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Publisher's Summary

God takes a look at the Earth around the time of the Renaissance, and everything looks pretty good - so he takes a holiday. In heaven time this is just a week's fishing trip, but on Earth several hundred years go by.

When God returns, he finds all hell has broken loose: world wars, holocausts, famine, capitalism and "fucking Christians everywhere". There's only one thing for it. They're sending the kid back.

JC, reborn, is a struggling musician in New York City, trying to teach the one true commandment: be nice! His best chance to win hearts and minds is to enter American Pop Star. But the number-one show in America is the unholy creation of a record executive who's more than a match for the Son of God...Steven Stelfox.

©2015 John Niven (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks

What listeners say about The Second Coming

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Profile Image for P
  • P
  • 01-08-16

Very funny

Would you consider the audio edition of The Second Coming to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version.

If you’ve listened to books by John Niven before, how does this one compare?

This is my 1st John Niven book & I shall be listening to more.

Which character – as performed by Nick Landrum – was your favourite?

Jesus Christ of course.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I could have listened in one sitting if I had the time.

Any additional comments?

Very funny, great satire on modern life & particularly religion. Great performance by the narrator except that his Scottish accent for Saint Andrew is atrocious, especially puzzling as the author is himself Scottish. I can only presume he never got to hear the performance himself.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lesley
  • 08-25-16

Simple idea ......

. . . . well executed.

After what I consider a slow and obvious start, I quickly got into this story. A great vehicle for the author to express his likes and dislikes simply by placing them in heaven or hell. Especially Niven's musical preferences. I laughed when Jesus could only get Budweiser when he tried to order a beer in hell's restaurant.

As the title suggests, the story is about when Jesus reluctantly gets sent back to the 21st Century because God's been on a fishing trip for 400 Earth years and neglected things somewhat. Christ can't really tell a lie and it gets him into some scrapes with some amusing outcomes - some not so good.

Narrator Nick Landrum's performance is good although his English accent has certain inconsistencies (not unlike the story). I did smile at his impression of St Andrew (Scottish accent, even though he is said to be from Galilee). All it needed was, "Beam me up!"

Does anyone actually read these?

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  • Mark
  • 05-09-20

Irreverent Satire: 'Be Nice'

I really like John Niven and the filthier and funnier he is the better. Here, it's not so much religion that is being satirised (although it does come in for quite a lot of stick), it is humanity, or our lack of it, as we fight amongst ourselves and pursue ridiculously unnecessary goals - fame, wealth, religious righteousness etc. Basically God has been away fishing for a celestial week and in the earthly equivalent of that time, 400 years, we've really screwed things up so God interrupts JC jamming with Hendrix in Heaven and sends him back to earth to sort things out by winning American Pop Idol and saving humanity. Well that's the plan... God and JC come out of this really well, less so religion. The book moves along at a brisk pace and is populated by some great characters and I was delighted to see Niven anti - hero Steven Stelfox make a cameo appearance as a Simon Cowell like figure. If you like John Niven or just like funny satires on the modern condition then this is a book for you.




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  • Joe White
  • 03-13-18

Like the Bible, but newer.

Some great stories about Jesus and friends. He's back and up to his old tricks again. Great fun. However, I found the gratuitous sex scenes a bit much.

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  • Lee Phillips
  • 10-26-21

Very very good

The best audiobook I've listened to in a long time! Refreshingly different; a great modern retelling of Jesus' story. Light for the most part; with some thought provoking points. Really enjoyed it.

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  • Mr. Richard Furr
  • 07-15-21

Niven is brilliant!

Another fantastic book by this
Funny, dark and thought provoking
Loved it from start to finish

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  • Louise Giblin
  • 07-06-21

Excellent!

Loved this book, well apart from St Andrews terrible Scottish accent! John Niven draws you into his world, one of my favourite authors!

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  • Thom
  • 05-19-21

excellent

My first John Niven book and an excellent start. Highly recommended to all, especially all you cynics out there.

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  • EMANON
  • 04-23-21

A must read for hippies and Christians alike

This book really struck a chord with me and genuinely made me think about life and that and God. I'm a lapsed Catholic for the exact reasons in this book. Religion isn't meant to be dull and judgemental and anti-gay and above all anti-fun! If Jesus came back today, the American religious-right probably would lock him up or worse! This is a book every Catholic/Christian should read and losen up a bit and start to just BE NICE. A story of our current moment on the planet captured perfectly and told with humour so very well. First Niven book I've read, and I will DEFINITELY be reading more!! just loved it more than I've loved any book in years. I'm gonna buy the actual book and read it over summer sometime...probably assisted by my favourite herbs...

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  • Bald and Brave
  • 02-07-21

Brilliant plot, very funny, poor narrator.

not convinced as usual by a flat sounding North American narrator. Nonetheless a great plot and as usual the acidic humour of John Niven is 5 star!