A rant about books, horror, and the weird. I sometimes take on my love/hate relationship with goodreads and Amazon.
Five stars. A truly literate horror novel that is really a wide swipe at Christianity and religion in every form, from Santa Claus to the Pope to televangelists. The novel starts in the 1950s with little Billy Michaels getting the power from Mercury (the Greek god) to presumably make things right. All he has to do is believe in the god and say the rhyme to get what he wants. The first problem is you can't trust a child any more than you can an adult to make the best choices. Billy isn't evil any more than any other child. The second problem is things don't always work out as you intended unless you are very careful about how you wish for things. Oh, and that magic wand known as a caduceus it needs to be balanced to work. It has to do bad to recharge the good battery in it.
Anyway the novel stretches into the near future (or what the near future might be in 1991) with the now Dr. Billy Michaels curing AIDS (to get rich) but having to create another disease to balance things out, so to speak. But he's going to cure it eventually and make everything okay again. Right. Finally you realize that everyone is doomed. The universe will have its way no matter how you manipulate it. Disch does this in a sneaky way that makes you sympathize with each character even as he is telling you he is going to knock them off. Disch's god isn't an angry god just one that proves there isn't any god in the end.
The book is as funny as it is horrid. The entire thing takes place in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) Minnesota metropolitan area. Volume two of four of the Supernatural Minnesota series.