“Thomas is the researcher, and his subjects are three homeless men, all of whom claim to be messiahs—but no three people can be the one and only saviour of the world. Thomas is determined to “cure” the three men of their delusions, and in so doing save his career—and maybe even his love life. But when Thomas’s father intervenes in the experiment, events spin out of control, and Thomas must confront the voices he hears in the labyrinth of his own mind.” -Goodreads
The Novel starts with a short story about a woman that has an outer body experience and is brought back to life. For me this short story as a reader establishes many questions. One question is “Is there a God and afterlife?”
“…there will always be an unanswerable question at the core of everything; there will always be a shoe on the roof.” -Pg 283
Thomas Rosanoff is the main character in this Novel. His father raised him in a one way glass confinement for a psychology study. He is known as “The Boy in the Box” to many and this hinders his life. “In this second year of med school, Thomas has altered his identity, dropping his father’s surname, adopting his mother’s instead.”-pg41 In many ways I found this to be so sad and I questioned the father’s parenting skills which lacks considerably. Thomas’s mother passed away when he was younger and he searches for a memory just to feel her close again. He hears a tune in his mind but does this music connect to his mother? Time only tells. The story is simple yet complicated and layered.
Thomas doesn’t attend his classes. He no longer wants to be a doctor. He is in a relationship that doesn’t turn out and he tries to make it better. He begs his professor for a new date on his Thesis which involves three men that believe they are GOD. Thomas feels he can cure them. One of the men is his ex girlfriends brother. So he hopes to make him better and in return get her back. Each character is very well developed and I really found the “Magician” very wise.
There are some scenes that really stand out for me. Like the three Messiah characters in the Kitchen. I can’t stop laughing about how funny this would be on stage. The Magician Challenges Thomas in this book and he reminds me of the “Trickster Character” or the “Joker” in a Shakespeare Play. Wise and funny. I really like how there is a bond between the men. Like a feeling of understanding each other and a calmness when they are together. The Kitchen scene like I said before really made me laugh and I like how the “Ginsu Knife” is brought back at the end of the novel. Smart and funny!
The novel has a lot of psychological and medical terminology but not too heavy just enough to make the reader understand and also at times make the reader question “is there a God or is it just all behaviour and science?” As you can tell this book made me question many things. There are funny parts and dark parts of this story. A lot of sensitive parts as well. The novel is put together brilliantly and I really enjoyed how identity is analyzed and questioned.
I like that there isn’t’ too many characters and how well developed they are. I also like the names chosen for each character. Very biblical names like Eli and Sebastian. For example: “Eli” is a biblical figure and a Hebrew name. “In Hebrew the meaning of the name Eli is: High, ascended, or ‘my God’. Famous bearer: The Old Testament priest Eli cared for the prophet Samuel when Samuel was a child.”
I find the relationship between Thomas and his father really sad. There are many moments of identity crisis in the novel and one that stands out most is Thomas. He grew up as a study subject which I find upsetting. Thomas revisits his old bedroom he has flashbacks of when he was little. He would come up to the glass and look at it. His father would write down: “Possible narcissistic tendencies?” But Thomas wasn’t looking at himself, he was looking through himself, or trying to. He though he could see movement on the other side of the mirror. Was someone there? He still didn’t know how to answer to that.” Pg. 238
I highly recommend this book. It is funny and sad. It made me think and question a lot. It surprised me and it also had a really hopeful ending.
I give this book a 5/5 Stars!
Lines & Pages I really love
“His apartment was about to get crowded with Christs” pg. 120
“So…Eli. How did you, um, get out of your restraints?” pg. 123
“Ever seen a Ginsu Knife?” Pg. 123
“Do you know what Eli’s problem is?…No one cares about him. Only God…And if you remove that?” Pg. 191
The only thing I didn’t like is the grandfather because of his beliefs on Pg . 126
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for the lovely book. I love it!
*Courtesy of Simon & Schuster
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