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.
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.
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.
#ClimateStrike #Zürich Was that a nod from heaven that it rained … and rained in Zürich yesterday? It didn’t discourage 12,000 people – mainly school kids and young people, joining hundreds of thousands worldwide – to turn out and protest against the thoughtless pollution which is disrupting the world’s climate and provoking extreme weather conditions especially in developing nations, although they aren’t even the ones who are primarily responsible.
This is one of the best of Dickens’ works, in my opinion.
True, it starts off heavy and bleak, but Mr. Squeers and Dotheboys Hall do play a significant rôle throughout the book. If anything, the digression involving Mr. Crummles and his performing troupe could have been omitted without loss to the story.