Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Adam and Eve Review

Hours before his untimely—and highly suspicious—death, world-renowned astrophysicist Thom Bergmann shares his discovery of extraterrestrial life with his wife, Lucy. Feeling that the warring world is not ready to learn of—or accept—proof of life elsewhere in the universe, Thom entrusts Lucy with his computer flash drive, which holds the keys to his secret work.

Devastated by Thom’s death, Lucy keeps the secret, but Thom’s friend, anthropologist Pierre Saad contacts Lucy with an unusual and dangerous request about another sensitive matter. Pierre needs Lucy to help him smuggle a newly discovered artifact out of Egypt: an ancient codex concerning the human authorship of the Book of Genesis. Offering a reinterpretation of the creation story, the document is sure to threaten the literal foundation of all three major world religions . . . and there are those who will stop at nothing to suppress it.

Midway through the daring journey, Lucy’s small plane goes down between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East. The severely injured Lucy is rescued by Adam, a delusional American soldier whose search for both spiritual and carnal knowledge has led to madness. As Lucy heals, the bond between her and Adam grows. Ultimately, the pair forsake their half-mythical Eden and make their way back toward civilization—where members of an ultra-conservative religious cult are determined to deprive the world of the knowledge Lucy carries.

Set against the searing debate between evolutionists and creationists, Adam & Eve expands the definition of a “sacred book” and suggests that true madness lies in wars and violence fueled by all religious literalism and intolerance. A thriller, a romance, an adventure, and an idyll, Adam & Eve is a tour de force by a master contemporary storyteller.

My Take: I honestly haven't decided how I feel about this story.  It's an odd story with metaphors and much is left for interpretation.  Greek mythology is integrated throughout the book, as are biblical references, poetry of well known poets, and works of art by mostly impressionists - which is significant, I believe, because so much interpretation is left up to the viewer.

Adam has created his own little reality based on Genesis.  He's peaceful in this reality, as the world around provides for his needs.  He even asks for Woman, and Eve falls out of the sky.  Except her name is really Lucy, which is significant in a few ways (think of the earliest carbon dated remains).  Together they provide healing for one another within their Eden which, in many ways, duplicates Genesis' Eden.

The author introduces so many factors to the story that I found myself puzzled in some ways.  My Greek mythology is rusty so I think I would have understood more symbolism if I remembered the gods better.  Poetry is completely lost on me, so I missed the significance of that.  Gifted artists skip a generation so I am the artistically challenged.  Yet the author paints a beautiful landscape, introduces the characters and their circumstances carefully, provides a story that plays on the imagination, and educates the reader of possible alternate stories.

Ultimately, I came away with an intriguing read.  Truth is subjective and open for interpretation.

4 stars

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