By Malise Ruthven
Tauris Parke Paperbacks, $18.00, 336 pages
Based on exhaustive research, The Divine Supermarket has nothing to do with the food markets we visit regularly. It’s all about religion. Author Malise Ruthven has traveled extensively throughout America in his 16-foot elderly camper, starting at the Pilgrim’s Trail at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and traveling west with side trips south and north. This book is part travelogue, part philosophy, and part early history of the area he travels through, with plenty of politics but even more religion, the central focus. No matter where he travels, religion of the region and people’s beliefs remain the focus. Many, many religious quotes, both short and long, from the Bible, the Book of Mormon and several other religious texts are woven throughout this book, as well as many familiar biblical stories.
This book is not an easy read. Ruthven is not a particularly good writer; the text is heavy and so are his wordings. Those interested in religion throughout America, however, will enjoy his travelogue. You’d better have a good atlas ready to follow his travels, though – the author often forgets to mention where he is; he names towns, but often it’s your guess what state he is in.
Reviewed by George Erdosh