Let Us All Pray Now to Our Own Strange Gods by John Brantingham
Wonderful, Gripping Tale
Let Us All Pray Now to Our Own Strange Gods is a collection of short stories that follows Harrison, a forestry worker, through life’s biggest changes. He getting a divorce while his son is going through a mental breakdown.
NO MATTER WHAT he does for the boy, Stanley will crucify his puppets or weep uncontrollably for dead fish or try to raise the dead. The only solution Harrison can dream up is nature.
If therapy does not work, then maybe the vast and empty mountains will.
But there’s a danger in relying on peace and solitude as your only cure, and Harrison is going to find out why.
About John Brantingham:
John Brantingham’s work has appeared in hundreds of magazines in the United States and England, and his poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. His other books include “Mann of War” and “East of Los Angeles.”
He teaches at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California where he lives with his wife, Ann.
Review by Rob W:
This collection of short stories combines to form a narrative about Harrison, a recent divorcee, and his struggles with his ex-wife, and with raising his son. Harrison is a fantastic character, whose flaws make him relatable and human.
His choices are often the opposite of what one would expect, but upon further reflection, turn out to be exactly what is right for the character. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Review by Milo M:
“Let Us all Pray Now to our Own Strange Gods” tells the adventures Harrison has through his divorce. The story starts off with introducing the main character seeing his son performing a crucifix on his favorite stuffed animal.
The entire book tells short stories of Harrison’s misfortunes such as giving his son “the big talk,” Harrison struggling with his divorce of his spiteful wife, and Harrison struggling to find peace within himself.
John Brantingham takes us in the mind of this lovable protagonist who just wants his son to be alright and does it in such an amazing way that makes his audience root for Harrison even when he wants to blackmail his wife.
This story will keep you reading till the very last page. The ending is so magical it brings someone back to life.
Anyone who has struggled to find peace within themselves or try to cope with the struggles of the outside will love this book, as I do.