Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Alexandria Link - by Steve Berry - Review

The Alexandria Link
By Steve Berry
Ballantine Books 2007
Website Steve Berry

This post is not meant to offend anyone. It's just the outcome of my christian upbringing in a protestant home, and why I chose to reject my religion.

By the time I was 18 years old I no longer believed that the bible was accurate. I found too many contradictions, and other things just did not seem logical. One of the things I had trouble with, was the hypocrisy I saw everywhere around me - in my community and in the world. Another was the geography of the Bible.

How could 1 million men (plus women and children) have possibly wandered around the small area of the Sinai peninsula for forty years, without once retracing their steps. (I can't name the chapter/verse, but there is a verse in the OT that says the Israelites travelled 40 years in the desert without retracing their route. If anyone knows it, please leave a comment, thanks.).

Children grow older. And while clothes, appliances, tents, baskets, shoes, and many other items, may have been passed down, they eventually become rags and unusable and must have been abandoned somewhere. But there is also this verse - Deut 29v5. I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out upon you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet. Excavations in the Sinaitic peninsula have failed to find any trace of the Hebrews. I find the above verse to be very convenient, and highly unlikely.

So instead I figured out (on my own) that the Israelites MUST have wandered around in the Arabian desert for 40 years. Plenty of room there, and there were no Muslims at the time. Twenty five years ago this was considered wrong thinking (what used to be called heresy) so I kept quiet. And I stopped attending church.

About 15 years later I was introduced to a man named Ron Wyatt. Ron was considered a crackpot, because he had a theory that the Exodus happened in the Arabian desert, not the Sinai desert. Since that matched my own thinking, I watched some of his videos. They made logical sense to me. He even travelled to Saudi Arabia looking for the real Mount Sinai. He claimed to have found it too. But mainstream archaeologists and academics say that Ron was wrong. But then, those same academics have no proof that they are right.

Now I have just finished reading the Alexandria Link, and guess what - the same theory has shown up again. This time in a story that says that the Alexandria Library holds the original scrolls written in Old Hebrew (what is now the Torah or the Old Testament) and these will prove that the old Israel was never in Palestine, but in Arabia.

The above is the background of the story. The story itself, is a little far fetched, but as an action thriller, it certainly is "high octane ride that will hold you enthralled"

Cotton Malone is minding his own business in Denmark, running his Antiquarian Bookshop. His ex-wife Pam shows up and tells him that their teenage son Gary has been kidnapped. And shortly after, Cotton's bookshop is obliterated by a missile.

Cotton contacts his former boss in Washington DC, and learns that someone accessed the Alexandria file. This is a file that names Cotton as being the only person who knows anything about this Alexandria Link.

The link is actually a person, and Cotton is his only means of contact. Cotton is now forced to find the Alexandria Link, in order to get his son back. He must do it before the Israelis, the Saudis and a new mysterious business group find the Link. The Link is the only way to find the Lost Library of Alexandria.

I would call this novel, a new version of the Da Vinci code. The only problem I had, was that Berry did not give the Vice President a name. Every time the Vice President or VP was identified, he was done by his title, not by his name. The President had a name. Why couldn't the VP have been given a name as well? It would have made the story run more smoothly, in my opinion. Other than that, it was a great story.

1 comment:

Literary Feline said...

Dan Brown's Angels and Demons really struck a cord with me when I read it about the roles of science and religion in society just as this book seemed to strike a cord with you in completely other way. :-) I love it when books do that.

I hope to read Berry's books one of these days. He's on my list of series to try.

My tongue in cheek response to your question about how the Israelites walked all those miles without retracing their steps: They took very small steps.

I am not a Bible literalist in any way shape or form. I have always imagined that certain aspects of the historical events recorded in the Bible were exaggerated for effect. Perhaps translated improperly. I also think the Bible is full of parables some of which are passed off as fact. I wouldn't be surprised if the geography was skewed in some way too, as you suggest. It makes perfect sense.