Henry McLeod

God’s looking for a few good ideas

When grad student Pete Freely is killed in a freak accident, he ascends to Heaven – just as he’s always been told would happen when he died. However, though Heaven and God have turned out to be real, Pete is shocked to learn that it’s not quite the promised Paradise of so many religions: it is, instead, a place of violence and unspeakable venality.

In Henry McLeod’s scathing vision, there is room for bliss in the Afterlife – but you’ve got to earn it. Originality is everything here; in-the-box thinking consigns newly dead souls to labour in drudgery while wearing devices around their wrists, which indicate a ‘score’ that drops with every failure to come up with an original idea or invention that floats God’s boat. As the score plummets, the chances grow ever more remote of obtaining an upgrade from lowly status in the divine hierarchy to becoming a top dog: a Cloud.

The Clouds live the high life, as it were, indulging their appetites without shame or consequence while the non-Clouds strive and slave away, pitching ideas and failing more often than not to impress a God who’s seen it all. It’s a vicious cycle, and redemption will take a certain amount of low cunning and self-interest.

McLeod’s take on Heaven is nasty, brutish and short, like life itself. Unlike some lives, though, there are laughs aplenty along the way, and this highly original and hugely entertaining book will have you reading compulsively until our hapless hero’s final make-or- break gambit to leave the losers on behind and become a Cloud at last.

Henry McLeod is an award-winning journalist and writer of non-fiction who contributes frequently to publications such as Slate and The Atlantic. Heaven is his first novel. He lives in Toronto with his family.

ISBN 9781911475040 – Paperback – B-Format (197 x 130 mm) 98 x 127 mm
 – RRP £9.99