Unlike their boss, Craig and Eliza love their jobs—uncapping city fire hydrants on hot days, revealing lost keys in snow banks—and they refuse to accept that earth is going under.

The angels manage to strike a deal with their boss. He’ll call off his Armageddon, if they can solve their toughest miracle yet: getting the two most socially awkward humans on the planet to fall in love. With doomsday fast approaching, and the humans ignoring every chance for happiness thrown their way, Craig and Eliza must move heaven and earth to rescue them—and the rest of us, too.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Rich isn’t interested in condemning religion—he just wants to have fun with it, using the Bible as an outrageous vehicle with which to present, in his own odd way, questions about faith and human nature. Funny and occasionally touching, What in God’s Name is satire that avoids sanctimony.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Hilarious and touching…Rich is crazy good at hysterical sharp dialogue. But the bonus here is that his head is matched by his heart. Rich lends the potentially gimmicky story real emotional heft and avoids condescending to his characters…What in God’s Name reads like a screenplay for a film that might sit comfortably beside Woody Allen’s early absurd works in a Netflix queue.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Simon Rich’s matter-of-fact tone is perfect for narrating his novel. He delivers the prose in an often dry and almost disinterested tone, which build upon the humor imbued in his story. This style works smoothly with the ludicrous moments of a world on the brink of disaster.”


  • “Former president of the Harvard Lampoon, a four-time Emmy nominee for his writing on Saturday Night Live, Rich has credentials in the Department of Laughs.”

    Library Journal

  • “Deliciously funny.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Doris | 2/17/2014

    " Funny book and a quick read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dave | 2/4/2014

    " Very entertaining and unique. Probably one of the most irreverent books with "God" in the title. It's whimisical, fun, and clever. I enjoyed it - esp. the parallels between the two couples at the heart of the plot. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by A.T | 1/25/2014

    " what a waste of time! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Aharon | 1/22/2014

    " You know that rom com that's in heavy rotation on that basic cable channel? The one with the "charming" pratfalls and reheated Simpsons jokes and magical ethnic secondary characters who have amusing grammar and exist to help out the hapless leads? But you watch it to the end because it's super short? Yeah, this is that. "

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About the Author
Author Simon Rich

Simon Rich has written for the New Yorker, GQ, Mad, Harvard Lampoon, and other magazines. He is the author of two humor collections, Free-Range Chickens and Ant Farm, which was a finalist for the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor. He lives in Brooklyn and writes for Saturday Night Live.