Thursday, January 24, 2008

REVIEW: 'The Book of Lilith' by Robert G. Brown

Title: The Book of Lilith
Author: Robert G. Brown
Price: 14.49
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Religious
ISBN: 978-1430322450
Publisher: Lulu
Point of Sale: Amazon

A Tried and True rather interesting albeit dark sometimes comedic approach to the Myths of Creation...

Of course it all starts with an email. Why not! A mysterious email from a woman in a war-ravaged country, claiming she has discovered something that would change the face of archaeology and religion forever.

And here we get introduced to Lilith. God’s first creation of soul -- her duty, to give the world a soul. The story continues with the first person translation of the scrolls of Lilith – her birth, her life, and her death … not to mention all the wonderfully candid, glib, and amusing commentaries on her personal views of the world, god, and her own creation – oh, and Adam.

Even the footnotes in their almost sarcastic tone are funny as heck. We have heard numerous anecdotes: God is a kid with an ant farm. God is a mad scientist – look at the platypus. But God as a sushi chef? That was a new one for me. Bravo!

Some might consider this approach a parody, and it very well may be. Some may find the character of Lilith difficult to connect with, as she is written in a rather emotionless tone for most of the story, taking a more inquisitive and logic minded approach to her particular predicaments. But maybe this sense of detachment is deliberate, for Lilith is a child, bombarded all at once with the knowledge of everything, given the monumental responsibility of imbuing the world with a soul – I imagine it might be quite difficult to process one’s emotions when even your own emotions are new to you. In my mind, Lilith came off as almost a warrior – task oriented – bound by her duty – suffering is something to get past and overcome instead of dwelling upon it. But even a warrior can break down from time to time, and in certain scenes, we can see and feel Lilith as she struggles with feelings of pride, remorse, and regret during her various triumphs and defeats.

To liven things up a bit, since much of the story is quite serious, there are more than a few really quirky moments: Lilith and God have a sublime mastery of common modern day slang and cheeky discourse, falling miles away from the language styles we are familiar with when it comes to biblical text – just the mention of buttered popcorn had me giggling -- the frank exploration of Lilith as a true sexual being and all the sordid implications of that, and the inferences to time and space continuums and parallel dimensions might a bit disconcerting for some readers – that Lilith has the thoughts of ten billion women in her mind, women that don’t actually exist yet according to most biblical theories, making Eden an isolated oasis existing as almost a parallel universe in itself. So, even though the book is written as a pseudo-scientific approximation of an archaeological/theological translation, one really shouldn’t go into the book with the notion that it will adhere to the basic physics of what most believe as the reality of creation.

However, the author here has made some very valid points regarding the archaeological and theological studies of religion as a whole – not just the bible. And how thousands of years of research, opinions, and conjecture have formed a startling number of different viewpoints with regards to the existence, not only of man, women, and all the peculiar machinations of societal dogma regarding that relationship, but also of everything really.

I loved it, and the author’s approach to the story not only made me giggle a bit, but it also made me ponder and appreciate what it means to be a woman – a candid and tough woman, struggling in the world of men. The tone of the writing is emotionally detached for the most part, but how many times have we stepped back away from our own emotions in order to look at our situation clearly or even in a state of denial attempted to make light of our pain so that we might feel it lessened. Whatever the author’s intent, overt feminism or prodding flippancy, I came away with a new vision of Lilith and many new points to ponder over the origins of the Soul and necessity of Suffering.


Reviewed by Cheryl: Cheryl Anne Gardner is a retired writer of dark, often disturbing, literary novellas with romantic/erotic undertones. She is an avid reader and an independent reviewer with Podpeople blogspot and Amazon where she blogs regularly on AmazonConnect. She is an advocate for independent film, music, and books, and when at all possible, prefers to read and review out of the mainstream Indie published works, foreign translations, and a bit of philosophy. She lives with her husband and two ferrets on the East Coast, USA.


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