The Shadow Doctor – or is it Adrian Plass himself, in his inimitable way? – tantalises his characters – especially Jack – as well as his readers by frequently leaving us in suspense as he delves off onto some implausible sidetrack, which later turns out to be of some devious relevance. The trick works. It’s hard to put this book down at the end of a chapter.
Jack has his list of questions. So do we. A few of them get answered.
Silvanus is a young lad intent on becoming a man. When his God Aquila smiles on him, Silvanus finds a cave of precious gems. His dreams of buying a boat and fleeing his island home are that much closer!
Instead, a series of events lead Silvanus to the bizarre old hermit, Cerbonius. His uncanny wisdom causes Silvanus to question everything he knows about the world, and he discovers his ambitions are far too small.
Listen to the moment when Silvanus and Virna meet old Cerbonius and his two friends, Dela and Runel, from chapter 9 “Sage and Time” – read by the author, Vince Rockston!
The audio book is free with your Audible account, or you can buy it from Amazon UK or Amazon US.
Another charming bit of rather harmless fun through the eyes of Mma Ramotswe, written in McCall Smith’s unique voice. The somewhat moralistic tone seems appropriate in the portrayed culture.
The menfolk come off with a few scars, but that’s OK.
“Can we go to the adventure park?”
My son had just arrived with his children, as they had no school that afternoon. I had offered to do something special with them. Carl’s suggestion was no surprise; he loved climbing. And Sheila loved whatever Carl did.
“Let’s first have lunch,” I said. That might give me time to consider…
Winter 1959 in Jerusalem. Dem jungen Schmuel Asch gehts nicht gut. Seine Freundin hat ihn verlassen und sein Vater kann sein Studium nicht weiter finanzieren. Und doch wäre seine Diplomarbeit über Jesus aus Sicht der Juden von grosser Bedeutung. Seine These, Judas Ischariot sei keineswegs ein Verräter gewesen sondern im Gegenteil der treueste Verehrer von Jesus – eigentlich der erste und letzte echter Christ – wäre ja revolutionär. Aber Schmuel ist verzweifelt. Er verliert sein Ziel aus den Augen und hat keine Kraft, weiter zu kämpfen. Somit wirkt er vor allem als Antiheld.
If you’re after the sort of flippant humour you might have come to expect from Adrian Plass, then The Shadow Doctor might disappoint you. But I doubt it. You’ll be surprised – and a little confused – by the Doctor’s mysterious encounters and baffling remarks, but you’ll gradually come to realise he has an unusual and uncanny depth of perception, and a disquieting way of exposing shaky beliefs and practices.
I recently attended a lecture (in German) by Hans-Ruedi Stadelmann, a retired astrophysicist cum theologian, on the subject of ‘A contemporary image of God?’
If you want the salutary facts – necessarily subjective but certainly typical – about what a refugee family experiences after arriving in Europe from a vastly different geographic and cultural background, this will fill you in.
I don’t know if I ever met my illustrious and rather enigmatic great uncle Stanley Le Rossignol. My mother often spoke of him and it was from him I inherited a collection of antique reference books, biographies, novels and religious texts dating back at least to 1859. Some show signs of appreciation and frequent use, others are very beautiful and in excellent condition.
Uncle Stan wrote some of them himself, e.g. Notes on Banking and Political Events in Jersey and Historical Notes about the Le Rossignol Family in Jersey.
Although this is a continuation of the complex relationships we have discovered in the earlier books of the series, it is a valid standalone story in its own right.