My Brother the Messiah (Martin Vopenka)
28 July 2021
It’s 2096. A drought-stricken Europe needs rain. What it gets is a messiah. Eli is born in a suburb of Prague. A rainstorm heralds Eli’s birth. He dies young. Was he for real?
Eli’s brother Marek is now old. He works at spreading his brother’s teachings. When a young woman joins Marek’s community she startles him with the joys of the body. But what’s the worth of human love when the world is collapsing?
Sinclair Manson (9 August 2021 21:27)
A slow, thoughtful examination of faith and of how religion crystallises around the faithful, and a book that offers more ambiguities than answers. Personally I didn't find Marek particularly interesting or Eli particularly inspiring. Modern technology may threaten our existence but as someone very short sighted, amongst other things, I can't work up much enthusiasm for returning to a pre-industrial Eden. Eli repeatedly expresses his powerlessness against his fate. Indeed, his only real power seems to be his consciousness of the course he must inevitably follow. Marek seems just as powerlessness, a willing slave to his brother from the latter's birth, the hapless father of the second messiah to come. Is horror not the most appropriate response to these characters?