Godzilla is in Purgatory: Featuring the Promise of a Gift for all Humanity
 David J. Smith
Language: English Release: 2009
Publisher: Xlibris
Pages: 55
Genre: Fiction ISBN: 9781441594440

Preview: Order
(Page previews barred by copyright)
Back Cover
Nicholas Driscoll

During my tenure as a Toho Kingdom staff member, I have read and reviewed some truly, truly wretched books. From the ubiquitous errors in Giant Monster Movies to the utterly inane memoirs in Godzilla Rabbit, from the belly-groaning dumb humor of Godzilla Discovers America to the hippy-inspired anti-consumerism message-novel Godzilla Meets Master Charge, I have boldly gone where no Godzilla reviewer has gone before in order to enlighten and entertain G-fans worldwide about the obscurest, stupidest G-books on the market. I and my wallet have suffered greatly for the greater good of Godzilla kind.

But never, never did I read anything so uncompromisingly, brain-liquefyingly, hair-tearingly AWFUL as Godzilla is in Purgatory. I almost hesitate to write a review for Toho Kingdom, because such a move will doubtlessly call more attention to a piece of writing that can only charitably be called a “book.” I'm not even sure whether to categorize this thing as fiction or non-fiction, though clearly the “author” (a loose definition to be sure), David J. Smith, wishes his audience to take his essays seriously. That is, we are supposed to accept this mostly as non-fiction, with a brief diversion into the genre of “riddle poetry” with The Promise of a Gift for All Humanity. Smith wrote the poem in this particular way in order to, I quote, “be more fun and believable.” Unfortunately, Smith doesn't seem to even understand what a riddle poem is (think of the riddles exchanged between Bilbo and Gollum in The Hobbit as one particularly popular example), and instead writes a five-page-long incoherent mess with lines like these:

“Bravery gets the greatest respect, even Godzilla in purgatory has taken rest
His senses are for bravery, like the men and woman of the U.S. Navy
Godzilla is the true and noble king of purgatory, wow, what a truly amazing story
Godzilla's healing is terrifyingly harsh with true terror
But it breaks up the bullworks of sinbearers” (pg. 16)

Apparently, in Smith's world, words like “respect” and “rest” rhyme, and there is only one woman in the U.S. Navy. I am sure that the thousands of ladies in the naval services today are terribly insulted. Oh, and yes, I noticed that bulwarks was misspelled, but I must admit, the “bullworks” spelling is a lot more entertaining, conjuring up images of bovine artwork shattered by a stern Roman-Catholic Godzilla in the afterlife.

The scatterbrained pain of the book is not limited to the poetry. The first story/essay/gibberish is the eponymous Godzilla is in Purgatory, and starts out as a sort of quirky narrative wherein the narrator is accosted by a group of teenage girls who cry out that Godzilla is coming. Our hero calmly explains that “If it's Godzilla, then all you need to do is get behind him and stay behind him because he never goes out the same way he comes in unless the birds happen to come and turn him around.” Perhaps this is a cockeyed reference to how Godzilla was led into a volcano via bird sounds in The Return of Godzilla (1984)? Whatever the case, the narrator soon abandons the narrative entirely, never to be picked up again, and fills the rest of the “story” with several chapters of astounding nonsense like “I heard a Baptist preacher say twelve is twelve because twelve means a lot” and “We know one organ in our bodies produces love, and that's the liver. I do not know how they know, but I would like to know because that's some kind of energy.”

The entire book is composed of this sort of excruciating blather. After a few essays, it began to just wash over me, the words barely registering as I just tried to speed through, rushing, wishing, pleading for the atrocity to be over. Smith writes about abortion, about politics, the holiness of God, even about what a bad man Brett Favre is for not sharing (?), and the whole lot of it is composed of this same doddering vomit-prose. Disturbingly, Smith seems to really believe that a literal, very real Godzilla reigns over the Catholic purgatory, mentioning him in this role in essays throughout the book. Most horrifying of all, towards the end when Smith starts recounting his dreams of angels possessing technology from AD 3000, I began to zone out, and the bizarre writing almost began to make sense to my increasingly fevered brain.

Of course, halfway into the book, Smith reveals something that does rather make sense of his writing. In discussing abortion and other woes within an article called “Political Nuts,” Smith solves all of the nations problems in one fell swoop: “Simply legalize cannabis and put a very heavy future of American tax on it, and not only can we save the babies and ladies, we can pay all our other bills too.” Good to know, Smith, good to know. All our trillions of dollars of debt in America can be dealt with if only we'd legalize marijuana. I'm pretty sure cannabis helped Smith write this book, too.

Godzilla is in Purgatory is the worst book I have ever read, bar none. All of the essays show very little in the way of ordered or coherent thought. The entire book is just a painful, awful mess, available on Amazon through the self-publishing company Xlibris. Godzilla may be in purgatory, but reading this book is like a literary hell.