Bobby Henderson, The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (London: HarperCollins, 2006), 221pp
An entertaining premise that, unfortunately, cannot sustain the laughs for the entirety of the book. It will raise its fair share of wry smiles, light sniggers and the occasional belly-laugh, and it is an interestingly subversive way to show the absurdity of organised religion. Its riff on the Ten Commandments - here the 'Eight "I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts"' - is particularly amusing. However, it runs out of steam long before the end, and the final chapter, 'Enlightenment Institute', is, with the exception of the essay 'Of Penguins and Pasta', rather dire and jargon-filled. Nevertheless, I would be interested in reading other riffs on this topic, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster is probably deserving of a New Testament to truly convey the glory of His Noodly Presence. Perhaps a New Pasta-ment? Give it a try - after all, the Pastafarians offer a God-back guarantee: "Try us for thirty days and if you don't like us, your God will most likely take you back."