Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: Line By Lion Publications; First edition (July 6, 2016)
BOOK BLURB: Jesus returns to earth.
After meeting activist Magdalene who is fighting for a better world, he becomes embroiled in three problematic situations.
He meets an extremist ecological group, which is plotting to destroy a maize plantation it believes to be genetically modified. Then, he observes the rise up against a tourist development that is to be built in a forest reserve. Finally, he witnesses an armed conflict between blacks and gypsies.
Along this journey, he meets a series of characters: the ecologists already mentioned, a priest who forces him to take confession, a corrupt local politician, unscrupulous contractors, a police commander forced to play Pilate, the inhabitants of run-down neighbourhood, a wizard who solves all the problems, and a black boy and a gypsy girl in love (Romy and Julian).
However, although he limits himself to accompanying Magdalene attempting only to pacify those on bad terms, even then Jesus is unable to escape the fury of mankind.
REVIEW: Some Christians might take offense at the humanization of Jesus, but that is one of the aspects of the book I liked best. A God who is far removed from us, living somewhere in a place we have never seen, is so hard to relate to. But a God who we can sit down with and have coffee is so easy to talk to.
The focus of the book Is on environmental issues and other social problems that Jesus encounters after he teams up with Magdalene and her organization. The author doesn’t hold back on the specifics of some of the problems we face in today’s world, as evidenced in this quote from the first part of the book. Magdalene and the members of the environmentalist group, Green are the Fields, are entering a farm where genetically modified corn is being grown. In the description of the corn that looks much different from what is grown naturally with normal fertilizers and water and the sun’s rays. Magdalene says, “The sap of capitalism was flowing through those plants: greed, deception, toxicity.”
It’s quite interesting to meet Jesus in the 21st century, and the story is most engaging when there are actual scenes with Jesus talking with Magdalene and the others. Some of the in between narrative that is very detailed about the environmental problems, of which we are all aware, do tend to go on a little too long, but the story is always saved when we go back to actual scenes where people are talking and acting. That’s where the reader can most relate to the characters and what they say and do.
It is evident that a great deal of research went into this book, and the reader can learn a great deal about the genetically modified foods as well as the circumstances that fuel bigotry and racism. In that sense the book can be read almost as a textbook that is blended into a novel.
The book is written as a satire, and there is plenty of humor to soften the hard edge of the messages of what is wrong in our society. So I would recommend the book to people who like a good satire.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
João Cerqueira has a PhD in History of Art from the University of Oporto. He is the author of eight books. Blame it on to much freedom, The Tragedy of Fidel Castro, Devil’s Observations, Maria Pia: Queen and Woman, José de Guimarães (published in China by the Today Art Museum), José de Guimarães: Public Art.
You can see information about all of his books on his AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE