I attended a short lecture by David Adams Richards in 2008. He seemed a lot like an everyman, maybe somebody you would meet at the grocery store or walking his dog in the park. Shortly thereafter, I read his novel For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down, which, while not outstanding fiction, was a fairly compelling look at life in the Atlantic provinces.
So I had fairly high hopes for God Is., a book collecting Richards' thoughts on God, religion and athiesm. Here was a non-fiction work by a respected Canadian and New Brunswicker, an author who had lived an honest, real, gritty life. I was especially intrigued by the back cover, which promised counterarguments to the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.
God Is. started well, but I think it ran out of steam as it progressed. Richards raised some interesting points, but after a while it felt more like his spiritual autobiography than a rebuttal to the Dawkinses and Hitchenses of today.
That's not to say the book was bad. The prose didn't suffer; Richards is gifted with the ability to write clear, to-the-point paragraphs. But while Richards' stories were interesting, I was expecting a lot more. In the end, God Is. doesn't stand up to The God Delusion or God Is Not Great, and I don't think it quite deserves the accolades on the back cover.