Search: Title Author Article. Rate this book. He recruits an unlikely group of worshipers: his snail-farming best friend, Shin, cute-as-a-button whatever that means Magda Price, and the violent and unpredictable Henry Stagg. As their religion grows, it takes on a life of its own. When the Chutengodians hold their first ceremony high atop the dome of the water tower, things quickly go from merely dangerous to terrifying and deadly.
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In a simply written, swift-moving narrative that won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, Pete Hautman's Godless explores the nature of religion, belief, power, obsession and corruption. This is heady stuff for a short, young adult novel, but Hautman uses humor and snappy dialogue to leaven his weighty plot. Teenager Jason Bock has started a new religion. He and his followers worship the Ten-legged One and call themselves Chutengodians, a word created out of Church of the Ten-legged God.
Their god is the local water tower. Why not worship a water tower? Jason reasons. What's more important to the life of the town? What is a more essential compound than water? Chutengodians have an immediate feeling of power and grace when they climb the tower and look down upon creation the lights of the town, the glow of the horizon, the night sky all around.
What starts as a whacko idea gathers momentum. But when local bully Henry Stagg is admitted into the inner circle of the Chutengodians, the seeds of dissension are sown and the potential for evil unleashed. Hautman's funny interludes include Jason's fumbling phone conversation with the beautiful Magda, where Jason, leader of the religion, is reduced to Neanderthal grunts and silences.
I'm glad I'm not trying to have a conversation with me, he thinks. It must be boring as hell. A late-night swim in the water tower, a near-fatal fall, arrests and a schism within the church shake up the members, and readers are left to wonder at the appeal of such an unlikely organization.
What does each member get out of belonging to it? For Jason, it's the chance to be a leader. For Henry, it's an insidious opportunity for power. For Magda, it's an attraction to tough-guy Henry.
By novel's end, Jason has changed only in an envy of other people's beliefs. I have a religion, but I have no faith, he says. Maybe one day I'll find a deity I can believe in. Until then, my god is made of steel and rust. Sign up for our newsletters! Again Again By E.
All you need is a disciple or two. And a god. On the spur of the moment, he starts his own church, the Chutengodians, who worship the "Ten-legged God" their town's water tower. It begins as a joke, with Jason and his friends creating rules that he thinks are as arbitrary as the rules of the Catholic Church they observe Sabbath on Tuesday, the first commandment is "thou shalt not be a jerk" , but Jason's "followers" begin taking the new religion seriously.
Video Preview. Writing Tips Mushrooms. Then a simple gag makes faith the centerpiece of his summer: What if the town water tower is God? Jason shares his quirky observation with Shin and soon finds himself the head of a new religious sect of "Chutengodians" worshipping the metal edifice they now call the "Ten-legged One.
This book is realistic fiction and deals with the exploration of religion. The protagonist, Jason, is an atheist and decides to create his own religion, Chutengodianism. His friends soon become his Was , which was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America, as well as several adult novels. He lives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Visit him at PeteHautman. Pete Hautman.
It won the annual U. Godless tells the story of Jason Bock, a fifteen-year-old boy, who questions his father's Catholic religion. Jason invents his own religion, " Chutengodianism ". Jason and his fellow "Chutengodians" worship the water tower , dubbed Ten-Legged One.