THE JOURNEY OF THE ELDEST SON by J.G. Fyson

THE JOURNEY OF THE ELDEST SON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Three Brothers of Ur (906, J-296) wound their way through the streets of the ancient Sumerian city and into a web of intrigue and adventure, culminating in an affront to the household god; now Shamashazir, the eldest son, fearing that he lacks divine protection, sets out on a trading journey unsure of his fate. In the mountains he meets the tribe of Enoch, a small, proud remnant of an ancient people who worship one god, the Lord of all the Earth; to them Shamashazir despite his wealth and knowledge of new things, is a heathen. As he comes to understand their beliefs, he rejects ritual offerings and obeisance to idols; as they learn his heritage from his retelling of the story of Noah, they trace his lineage back to their ancestors, and welcome him to the tribe as kin. The Biblical parallel is developed further in the story of Moab of Kenan, whose two sons are rescued by Shamashazir, and Enoch son of Enoch, from sacrifice to the corn god, in the book's long central episode; he, too, renounces idol worship to serve the Great Spirit. This fictional reconstruction and extension of events in Genesis succeeds in objectifying spiritual subtleties and in recreating a remote setting, but it falls flat in the middle as a fiction; only at the beginning and at the very end is the impetus and the interplay of individuals sufficient to sustain interest.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Coward-McCann