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Neil Griffiths’ new novel was so “unsellable” his agent quit—was it worth it?

As a God Might Be is a real one-off and, whatever its flaws, we should be grateful to its author

By Chris Moss  

Part way through this 600-page novel a chapter opens with the line: “Earlier in the day Rebecca had handed McCullough a copy of The Brothers Karamazov from the bottom of her rucksack.” For much of As a God Might Be, you get the feeling that the author, Neil Griffiths—much praised for his two previous novels, Betrayal in Naples and Saving Caravaggio—is lugging Dostoevsky’s Christian existentialist classic in his own backpack.

A hitherto not-very-religious middle-aged man, Proctor McCullough, successful in his career, happy with his partner and a devoted father to young twins,…

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