The Nightmares of God by Michael Davies

four stars

Michael Davies’ The Nightmares of God begins in the early twenty-first century as the world is coming to an end. No one is sure, at first, what is happening, as things improve in one corner of the globe, only to deteriorate in others. In some areas, people are happier and crime rates fall, while in others, violence and bloodshed skyrockets. As one character remarks, “It is almost as if some band is playing music which some love and some hate. But not everybody can hear it.” As this music grows louder, an age-old battle between good and evil on a grand scale unfolds. Told through a variety of characters and story lines, Davies’ poetic and complex language leads the reader on a difficult but rewarding journey, in which they will come to understand what Davies calls the “Oneness,” the idea that all living creatures are connected, and always have been.

Davies’ novel is an ambitious exploration, not only of the end of days, but also of the paramount questions with which humanity has struggled since the beginning of time: why do we exist? What is our purpose? Why is there evil in the world? Davies’ engagement with these questions draws on traditional religious, spiritual, and philosophical concepts. Davies reconfigures these traditions in new and unexpected ways; for example, the reader comes to understand the great spiritual leaders of humanity, seemingly so different, as different incarnations of the same being, sent to guide humanity through troubled times. Davies provides a story like no other that brings the reader full circle, and leaves us with yet more questions to ponder.

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