I’m back, and I have an amazing book to review today.
Eli is about a reporter named Conrad who, after a car accident, finds himself in a world where Yeshua (Jesus) wasn’t born until the 60’s, and in spite of not being a Christian in his own world, he becomes one of that world’s apostles and follows “Eli” on his journeys across the US.
This book was written by the same author who wrote “The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle”, a children’s book series I loved growing up. One of my favorite parts about that series was the humor, and this story, while it doesn’t focus on it, still manages to have plenty of funny moments. Well, at least I found the idea of Conrad trying to be the messiah’s publicist when He keeps doing, and more importantly, saying things that go completely counter to the way the world works hysterical.
Even more important than the humor however, is the portrayal of Eli. I kept being blown away by how Myers retold all sorts of events from Yeshua’s life in a contemporary setting. For instance, much of the action in one of the chapters takes place during the miracle of the five loaves and two fish. At least, that’s what happened in our world. In that world, they were fed with something just as ordinary to people of the present as the fish and bread were to people in the past: two hamburgers and a side of fries. I won’t even get started on all the personal transformations Eli brings to those around him, but those are awesome as well.
There are only two things I would have liked to have been changed a bit. First, and this is rather optional, the other world was way too similar to our own. Now, I get it, Myers himself said in the preface that our world would be unrecognizable if Yeshua had never been born, but the presence of things like churches and Sunday worship was still a bit jarring to me. The bigger flaw however was Conrad’s selective memory of his home world. While he figures out that Eli is the Yeshua of the world he finds himself in, and seems to have memory of certain parts of his story, such as His baptism and the thirty pieces of silver, he still acts clueless as to many other events, particularly his death and resurrection. I would have preferred that either he didn’t remember any of it until the end, if that, or he remembers almost everything throughout the story. As it is, his memory is inconsistent, and it comes across as being solely for the plot rather than following logically from the circumstances.
Those quibbles aside, I would recommend this book to almost anyone (there are some “adult” themes in the book, so this doesn’t apply to most kids). Also, this book has inspired me to get started on a project I’ve been thinking about for a while now: a sci-fi/historical fiction mashup taking place during the time of Yeshua. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.