Thomas Bunting while neglecting his philosophy Ph.D., still unfinished after seven years, is secretly writing what he hopes will be his masterwork--a vast atheistic project to be titled The Book Against God. In despair over his failed academic career and failing marriage, Bunting is also enraged to the point of near lunacy by his parents' religiousness. When his father, a beloved parish priest, suddenly falls ill, Bunting returns to the Northern village of his childhood. Bunting's hopes that this visit might enable him to finally talk honestly with his parents and sort out his wayward life, are soon destroyed.Comic, edgy, lyrical, and indignant Bunting gives the term unreliable narrator a new twist with his irrepressible incapacity to tell the truth.
James Wood was chief literary critic of The Guardian (London) and is senior editor at The New Republic. His first collection of essays, The Broken Estate, was published in 1999. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.