The Universal Theory of Immigration by Adam Bethlehem is a light-hearted humorous book that never takes itself too seriously. God, the God, is having a bit of a grump and comes to Earth for a vacation. He goes to London. I can just imagine UKIP’s reaction to this newest immigrant and one with forged documents no less.
Many people find more than adventure and pleasing sites on their vacations, they also find themselves and this is even more true for God. What it says about the state of the world that even God didn’t know the meaning of life, I can’t say, but he finds it on Primrose Hill.
Gabriel is left in charge while he is away. After all, with a few millennia under their belts, the angels are pretty good at keeping the heavenly bureaucracy going. He arrives at the airport, makes it through customs and is delivered to a quaint, luxury hotel by a taxi driver who piques his interest, though he’s a bit of a shy god. God, or Godwin Godfrey as he calls himself now, does the tourist thing and gets to feeling lonely and makes a few futile attempts to get back to Heaven, even having a hilarious run-in with an incompetent bureaucrat at the Pearly Gate named Geldof that had me googling to see if Bob G was still with us. He is; so there’s more than one patronizing Geldof. Yes, they do know it’s Christmas!
I enjoyed The Universal Theory of Immigration. I am sure some believers may take offense at the very idea of God going on vacation or being romantically interested in anyone or even of God questioning what to do with his life, but for the rest of us, this Godwin Godfrey God is disarming. He’s a bit aloof and thinks a bit too highly of himself, but he’s adaptable, less certain he is right about everything and open to new ideas and experiences. I laughed at some of his misadventures and enjoyed his adventures. I was not persuaded by the theory he comes up with and thought it distracted from the truly excellent story of God finding himself.
I was provided an e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley.