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Does Novel “As God Commands” Stereotype Social Workers?

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Books often get turned into movies. For instance “Precious,” the much-talked-about  film that features singer Mariah Carey’s as a  social worker, is based on the book “Push” by Sapphire.

Social workers should also pay attention to “As God Commands,” an Italian novel by best-selling author Niccolo Ammaniti. Like “Push,” the book features a social worker.

The novel sold well in Europe and an English version is now available. But from what we read the book may warrant a jeer. The novel’s social worker Beppe Trecca apparently follows the stereotype that social workers come to break up homes and can be easily fooled.

 “As God Commands” is about Rino Zena, an unemployed, alcoholic skinhead raising 13-year-old son Cristiano. Zeno and Cristiano go to great lengths to convince Trecca their household is not dysfunctional, rushing to clean house and bake bread before visits.

Check out the book and let us know what you think. If we’re wrong we’ll move this entry from a Jeer to a Cheer.

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