American Hard Cover Edition
Holt, Rinehart & Winston 1977
of a blind man, written down by an imbecile. Such is the
genesis of the Bible in this raucous, unsettling account
of recent and not-so-recent history with its richly entwined
*Plantagenet Strongbow, twenty-ninth Duke of Dorset,
seven feet, seven inches tall, the greatest swordsman,
botanist and explorer of the Victorian age, who disappears
in the Sinai in 1840 with his magnifying glass and portable
sundial to reappear forty years later as an Arab holy
man, after writing a scandalously accurate study of Levantine
sex in thirty-three volumes, and disappears again only
to emerge before his death in 1914
as the secret owner of the Ottoman Empire.
Wallenstein, linguistic genius and fanatical Trappist
monk from Albania who discovers the original Bible in
the Sinai early in the nineteenth century and finds
it "denies every religious truth ever held by anyone." Horrified by this, he forges an original that will justify
faith and buries the real Sinai Bible in Jerusalem,
where it remains hidden until retrieved in the twentieth
century by ...
former antiquities dealer and ethereal wanderer through
history, born three thousand years ago, a shy knight
wearing a rusty Crusader's helmet and faded yellow cloak
while pursuing his hopeless mission as defender of the
Holy City, and who, among many jobs in the service trades,
has been a stone carver of winged lions during the Assyrian
occupation, proprietor of an all-night grocery store
under the Greeks,
a waiter when the Romans were in power, and distributor
of hashish and goats for the Turks. Discredited since
the time of Christ, he has only one friend in modern
Jerusalem, his loyal companion ...
Beare, the wily thirty-third son of a poor Irish
fisherman, survivor of the Easter Rebellion and heroic
guerrilla fighter against the Black and Tans, who flees
to Mandated Palestine in 1920 disguised as a nun, uses
false papers to take up residence in the Home for Crimean
War Heroes though he's only twenty years old, and smuggles
the first arms to the Haganah in a giant hollow stone
scarab while working for ...
son of Strongbow and a Jewish shepherd's daughter, exponent
of a homeland for Jews and Moslems and Christians in
the Middle East, witness to the massacre at Smyrna in
1922, and finally an ineluctable victim of the blood
feuds of the area.
In the years leading
up to World War II, the separate journeys of discovery
begun in the Sinai a century earlier involve many lives
in many places as the unending search goes on for the
real Sinai Bible: the lure of a Holy City, the promise
of the desert, the bewildering varieties of love and the
hopes and failures given to time, the bright somber colors
of invincible dreams and dying days, together weave the
chaos of events into a whole and decades into an era.
tapestry of "lives that had raged through vast
secret wars and been struck dumb by equalIy vast silences,
textures harsh and soft in their guise of colors, a
cloak of life" is a work of literature, a 'chaotic."
book of life.....Whittemore is a deceptively lucid stylist.
Were his syntax as cluttered as Pynchon's or as grand
as Nabokov's or Fuentes's, his virtually ignored recent
novel might have received the attention it deserves,
for his imagination of present and alternative worlds
is comparable to theirs
"An epic hashish
.droll and moving"
New York Times Book Review
and enjoy an outrageously wild and disparate cast
over the Holy Land and other parts
surreal fun with a cutting edge"
is to Vonnegut what a tapestry is to a cat's cradle"
"One of America's
an author of seismic talents
in motion an epic of profound invention, one that promises
to be as fascinating and self contained as Lord of the
Reviews of Sinai
Reality - a review of Sinai Tapestry and Jerusalem Poker
by Lesley Hazleton
Tapestry - a review by Jay Neugeboren
Cosmic Cuts - review
by Eric Korn
History on a
Magic Carpet by Anthony Heilbut
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