THE SECOND GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD by Gorman Bechard

THE SECOND GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Filmmaker Bechard's first novel is the brash, broad, borscht-belt account of the life and ministry of Ilona Ann Coggswater, the daughter of God. Born in Cooperstown, New York, in 1970--an immaculate birth, natch--Ilona enjoys a relatively normal childhood, arguing with the nuns about religion and graduating from Cy Young High School as valedictorian. But her life shifts abruptly into high gear on Thanksgiving Day 1988, when the Pope interrupts a parade to acknowledge her as God's daughter. After that, matters follow the inevitable farcical route--Ilona does guest spots on Letterman and Larry King, moves with her model/bartender roommate Stephanie LaVasseur to a trendier Manhattan address, and signs an advertising contract with Coca-Cola--the proceeds to be divided among Greenpeace, Handgun Control Inc., Planned Parenthood, Amnesty International, and the Better World Society--coming out in favor of all the right causes (the Brazilian rain forest, abortion rights, a ban on fur and leather), dispensing widely her trademark bromide, ``Be Kind,'' and pausing only for offhand miracles (changing water into Rolling Rock or Tab) and theological elaborations worthy of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey (``Unless one is truthful and kind, they cannot see the kingdom of God'') before she meets her destiny a month later at the hands of NRA vice-president John Charlton Hanley. Lots of whimsical fun here, but not so many laughs: this satire is mostly as witless as its all-too-familiar targets.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-8065-1263-6
Page count: 244pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1991




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