Almighty Me CL

Robert Bausch, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $19.95 (263p) ISBN 978-0-395-56266-6
In a divine conceit, Bausch's hero, Goodman Charles Wiggins, a Dodge salesman in southern Illinois, learns from an angel named Chet that for one year he will have God's powers. How Charlie deals with this gift and if, indeed, it's enough to bring him happiness, is the burden of this darkly comic tale; as Chet points out, ``You have God's power but not his wisdom.'' A family man with two young daughters, Charlie is bothered by the growing disaffection of his wife Dorothy, who has returned to school and thrown herself into life as a student. Practicing his powers at work, he sets up a hilarious progression of events between his boss and the dealership secretary; problems come closer to home when he mistakenly causes Dorothy's parents' house to burn down and they must move in with him. His efforts to help himself and others initiate disastrous climatic changes, lead to the deaths of a few people, one of whom he restores to life, and, in the end, are neither help nor hindrance in his relationship with Dorothy, whom he wants to love him on her own, not because he, with his power, compels her. Although the plot occasionally gets slightly out of hand, Bausch ( The Lives of Riley Chance ) creates characters who, in an incredible situation, remain believable, consistent and worth caring about. Part fable, fairy tale and fantasy, the story of Charlie Wiggins and his dilemma will amuse and entertain less empowered readers. Film rights to Disney Studio's Hollywood Pictures. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-0-595-40795-8
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