Before reading this book, I had expected it to be just another marketing gimmick. Surprisingly, God Hates Us All turned out to be quite the engaging read.
Firstly, for those unfamiliar with the legendary Hank Moody, let me provide a brief introduction. He’s the Bukowski-esque, promiscuous, cynical, and yet somehow likeable protagonist of the hit Showtime series Californication, portrayed by The X-Files alum David Duchovny.
The “bestselling” book, written by Hank before the events of season 1, follows an unnamed narrator, à la Fight Club, as he navigates his way through life in 1980’s New York. What makes the novel tick is its blatant prose, along with interesting and occasionally unhinged supporting characters, which include a mysterious supermodel and a rockstar-in-the-making.
Dark in tone and yet optimistic at heart, very much like its hero, God Hates Us All is a short and engrossing novel, and also works well as a standalone work of fiction for those yet to binge-watch Californication.
For fans of the show, it offers an insight into Hank’s life before season 1, as viewers will know that Hank’s works are often semi-autobiographical in nature. The real author of this book, Jonathan Grotenstein, delves into the mind of Hank Moody and delivers a book that acts as a fantastic literary spin-off from the series.
You can also share in Hank’s frustration when you think of the film adaptation of this novel as a rom-com called A Crazy Little Thing Called Love.