Hobe Sound, Florida, United States
NOVEL'S MAIN CHARACTER CRITICIZES RELIGIOUS ZEAL
The World Trade Center catastrophe, terrorism, and environmental calamities such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions have evoked fears about the end of the world and have sparked a religious frenzy. This is verified by a recent Gallup poll indicating that over 95 per cent of Americans believe in God and "at least sixty-eight per cent of (them) believe in the devil."
Author Gil Gaudia's skeptical views on religion, therefore, make his novel, "Outside, Looking In", provocative and timely. Gene Geminni, the protagonist, didn't believe in God or the devil, and in fact, he was convinced that most Americans were "God-obsessed". Like most nonbelievers, agnostics and atheists, Gene simply defined himself as not having found any logical or convincing reason to believe that God exists.
Soon after high school graduation, Gene is hired by a priest to solicit funds over the telephone for the church. He learns a lot about faith, hope and charity, as well as how to take a confession on the phone. Later in life, as a professor, when a surgeon begins to pray before performing a serious operation, Gene fires him in the hospital room.
"Outside, Looking In" raises compelling questions about religion that open-minded readers, no matter what their beliefs, will find stimulating. It shows how many others judge a person who has no theistic beliefs. Gene Geminni was ridiculed in childhood for asking the wrong questions, and as an adult, he continued to wrestle with the many unanswerable dilemmas posed by faith. "Outside, Looking In" follows Gene's involvement with believers throughout his life, as he remains puzzled and angered by hypocrisy--the enigma of professed beliefs that differ markedly from the behaviors of those who hold them.
Gene explores astronomy, epistemology and psychology as he sails, flies and drives through some exciting life-threatening adventures which friends and relatives of the author recognize as having actually happened to him.
In the novelís final crisis, Gene demonstrates a high degree of moral and ethical behavior despite his theistic and biblical inadequacies. He also encounters some curiously unethical believers.
Gene's creator (and clone), Gil Gaudia was born in the Bronx two weeks before the Stock Market Crash of 1929, and has earned licenses to operate passenger-carrying sailing vessels and airplanes and to practice psychology. As a professor at the State University of New York College at Fredonia for fifteen years he taught classes; published over a dozen articles on topics in psychology; worked with Native American educators on the Seneca and Onondaga Reservations; directed the college's planetarium; and was a fellow at the Albert Ellis Institute in Manhattan. He also learned (as did Gene) that many people don't like someone who has no religion.
Interests: Secularism, skepticism, astronomy, psychology
Published writer: Yes