Thursday, February 11, 2016 Page Options
Mouth to God's Ear
  In the gritty novel Mouth to God’s Ear, God is leaving forever and it is going to be one hell of a farewell.

Although 33 year old Brooklyn hospice counselor Godfrey Thorn should be enjoying the conventional pleasures of life, Godfrey (or God, as he is known) feels dead inside. So he has decided to fight with a mercenary group in an illegal war in some ‘godforsaken’ jungle in Africa. But on this, his final day before leaving for war, God says goodbye to a series of unsuspecting friends, relatives and ex-lovers. As the day turns to night, God’s narcissism escalates into a red-wake of shocking action and God soon finds himself hiding from the police and employing the very people he loathes in his escape from the country. And what’s with the mysterious cuts that have covered his hands since the morning?

“In Mouth to God’s Ear Chris Grosso creates a protagonist who is at once despicable and captivatingly honest. Grosso is at his best when he depicts Godfrey (a.k.a. God) counseling the terminally-ill—the dialogue pops and sparkles.” Jack Shuler, author of Calling Out Liberty.

“Simultaneously fast-paced and thoughtful, Mouth to God’s Ear takes us straight into Godfrey’s (God’s) grim world, where his rampant narcissism and wild need “to feel the world” will undo him, although Grosso’s sharp prose keeps the trip glittering. A frightening book, not least of all for the glimpse we must see of ourselves." Kate Northrop, author of Clean and Things Are Disappearing Here
An Excerpt from Mouth To God's Ear

“So,” his father said, “This guy, this Turkish contact, it’s funny you chose to call him Ernest Hemingway instead of telling me his real name. You know that Gertrude Stein, the lesbian author and poet  in Paris, she was friends with Hemingway. And she said that despite all of Hemingway’s bravado, all of his experiences in war and hunting big game in Africa, and seeing the darkest shades of life, she said Ernest Hemingway was the most scared person she ever met. Deep down, below the macho surface, he was scared to death… of life.”

“Yeah,” Godfrey answered, intentionally sounding bored. “So I’ve been told. Your point?”

“My point is that, ultimately, Hemingway committed suicide. He blew his own head off. He only did the macho shit and then exaggerated it in his writing because he was petrified of everyday life. Scared to death of living in the world like a normal fucking person, which takes bigger balls than going off to exotic places to do exotic shit.”

“Leave it to the English professor to dismantle a code name I randomly gave to someone to cover his real name. Fine, call him Eisenhower, if that makes it easier. Or, you know what, call the motherfucker Gertrude Stein. She was a butch hack of a writer anyway.” Godfrey didn’t actually believe she was a hack, but his coals were stoked and the fire was flaming.  

“No,” his father said, waving a finger in the air. “You said Hemingway. There is significance there.”

“Maybe Hemingway was scared of dying without ever really living?” This made more sense to Godfrey, and it seemed like a logical argument. “Maybe he didn’t want to face the grave without seeing all that life really was, ugliness and all. Not just the neat, nicely packaged existence we call life.” 

Thomas Thorn almost laughed. “Leave it to the goddamn hospice counselor to mention death as an accumulation of life? Maybe that’s your problem. You’ve spent what—three years now—working  for a damn hospice service. And what do you do? Go into dying people’s homes and counsel them about death and life and all the shit that normal people try not to think about. Then when they die, you counsel the grieving families. I always thought that was a weird career choice. And what the fuck is a 33 year old man doing counseling people about death? What do you know about it? What does anybody know about it?!” Thomas Thorn scoffed and huffed. “A weird career, that is your problem.”

“Hey, I enjoyed my career. That isn’t—wasn’t—the problem.”

“No, that is the problem,” Thomas Thorn said, his voice rising, causing curious eyes to dart to their table. “You’ve been spending all your time working with people who are dying instead of people who are living. Getting a masters degree in bereavement counseling and other such nonsense. No wonder your mind is all fucking confused. All you see is death, everyday. I work with the young. Fresh young college students, full of energy, vitality and life.”

Now it was Godfrey’s turn to chuckle. “Wait, let’s clarify. If we’re going to be honest, then let’s be fucking honest. You mean fresh young girls,” Godfrey said, pulling out the word long and slow. “Girls who are eager to fuck the all-wise daddy-figure professor.”

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