The Footprints of God - Greg Iles

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I started this book on audio CD from the library that said "Value Copy". Apparently the value was in not recording the entire book. The CD set in no way said abridged but the first CD skipped chapters 4, 5 and 7. I was listening in the car and then tried to find my place in the book and was having a hard time so I sat in the car with the book and noticed it even skipped huge chunks within a chapter. So I turned those CDs back in and only read the book. I had the large print version so my page number references may be off from the traditional print.

The lady that picked this book told me she wanted to pick a suspense thriller and boy did she. The title is SO misleading. I thought it would start out with a religious theme but that didn't pick up until very late in the book. I thought it would be like a book I read years ago called "Cloning Christ" but it was not. What it was is intriguing, mind-blowing, suspense, action, futuristic, mystery and romance. Wow!

On a scale of 1 - 5:

Sex: 1

Religion: 4

Gruesome: 3

Suspense: 4

Morality: 4

Sex - a couple of times, not graphic

Religion - a character who doesn't believe in God begins having visions as if he is God or Jesus. This leads him to visit historical landmarks related to Jesus. Most of the religion is presented in a historical / scientific way.

Gruesome - there are some deaths in this book but they are handled rather cut and dry, sort of scientific

Suspense - pleasant and frequent

Morality - the book questions the integrity of many human decisions and inclinations

The basic premise is a very rich man (Peter Godin) had a technology idea ahead of his time and so he gathered a bunch of top notch scientists to work on his project. Unbeknownst to a lot of people, Godin had a sub-plan to the project. It winds up being a computer that can rule the world. Sometimes it was a little hard to wrap my brain around. Early in Chapter 5 (p. 83, LP) is a good explanation of Project Trinity. It reminded me of "The Imitation Game" and actually 28 pages later there was a direct reference to Alan Turing who is the man whom "The Imitation Game" is written about.

I thought I understood the premise of the computer but towards the end when the computer became a threat I couldn't grasp how that was possible. Finally in Chapter 39 there was a good explanation of why it was a threat.

In Chapter 14 there is a reference to "Atlas Shrugged". I've read about this novel before but I couldn't recall what I'd read so I had to go to Wikipedia. I almost wondered if "Atlas Shrugged" should be a prerequisite to reading this book. From the description it sounds like "The Footprints of God" would have wowed me even more if I had contemplated "Atlas Shrugged" first.

Another thing I liked about this novel was that dreams were an important part of the plot. I really appreciated that the dreams were told in first person. That is the recommended way to record or journal about dreams. I am someone who dreams vividly and believes that, for some people, dreams can contain important messages from God. The author seems to concur in the middle of Chapter 23:

For months they had progressed, like a persistent message being sent from a distant radio source. In the beginning, the incomprehensible images had troubled and even frightened me. But over time - and especially during the past three weeks - a conviction had begun to crystallize within me that something important was being communicated to me. (p. 328 LP)

The last 100 pages were full of some lofty ideals. It reminded me a lot of "The Celestine Prophecy".

Discussion Questions

All the scientists got a different affliction from the Super MRI. How did that impact the story? Did it seem scientifically logical to all be different?

Why do you think David began to dream through Jesus' eyes? Was he religious?

Prior to Chapter 39, what was your understanding of why the computer was a threat and why it couldn't be unplugged? (Ref. p. 528 LP: "...failed to grasp the essential reality of Trinity. The existence of a single Trinity computer has negated the old paradigms of national security. For man kind, there was no security.")

How plausible was Dr. Tennant's explanation of God and the Big Bang theory combined? (Ch. 38)

Share a time when you felt God gave you a direct mission.

In the beginning of Chapter 40 there is an italicized passage that ends with, "We knew that it was a new world, but even more we knew that novelty itself was a very old thing in human life, that all our ways are rooted in it." Do you agree?

Why could Peter Godin only fail in leaving humanity behind? (Ch. 40, p. 573 LP)

"[Peter Godin] believed the mind is merely the sum of the neural connections in our brains. Andrew fielding believed...the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." (p. 696 LP, Epilogue) Which do you believe?

Could a computer be the Biblically predicted anti-Christ?

Theme Ideas

Serve Israeli food in honor of David's trip to Israel and the knowledge he gained there.