ORIGINS AND SUFFERING by Jim  Szana

ORIGINS AND SUFFERING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A writer offers a personal view of the Creation story.

Dentist and debut author Szana shares tales from his life while retelling the Judeo-Christian Creation story. But he begins with a view of heaven, describing a cosmology that at points will be unfamiliar and even challenging to readers. In Szana’s vision of the original heaven, an unseen, all-powerful God is represented to the angels by two ultimate beings, Michael and Lucifer, described as co-regents. The character of Michael, in relation to the unseen God, is not clear. He is depicted as “the physical manifestation of the Creator-God,” as Lucifer’s creator, and as “the active agent used by the Father to create.” After portraying Lucifer’s growing pride and eventual fall from grace—and the angelic rebellion that followed—the author writes: “At the appropriate time, Michael announced that a new and different type of creation was about to commence. This new creation would take place in a dimension that would allow the accuser, Satan, to have some access.” Then God, apparently with the assistance of Michael, effortlessly forms the known universe along the timeline of the widely known Genesis account. Here Szana begins his effective, wide-ranging use of life experiences to provide metaphors for the Creation, including such diverse things as the beauty of tulip fields, the thrill of snorkeling, and the joy of laughter. Eventually, he moves on to the flood story, deftly centering on Noah but apparently also drawing on other cultures’ narratives (asserting, for instance, that God brought to Earth the rings of Saturn, which provided water for the deluge). Again, Lucifer/Satan plays a major role, and the book ends with his persecution of Job and what that tale has to teach readers. Szana is a creative writer who takes license with theology and biblical authenticity but who skillfully places his own self squarely into the narrative in order to personalize his work.

A singular and heartfelt retelling of the beginnings of time.

Pub Date: June 7th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-973659-38-9
Page count: 198pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2019




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