In a novel so weird that it almost redefines what “weird” means, 15 authors have teamed up together to write The Fifth Column. The book, a hodgepodge of contributions by Jonathan Franzen, Rick Moody, A.M. Homes, Randall Kenan, Jim Lewis, Susan Daitch, Matthew Stadler, Claire Messud, Dale Peck, Iva Pekarkova, David Foster Wallace, Carol Anshaw, Irvine Welsh, Gary Indiana and Neil Gordon, makes little sense, though a published excerpt in the Village Voice (which flagged the book on its cover by saying, Sex With The Pope!) removed all doubt about its sentiments toward Catholics.

In the piece by Gary Indiana, the Pope is described as performing oral sex on a woman. Neil Gordon completes the novel by having the Pope the killed.

The novel is one more testimony to the extent to which Catholicism is hated by some of our cultural elite gurus. That it took 15 persons to craft this trash is further testimony to the intellectual impoverishment of contemporary wannabee writers.

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