I know, I know. Another book review and another Christopher Buckley book. This string of three reviews, But Enough About You, Wry Martinis, and now God is My Broker might be a bit much. It’s like my binge of Joseph J Ellis’s books on the history of the American Revolution and Founding.
But, here’s why I keep reading and reviewing them- we all need a few laughs in our lives. Everything can’t be so serious all the time; we need to relax and have a few laughs about something apolitical. Rioters are burning down cities, the Supreme Court has recently become a crisis, and everything seems to be falling apart in America. So, what can we do?
Relax. Have a drink and read a funny book like God is My Broker. Avoid the TV and the chance you’ll see a commercial that will throw you into a rage or a news story that will get your blood racing. Just sit down and read a funny book. For thirty minutes, or an hour, or however long you spend reading it a day, God is My Broker will keep you entertained and laughing hysterically. Yes, Christopher Buckley is somewhat liberal and yes, a satirical book about monks called God is My Broker is going to be a bit irreverent, but it’s also funny and worth your time, as I hope you see in this review of it.
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Summary of God is My Broker by Christopher Buckely
So as not to spoil the plot of God is My Broker, as the plot of the novel is quite crucial to your enjoyment of it (Buckley keeps the surprises coming throughout it, which should, hopefully, keep you guffawing), I’ll try to keep this section of the review relatively short.
Suffice it to say, God is My Broker is a satirical book about a group of monks in a failing monastery that become devotees of self-help books and use their (often incorrect) knowledge of those books to amass a sizable fortune through the help of Brother Ty, a former Wall Street Broker.
Because I don’t want to spoil the many twists and turns of the book by freewheeling my summary of it, but also want to give you a bit more information about the book, here is what the cover says:
“This is an incredible story.
The author, a failed, alcoholic Wall Street trader, had retreated to a monastery. It, too, was failing. The walls were crumbling. The roof was leaking. The Monks were on food stamps. An ancient order was about to go belly-up.
Then, one fateful day, Brother Ty decided to let God be his broker- and not only saved the monastery, but discovered the 7 1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth..”
It goes on, connecting the book to various ideas and self-help gurus. The cover is almost as funny as the book itself, which is breathtakingly hilarious. From making fun of books from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to the unintelligible ramblings of Dr. Deepak Chopra, Buckley shows just how ridiculous much of the self-help literature is and how the only people that earn any money off of self-help literature are the authors and publishers.
Similarly, Buckley, through the character of the Abbot in God is My Broker, shows just how quickly even very religious people can succumb to temptation and greed. So, while he does make fun of the Catholic Church some, his lampooing of certain aspects of it comes mainly from his experience with the church growing up and not any animosity or ill-will towards religion. Some of the only “good guys” in the novel are deeply religious and remain devout.
But, generally, God is My Broker is an irreverent lampoon of every subject it touches. Infomercials, greedy clergymen, the Italian Mob, Chris Wallace, self-help books, and many other subjects are made fun of over and over again in God is My Broker.
My Take on God is My Broker by Christopher Buckley
God is My Broker is one of Buckley’s most underrated novels in my opinion. Others of his, especially They Eat Puppies, Don’t They? and Thank You for Smoking are more famous. And yes, they are hilarious.
But, they have one flaw that God is My Broker does not have- they have a political agenda. Thank You for Smoking attacks the tobacco lobby and what he perceived as its hypocrisy. They Eat Puppies, Don’t They, in a similar vein, attacks the defense lobby and the military-industrial complex. So, while they are quite funny, sometimes even so funny they will make you cry with laughter, they also show Buckley’s liberal bent a bit more.
God is My Broker, on the other hand, does not have that flaw. It is as apolitical as a satirical book can be. In fact, its main target is Dr. Chopra and his unhelpful self-help literature, along with other books that Buckley thinks are useless.
Furthermore, God is My Broker is great because its not real. His other novels all have some kernel of truth or fact to them that might rankle the reader. While I have no problem with that, it could annoy some people. But, because there have been no high-profile cases of monks using stock tips “from God” to make money selling bad wine, God is My Broker is just funny.
Perhaps, if you are a devotee of any specific self-help guru, you’ll get annoyed by what Buckley says about them. But, if you are that devoted to self-help books, then you deserve to be made fun of for it. Some books are helpful. But most of them are ridiculous, and even the helpful ones are nowhere near as Earth-shatteringly helpful as their authors would have you believe.
So, to conclude my thoughts on it, I think God is My Broker is a hilarious book that is certainly worth reading right now. It’s not anti-religion. If it is anti-anything, it is anti-wasting your money on ridiculous self help books from Dr. Chopra. All it is is funny. And in that area, it excels. If you need to take a break from our world and want a laugh, order a copy and have fun spending time reading a funny book and enjoying it.
By: Gen Z Conservative