A potentially controversial reimagining of history and religion.

READ REVIEW

CRISTO BY CRISTO

Religion, history and autobiography intertwine in Anonymous’ (Holy Ghost, 2009, etc.) latest novel.

This book’s central premise mixes fact with fiction, and Eastern spirituality with Western religious tradition, in an intriguing retelling of historical events. The story centers on the mysterious figure of Cristo, whose journey spans three separate lifetimes across multiple centuries. Readers first see him as a wayward youth living in the ancient Middle East, after having spurned his family and faith in search of a higher spiritual purpose. His travels bring him to India, where he first practices Hinduism and later experiences a profound vision while reflecting on a statue of Siddhartha. Inspired by his vision, he returns to his home, dedicated to creating a new religion, and becomes the figure known as Jesus Christ. Following his crucifixion, Cristo is reborn as Christopher Columbus and trades his spiritual ambitions for those of wealth and power in the New World. The semiautobiographical final passages place a version of the author in the role of Cristo, with his novels precipitating a worldwide revolution. The book reinterprets the characters of Christ and Columbus as complicated, ambitious figures, in ways that stray from traditional depictions. This unorthodoxy also shows in the author’s narrative style, which eschews dialogue and traditional structure, allowing him to ruminate at length on the novel’s recurring themes. These passages offer some evocative language (“It seems that history in the Bible and in the textbooks crowned the glory of the lord with the black powder and sharp saber”), but also confuse the narrative, and often read like conspiracy theories. References to the New World Order, the 9/11 attacks, and “how twenty million people could control the world’s banking with usury and control the media world” may offend readers as much as they confuse them, and make the novel’s second half difficult to reconcile with the first.

A potentially controversial reimagining of history and religion.

Pub Date: April 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-1628579772

Page Count: 218

Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency, LLC

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

Did you like this book?

Cheerfully engaging.

WHAT ALICE FORGOT

From Australian Moriarty (The Last Anniversary, 2006, etc.), domestic escapism about a woman whose temporary amnesia makes her re-examine what really matters to her.

Alice wakes from what she thinks is a dream, assuming she is a recently married 29-year-old expecting her first child. Actually she is 39, the mother of three and in the middle of an acrimonious custody battle with her soon-to-be ex-husband Nick. She’s fallen off her exercise bike, and the resulting bump on her head has not only erased her memory of the last 10 years but has also taken her psychologically back to a younger, more easygoing self at odds with the woman she gathers she has become. While Alice-at-29 is loving and playful if lacking ambition or self-confidence, Alice-at-39 is a highly efficient if too tightly wound supermom. She is also thin and rich since Nick now heads the company where she remembers him struggling in an entry-level position. Alice-at-29 cannot conceive that she and Nick would no longer be rapturously in love or that she and her adored older sister Elisabeth could be estranged, and she is shocked that her shy mother has married Nick’s bumptious father and taken up salsa dancing. She neither remembers nor recognizes her three children, each given a distinct if slightly too cute personality. Nor does she know what to make of the perfectly nice boyfriend Alice-at-39 has acquired. As memory gradually returns, Alice-at-29 initially misinterprets the scattered images and flashes of emotion, especially those concerning Gina, a woman who evidently caused the rift with Nick. Alice-at-29 assumes Gina was Nick’s mistress, only to discover that Gina was her best friend. Gina died in a freak car accident and in her honor, Alice-at-39 has organized mothers from the kids’ school to bake the largest lemon meringue pie on record. But Alice-at-29 senses that Gina may not have been a completely positive influence. Moriarty handles the two Alice consciousnesses with finesse and also delves into infertility issues through Elizabeth’s diary.

Cheerfully engaging.

Pub Date: June 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-15718-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Amy Einhorn/Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more