THE SECOND GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD by Gorman Bechard (Citadel Press: $17.95, cloth; 413 pp.). The world is going to pot, and once again God is sending His child to help, only this time it is His daughter, Ilona Ann Coggswater. Intensely beautiful and brilliant, Ilona endures the resulting media barrage including lengthy books by everyone who had even a moment's contact with her, and an appearance on The David Letterman Show. But saving the world can be a mighty difficult task, even with a very simple message this time around ("Be kind"). Author Bechard does get carried away by the possibility of such a forum for his personal (liberal) politics. Consequently, this may be off-putting to those who don't share his sympathies. But this is a very, very funny book. That, and its ultimate message of hope and compassion, easily compensate.

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