Sartori ruthlessly confronts the Catholic Church, hypermasculinity, environmental manipulation, capitalism, feel-good entitlement, and more, all in the name of God (whose perfection proves anything but). PEN/Heim Translation Fund–awarded Randall ensures that Sartori’s English-language debut conveys the full impact of Sartori’s scathing humor.
The novel’s drama lies in Daphne’s tale, which God gradually tells: the story of her own messy existence, and the mess she is making of His. Unfortunately, Daphne’s story proves a little scattered, in part because she is kept at such a remove from the reader that she never emerges as a complex, coherent character, only as an object of God’s fascination. Humor is famously tough to translate, and perhaps I Am God is a more successful book in Italian than in this English version. The premise is certainly fun. The problem is that God, here, isn’t provocative or charismatic enough to pull off a one-man show ... If God in a novel cracks a joke, it can be silly or grim or anywhere in between, but it has to be funny.
As its title promises, it will satisfy readers longing for a narrator who is omniscient (literally) and, at the same time, unreliable ... quirky and ingenious ... Sartori does a beautiful job of describing such spectacular cosmic matters throughout ... The text is rendered into natural, accessible, and idiomatic English, a pleasure to read, by award-winning translator Frederika Randall.