Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

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.



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Show Turn-set during the American Revolution

I've been watching the show called Turn, which focuses on spies during the American Revolution. If it were a book it would be Historical Fiction, like my book John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. It has real historical characters like George Washington and Benedict Arnold in there, but it gives them a fictitious story line. For instance, we all know that Benedict Arnold became a traitor to America, joining the British, but this show is writing those events in a very much fictitious way.

I don't have a problem with that. But the show is also giving a fictitious story line to George Washington, making him near delusional and insecure as to how he goes about commanding the American troops. Is it the show's attempt to show Washington's human side? Not sure about that, but focusing on his weaknesses is not really entertaining stuff. Especially when those weaknesses are nothing more than the writer's imagination. Meaning, it's like the writer is asking, "Yeah George Washington was a great leader and all, but he was only human, so he must have had human weaknesses. So what might those weaknesses have been, and how can we portray them in this story?

The show's main character, someone named Abraham, is pretending to be an American Loyalist, but he's really a Patriot spy. He's a fictitious character, and so the bulk of the story line is fictitious, although it does have some real historical events taking place, to match the real history of the American Revolutionary War.

So it's kind of similar to my own Historical Fiction book, John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu in that it's based on real historical events, but they utilize a lot of fictitious events to make the story entertaining. But with John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu, I'd say the ratio of real events to fictitious ones is about 80:20, whereas the ratio of real historical events to fictitious ones in Turn are more like 20:80.

I've heard that truth is stranger than fiction, so imo, you don't really have to dilute the truth as much as they are in Turn. It doesn't matter in the long run as long as the writing is good. But in Turn, well, for me, it's taken a "turn" for the worse. This last episode, without giving any spoilers, was very unbelievable to me. My brother would call it "lazy" writing, and the reason I say that is that things are happening that just don't coincide with the way real people would behave. If you change the basic human nature, then the believability factor is compromised, and that's been happening with Turn. Especially in this last episode.

But I said the same thing about Vikings and Black Sails, and they turned out okay. Let's see how Turn turns out.

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