Among the early Catholics, he says, the Church found that monotheism couldn’t replace the long-beloved polytheism now outdated and considered pagan. Celebrants were too used to petitioning individual deities, so the Church created the various saints, each a counterpart to an earlier deity, representing love, success, recovery from illness, etc. As battles raged and kingdoms rose and fell the god Aryaman was replaced by Sraosha. Mithra supplanted Vishnu. Zoroaster made Mithra obsolete, and with each succeeding god, the prior ruling deity was cast into obscurity and contempt.
“Even the word demon,” Leonard says, “originates with Christian theologians who misinterpreted ‘daimon’ in the writings of Socrates. Originally the word meant ‘muse’ or ‘inspiration,’ but its most common definition was ‘god.'” He adds that if civilization lasts long enough into the future, one day even Jesus will be skulking around Hades, banished and ticked off.
It’s too hard to wade out that smirk in our face when everything (or, at least almost everything) we think as utterly ridiculous about the afterlife are turned out to be true in this story.
Nothing important here. Palahniuk stopped taking being important so seriously around three novels ago, when he shifted focus into launching one book per year instead of crafting something that you can recognize as profound, like his earlier works. This is another long non-stop orgy of sarcastic craziness, just like Snuff, Pygmy, and Tell-All, all basically about those same themes: Insane all-American rich parents and their equally lunatic kids, absurd adoption scheme, bizarre sex acts, and series of not so surprising anymore plot twists. We don’t know about literary values, but narrative qualities can go to hell for sure as long as the sole aim is book sales figure.