The newly published fiction novel The Prophet's Scribe by Osman Kartal is a unique hybrid of a detective story, history, fiction and myth in one story. The author himself is identified as "a Caucasion scholar who divides his time between Instanbul, London and New York". Perhaps these credentials add to the scholarly and worldly reputation of the author. Under the umbrella of "historical" fiction, the author presents to the reader, the embellished life of the historical figure, Mohammed. (At least I hope its embellished, because it would otherwise be highly improbable that an entire religious movement is based on such an explicit individual.) This is a complex work of fiction and myth that combines some authentic historical details with religious myth. Opinion is purported as fact, for example on page 55, the author asserts, "Sergio quickly appreciated that Church and state were, in fact, instruments of government for the benefit of kings and emperors. God was a convenient second". This is just one of many opinions that the author cleverly inserts to persuade the reader. This eccentric writer presents his conspiracy theories of hidden gospels- specifically, the so called lost gospel of Jesus. This of course seems to be a common theme these days to discredit organized religion in general and more specifically, Christianity. In fact, the same readers that actually believed Dan Brown's intricate tales of church intrigue and conspiracy theories in the fictional novel, The Davinci Code, may be the very same gullible readers who may believe that Osman Kartal's stories and theories, are in fact real. This detailed writing and insertion of historical figures and geographic places may make this work seem almost plausible to many readers.
The credibility of this story is greatly obscured with the inclusion of extraneous and explicit details and scenes. Totally unneccesary, these scenes were most likely inserted for shock value and "entertainment" purposes. The vivid depiction of x-rated scenes and beastial, senseless violence make this work entirely unsuitable for general readership and undermine its purpose. I cannot help but feel this is a misuse of the author's talent and reduces the nature of his work. I felt that my conscious was tainted, simply by reading this book. Perhaps Kartal was influenced by the works of Ann Rice and VC Andrews.
fans will enjoy the vivid depictions of the sites, sounds and smells in
the mid-evil historical time periods and the various cultures presented. That is if, one can actually overlook the explicit x rated scenes. Food, clothing, buildings and other historical
details are authentically described. The book challenges commonly held stereotypes of ancient society. And at times the book dismisses horrific inhumane cultural practices. Authority and enlightenment are claimed to be found in the most unexpected and remote
of places, years in the past. In fact the author at times, attempts to rewrite history, and adds embelishments. At minimum, the reader will be enlightened with the interesting origins of the concept of "allah" as well as the shocking details of Islam's most known figures. Many readers will be left confused and unsure what to actually believe.
The classic battle between good and
evil is integrated into the story- whereas the lurking danger of an antagonistic presence is always there trying to obstruct destiny and truth. This book is an interesting attempt at the popular ecumenical movement- perhaps an attempt to bridge together the major feuding religions. The
pseudo-historical ideas and historical-like
scenes make the story seem almost plausible. I
received a free copy of this book for review from the author and the ideas
expressed are my own.