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"God is the problem," says Snakes Hammurabi, explaining his crime. Arrested and imprisoned on a German prison barge for relieving himself upon a church altar, Snakes can find no one more responsible for his predicament than the Divine One himself. As he speaks, eleven hardened criminals including a cannibal, an assassin, and a Nazi listen to his story. Locked together by fate on the eve of the millennium, each has a story to tell. Each man, that is, but the silent one on the bottom bunk who never sleeps or eats--the mysterious Ben Alef.

When a violent storm rips the prison barge from its moorings and sets the prisoners adrift, these morally unbound men find themselves in real danger. But a series of remarkable events (dare one call them miracles?) deliver the escaped criminals to shore. Convinced that Ben Alef has saved them, they set out on foot, a small band of unlikely disciples attending their even more unlikely messiah.

Word spreads swiftly--and so does hysteria--as some people claim that Ben Alef is a fraud and some that he's deluded, while a daily growing rabble follows the procession with a deep need to believe, and does so.

In Signs and Wonders, Melvin Jules Bukiet dares to conjure the holiest event of our collective humanity with a viciously acute eye that spares no one. the new messiah must meet the press, the lawyers, the cops, and the swindlers, all of them vying for a piece of the action en route to the only place a modern Second Coming would occur--a theme park ruled by a rodent--as the celestial clock ticks down to '00.

Signs and Wonders is a singularly inventive book, set in full color on the world stage. Rife on the surface with Bukiet's trademark black humor and rage toward a malevolent God, it seethes below with incisive and courageous commentary on history, religious faith, and mankind at the end of this century of the Holocaust.


Used availability for Melvin Jules Bukiet's Signs and Wonders

Hardback Editions

April 1999 : USA Hardback

Title: Signs and Wonders: A Novel
Author(s): Melvin Jules Bukiet
ISBN: 0-312-20009-9 / 978-0-312-20009-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Picador USA
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

April 2000 : USA Paperback

Title: Signs and Wonders: A Novel
Author(s): Melvin Jules Bukiet
ISBN: 0-312-20433-7 / 978-0-312-20433-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK