Almighty

A Short Tale of Omnipotent Proportions

Fiction - Supernatural
30 Pages
Reviewed on 01/31/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Justine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.

Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final "job"—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.

She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Almighty: A Short Tale of Omnipotent Proportions is a contemporary inspirational fantasy short story written by Justine Avery. Bradley is an atheist, with a boring job he doesn’t really enjoy and an ex-girlfriend he’s still crazy about. His tight little world gets dumped upside down one day when he starts hearing voices in his head -- well not voices, one voice, and it calls itself God. This is not the hell and brimstone God that Bradley had rejected in favor of enlightened skepticism. This God scared the pants off of him by shouting Boo! at him, several times in fact. When Bradley gets home, he sits down and has a good long chat with his supernatural and somewhat juvenile guest, and it’s quite an illuminating one. Bradley’s life will never be the same again -- and that’s a good thing.

Justine Avery’s contemporary fantasy short story, Almighty: A Short Tale of Omnipotent Proportions, is a humorous and philosophical story about the Divine and one atheist’s interactions with a supreme being. I enjoyed the slant the author put on the nature of God, and especially appreciated the deity’s sense of humor and almost self-deprecating description of itself. Almighty is well-written, and it is certainly one of the more thought-provoking short stories that I’ve come across with religion and the belief in a supreme being at its base. Avery’s fun-loving God is in many ways a lot more palatable and believable than the traditional bearded deity Brad’s God scoffs at as being made up by men. This breezy and disarmingly clever story gives the reader a lot to think about. Almighty: A Short Tale of Omnipotent Proportions is highly recommended.

Muddymoo

Bradley, well what can I say, he had his mind well and truly blown and in a good way for a change! I firmly believe this book will leave all readers with something to ponder in the days ahead, come back to me if you don't. Another seriously well written and thought provoking short from this author, once again left wanting more and once again can't wait for the next.

The Ed

There's something in every atheist, itching to believe, and something in every believer, itching to doubt. I laughed, I cried. I thought it was a subtle dig at religion, which it isn't. It's just a wonderful story. A conversation with God. On a Tuesday (I should have read it yesterday). It's a story that's funny and poignant.

It really is time to put away any preconceptions about God and finally realise who you truly are.

Loretta M. Siani

Surprisingly funny, this extremely well-written short story will not force religion down your throat, instead, letting a lighter spiritual truth percolate slowly through the story. And it's only a dollar. Pass on that candy bar, buy a book!

Loretta M. Siani

A profoundly thoughtful, metaphysical piece wrapped around a refreshingly delightful, witty and truly engaging story. I loved it!

Shigeki Maegawa

I like that the author is not being religious, and describing IT's voice to come from inside. I can sense the author's intelligence and wisdom all over.

Sean E. Crouch

Surprisingly funny, this extremely well-written short story will not force religion down your throat, instead, letting a lighter spiritual truth percolate slowly through the story. And it's only a dollar. Pass on that candy bar, buy a book!

Loretta M. Siani

A profoundly thoughtful, metaphysical piece wrapped around a refreshingly delightful, witty and truly engaging story. I loved it!

Glenn L. Nottingham

A workaholic named Bradley Michaels, unhappy and unsatisfied with life, sulking over an ex-girlfriend, hears God in his head one afternoon after work. The kicker: Bradley is an atheist.

Author Justine Avery presents a theological argument in the guise of a simple story about one man's conversion from disbelief to belief. The argument, more or less, is as follows: God exists, but not in the way we understand Him. Avery's Deity pities atheists who limit the idea of possibility, and He has even less patience for those who turn off their thinking caps and blindly believe in Him. "God wants us to think," Bradley narrates early in the story. Believers will be pleased at the forthright claim for God's existence; atheists will see an escape clause in Avery's hint that Bradley, who is otherwise so unhappy, converts himself to a life with a new purpose (God never actually appears, being rather a voice in Bradley's mind).

Naturally, disputatious believers and non-believers alike might find fault with Avery's Deist notion of a supreme being. When Bradley asks about the Bible, God responds, "Boring! Some dudes wrote it, they didn't even know me ..." Avery's God is not "religious", and so religious people, who demand rules for conduct and belief, might find Him insufficient. Atheists have argued for centuries that Deism -- the belief in a Creator who does not intervene in the universe that He created -- renders God pointless, an absentee Landlord who is never available when the plumbing needs fixing. To use the most horrible example: was God in the death-camps? If not, why not? At what point does God accept responsibility and care for His creations? If never, does that not argue against the idea that God is benevolent?

These, however, are old arguments that Avery asks us to set aside. For the most part, she is making her case to atheists. She argues that disbelief is limiting and even unreasonable, implying that Belief and Reason can, must, coexist. Even the most rigorous scientific theories cannot always be utterly proved. More than this, Avery also points toward William James' Pragmatist philosophy, in which the value of any truth depends upon its use to the person who holds it. What use has atheism provided to the heretofore miserable Bradley, who cannot even have a civil conversation with the girlfriend with whom he wants to reconcile? Avery's case is that belief opens possibilities, and that possibilities without begin with acceptance of possibilities within. Similarly: if disbelief limits possibility, codifying belief into sets of Rules does the same.

It is remarkable that Avery demonstrates these ideas in a simply-written story that takes no longer than 15 minutes to read. She avoids pretentious jargon, lengthy and verbose bickering, and stays on point. Her "God" is a genial and chatty Being, often described as "child-like". One is reminded of "Oh God!", the novel by the perhaps cosmically similarly named Avery Corman. You may recall the impish George Burns as God from the movie version directed by Carl Reiner in the Seventies. However, in that story, God (and Corman, presumably) is determined to make a supermarket manager an evangelist in a troubled world; Justine Avery carries no such agenda. She simply asks us to consider a life in which possibility grows with belief, like a flower-bed nourished by water and soil. Whether or not you believe in God before you read "Almighty", that's a positive message than can easily be put to use in whatever way seems best for each individual heart and mind.

5 out of 5.