Saint Wally

by Courtney Taylor

Verdict: Saint Wally, unfortunately, misses the mark. Whatever points Taylor means to make get lost in the disjointed and sometimes rambling storyline.

IR Rating



IR Rating

After a man commits suicide, he teams up with a cast of familiar characters to save God and all of Creation.

Following Walter Matthews’ terminal illness diagnosis, he commits suicide to save his family and friends from having to deal with his eventual decline. While standing at the Pearly Gates waiting for Saint Peter—who’s more interested in watering his too-dry pot plant—to process him, Walter witnesses a theft. Not just any theft, a theft of Saints aka Surplus Morality. Saint Peter drags Walter off to see God and tell Him what he saw. After God heads off to track down the missing Saints, he’s kidnapped by none other than Lucifer, bolstered by his minions, L. Ron Hubbard and Osama bin Laden. With God out of the picture, it falls to the VP of Creation—Jesus H. Christ—to track down God and the missing Saints, thereby saving all of Creation, with the help of Walter and other recognizable characters.

Like a number of books before it, including Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, Courtney Taylor’s SAINT WALLY intends to be not only social commentary, but a satirical and ironic look at religion and the role it plays for the human race.

Unlike its predecessors, SAINT WALLY, unfortunately, misses the mark. Whatever points Taylor means to make get lost in the disjointed and sometimes rambling storyline. The good-natured jabs are pulled from religious clichés—not unheard of, nor unexpected—but they never move beyond the commonplace. For example, when Saint Peter and Wally head up to God’s office following the theft Wally witnessed, God calls out before they even knock, “Come in! Unless you’re a Jehovah’s Witness!” Certainly a relatable thought, but there’s no new spin on the old joke, thereby lessening any impact it might have. Taylor also brings in some polarizing characters—Hitler and Osama bin Laden, to name a few—but their point-making potential is never fully realized. After a tense scene with a group of characters, including Saint Peter, Jesus, Walter, and Hitler, in God’s office poring over the Book of Life for information concerning a horse connected to Lucifer, the wrap-up narrative states: “Nobody knew what to say—least of all Hitler, who wanted to crack a mood-lightening joke but couldn’t think of one that wasn’t inappropriate.” It’s strange to let an opportunity pass for an inappropriate joke given that the entire premise of SAINT WALLY could be seen as inappropriate, not to mention using Hitler on the side of the good guys.

With deliberate examination and re-working, SAINT WALLY could be a book that offers strong and pointed commentary.


2 replies
  1. avatar
    C. Felix says:

    This review couldn’t be further from the truth… I read this book while it was on amazon and it had me in stitches from cover to cover. IF you have a sense of humour you’ll love Saint Wally.

  2. avatar
    Jacdan59 says:

    Oh Dear, I think the reviewer has missed the point of the book which was entertainment not deep philosophical discussion. Had the author developed all the points the reviewer thinks he should have, we the readers would have just considered it wasted space because the point was bleeding obvious – unless you have been living under a rock all your life. The book would have been far too predictable and less readable.

    Imagine if the writers of “The Life of Brian” had stopped the storyline to ‘explain’ a point they were making about the stupidity of blind faith or inconsistencies in religious beliefs.

    The reviewer wrote: “God calls out before they even knock, “Come in! Unless you’re a Jehovah’s Witness!” Certainly a relatable thought, but there’s no new spin on the old joke, thereby lessening any impact it might have.” Wanting more analysis from the author about a crack like that is superfluous. You may have well have critiqued the fact that God, the all knowing being, should not have needed to say “Come in! Unless you’re a Jehovah’s Witness!” because of course God would have known exactly who was at the door and why!

    The reviewer has suffered from over analysing what is simply a book of entertaining fiction with some unique ideas and some obvious philosophical points thrown in which we could all relate to without the author needing to state the obvious – which the reviewer thinks was needed.

    Having read the book I believe the author has created a unique and entertaining story idea which has melded a reasonable knowledge of Christianity and other religions and their key characters from the past who have been processed into the spiritual realm from the physical realm. Wally is just a normal person who decided to end his life early by suicide. He finds himself queued in a ‘Limbo’ line waiting to be processed at the Pearly Gates by St Peter or one of his many deputies.

    But an unexpected disaster stops the processing of new arrivals, and risks destroying all of creation in every dimension and echelon. God has been taken hostage by the Angel Lucifer and his cronies Ron L Hubbard, Osama Bin Ladin and ‘Clip’ another renegade angel. Lucifer has also got his hands on a Heavenly privileges card which provides special powers in the spirituality realm. How he managed to get the card from Jesus Christ the Vice President of Heaven and all creation is another story.

    Wally, who was at the front of the Limbo line about to be processed by St Peter is gang pressed into helping the group lead by Jesus Christ to figure out a way to find God, break him out and recover the stolen ‘Saints’ before all the realms start losing power and declining into immorality.

    The author, Courtney Taylor takes the reader through a fun adventure where key players Jesus, Wally, Saint Peter and Saint Paul of the patriarchs, managed the disasters being created because of the loss of power from Hell. Entire creation hangs in the balance. A philandering Ghandi does his bit to help, as did a reformed Adolf Hitler and Geoff son of Joseph, Jesus’ half-brother. But the Grim Reaper-Death an old flame of Jesus, also came through at a critical moment.

    With this book Courtney Taylor has a laugh at some of the Christian dogma reminiscent of Monty Python’s ‘The Life of Brian’ . But all this is played out in Heaven and is not about the life of Jesus on Earth. Taylor manages to make references to events readers will recognise if they have a basic knowledge of the bible’s content. The reader is also exposed to some Courtney Taylor style philosophy and theology, using references to Christianity and his own definition of what accounts for morality and immorality.

    We are taken on a ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ type journey through heaven and the different realms in order to find where the hostage was being kept and where Lucifer and his sidekicks Ron L Hubbard and Osama Bin Ladin were helping carry out his devious plans to take over heaven.

    Is Jesus H Christ able to save all of creation with the help of the Patriarchs and the ‘unprocessed Wally? Was this all just an elaborate test of Jesus by his loving father who is looking to get Jesus involved in taking on some creation responsibilities?

    The book is an enjoyable and extremely readable creation by Courtney Taylor and I would be delighted to see it turned into a movie.

    I would give the book 4 out of 5 stars and would highly recommend it as a fun read.
    Review by James Doogue


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