A bag full of money falls out of the sky (actually off a train) and to the feet of Damian, the 4th grade narrator. He believes the money is a gift from God and brings it home to show his older brother Anthony. Damian wants to give the money to the poor while Anthony wants to buy prime real estate. The book follows the plight of the brothers as they try to hide the money as they figure out exactly what they should do with it. The book is thought provoking, and paints a pretty good picture of what kind of problems greed can breed.
As I read the first few chapters of the book I thought it was great, and then things took an unexpected turn for the worst. Damian sees visions of saints, and his own dead mother, but it is never clear if these hallucinations are real or just imagined. During one of these revelations, a cussing St. Peter explains to Damian that the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 was not an actual miracle of Christ, but was that one boy’s willingness to share his few fish and loaves inspired everyone to share the food they just happened to be hiding.
The story may be clever, but the tone is irreverent. The book reminded me of the bad jokes we’ve all heard where St. Peter greets various people at the pearly gates – just like those jokes, Christians will find this book offensive.
Millions was made into a feature film in 2004.