Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?
A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis
Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.
Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.
Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart? The brilliant professor from Bethel University? Or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?
Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.
Monday, September 20, 2010
How can that be? you may ask. Well, I understand that a lot of people read Catcher because they were required to do so as a school assignment. For some reason, that didn't happen to me. Or if it did, somehow I dodged the assignment. As a teenager, I had my own angst to worry about, and I never cared to read about anyone else's. To this day, I haven't had any interest in reading Catcher in the Rye.
And I even have a family connection to that book. My aunt-in-law, (is that a legitimate term?) who is 92 years old and still healthy, bless her heart, both mentally and physically, is the person who edited that book. It's true. She and a team of editors considered the book for publication, and she was on the side who recommended publishing the book. Yes, there were those who opposed it. But my aunt-in-law and those who sided with her prevailed.
Still, I have no desire to read it. I really don't have any interest in reading about a teenager who questions his purpose in life. Now maybe I'm missing out. I have to believe I am. But still, I have no interest.
And Franzen, the celebrated author, writes about things of which I don't care to read. But a lot of other people seem to.
So what do I care to read? Action stories that involve great heroes - men, or women who take on great odds for great reasons, and reach deep inside themselves to great accomplishment. I remember when I was a kid, I read about George Armstrong Custer, I loved that book, and I loved Custer's story. I think I read that book three times. Yeah, he lost his last battle, but talk about going up against the odds. He had something like a hundred or two soldiers fighting over three thousand Indians.
OK, so it wasn't like Leonidas and his 300 Spartans fighting a half a million Persians. But it was still a great story. I also enjoyed reading Edgar Rice Burroughs and his many stories of great heroes. I enjoyed all of the Robert E. Howard stories, about which I have written recently. H. G. Wells and Ray Bradbury's science fiction stories were fun. These are stories about great heroes who fight evil and overcome great odds.
This is why I write about great heroes. Trent Smith would qualify. And what about THE VASE? Well, that book is kind of like an off the wall story. It's about a vase maker and his vase. Is he a great hero? Not really. But the story is great. At least I think so. More about that later.