What If I Were...? Book Two continues Edward Shafik's examination of some of the most powerful and influential people of our time. Nothing is sacred as Shafik takes on Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI. Here's a sample of what awaits you:

    Why does the sun never set on the British Empire?
    Because God won't trust Britain in the dark.

    “Lord Chancellor, did I deliver the Parliament speech well?” asked King George III.
          “Very well indeed, your majesty,” was the enthusiastic answer.
          “I’m glad of that,” replied the king, “for there was nothing in it.”

    The chauffer opened the car door for Prince Charles, opened an umbrella, and apologized. “It’s still raining, YRH."
          “Yes,” murmured Prince Charles. “But Mum cannot live forever.”

    The new pope was adamant against drinking. He said, “If I had all the beer in the world, I’d throw it in the river. If I had all the wine and whiskey in the world I’d also throw it the river.”
          He sat to thunderous applause. The song leader stood and announced, “Let us sing Hymn #666, 'Shall We All Gather at the River.'”

    In his visit to Jerusalem, the pope leaned his head on the Wailing Wall and prayed for a long time. A reporter asked him what he prayed for.
          “I prayed for world peace, the defeat of ISIS, and for understanding among Jews, Christians, and Buddhists.”
          Excited, the reporter asked, “Holy Father, how does that make you feel?”
          “Like I’m talking to a wall.”

    One day at Heaven’s Pearly Gates, St. Peter saw Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton walking up to the gates. St. Peter called God, “Lord, the Clintons are here, the Clintons are here, what I shall do?”
          God replied, “Just throw them in hell.”
          When St. Peter turned his head, he frantically called back, “God, God, they are gone! They are gone!”
          “Who, the Clintons?”
          “No, the Pearly Gates.”


What if I were...? Book Two

This second book of Edward Shafik's What if I were continues his fine style that injects humor into topics that are sadly lacking in perpective. The first part is about Queen Elizabeth II--not a biography but a satire narrative addressing the entire history of the British Empire, which once dominated one-quarter of our globe. Though much of that territory slipped away on her watch, she has remained one of the world's most recognized and beloved leaders. Thirteen prime ministers have served her, from Winston Churchill to Theresa May. Whatever party controlled Parliament, the queen was always above politics--but not scandal. Her children's divorces and dalliances have left many wondering if the monarchy will endure past her reign. One thing is for sure: we will probably never witness the rise of another queen to shine so bright in a dark sky full of such small stars. Long live the queen!

What If I were Pope Benedict XVI is the second half of the book, with more of Shafik’s unique writing style as he examines the former pope. While it may seem an odd choice to focus on a retired pope, the reasons become clear as Shafik takes a long view of the Catholic Church's shadowed history. The church has always clung to its power by creating non-Biblical amendments to its earthly mission. In the Middle Ages, for example, priests invented the false hope of Purgatory to make millions from selling indulgences. In the last fifty years, the church devoted its considerable resources to covering up child molestation by priests, leading to thousands of adults still racked by childhood trauma. Could the scandal have led Benedict to become the first pope in centuries to resign? You will have to decide, but this volume forces us to examine critically what is the true mission of the church as the body of Christ.


God wouldn't trust Britain in the dark! (5 stars)
At once provocative and hilarious, Edward invites us to view the Queen and Pope Benedict in a refreshing new light. It is a very fine accounting of the history of the British Empire and of the Papacy – obviously well researched and extremely informative. It is a healthy way to re-think our perceptions and join in the skills of dissection of platitudes Edward offers. Timely and worth reading!
Read the full review from GRADY HARP

Edward Shafik certainly has a great sense of humor (4 stars)
Shafik researches his subjects well, yet manages to inject humor and whimsy at every turn. This book takes on Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI, and fills the book with satire that is at once biting and non apologetic. A unique look at the history of the British Empire, as well as an in depth look at the papacy, Shafik has taken history to another level, making it accessible and informative, but yet conveyed in a funny manner. This book contains plenty of research and enough information to make it cohesive and enough humor to set it apart from the crowd. Highly recommend for a fun and informative novel approach to history.
Read the full review from V.E.

Key Words

Satire, Parody, Humor, Inspirational


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