Sufi News republishes this review of the Sufi novel "Master of the Jinn" with a new offer (below) from the Author:
Book review by Ali Eteraz - altmuslim.com - March 28, 2006
Call him Ishaq. That is the name of the narrator in Irving Karchmar's debut Sufi novel, "Master of the Jinn," which has already been translated into twelve languages.
The novel heralds the arrival of a fresh literary voice to Islam and America. It also signals the revival of Sufism, such that in addition to associating Sufism with the long-dead such as Rumi and Hafiz, we may now find cogent expositors of the ways of the heart in our midst today.
The premise of the book is astounding. A Sufi master in Jerusalem, to whom Ishaq is an apprentice, is paid a visit by an Israeli archaeologist, his daughter, and an Israeli intelligence officer who has been having something akin to paranormal visions. The officer, Captain Simach, is convinced that his visions are, in fact, actual events. He seems to be suggesting that in a far flung mission to the Sahara, he has come across the ring of the Jewish Prophet-King, Solomon.
The archaeologist, Dr. Freeman, is unable to solve the matter using his scientific methods, and brings it before his friend, the Sufi Master.
The Master confirms that the ring is real; that it is imbued with immense mystical powers; and that it must be salvaged. He asks the three Israelis, accompanied by three of his apprentices, to go after the ring, and in the quest they are to be led by a beggar, who is as mysterious as Khizr, and equally cryptic.
Prior to their departure, the Master reveals that Solomon's ring was given to him by God, to command the spirits of smokeless fire, the Jinn. This revelation casts a certain fright over the group.
As the chosen go to the desert, visions, dreams and painful memories enter their heart. They become humanized and vulnerable. In addition, they suffer unearthly storms, nights that don't end, and temporal shifts. In the end they find themselves in a lost city and there the mystery of Solomon's ring begins to be revealed to them, setting up a resolution of this magical-mythical-Islamic-Jewish mystery of such subtlety that it left me smiling.
It is plausible to suggest that Karchmar has actually managed to lay before us what all others have simply suggested: the intertwined threads of theology and faith that link Judaism and Islam.
For the mystics and the metaphysicians, this story is, through and through, a meditation on Love, the mercy of God, and spiritual discipline. The Sufi Master speaks on matters of the soul with the authority that Zorba the Greek reserved for matters of lust.
The journey can be read allegorically, and many secrets meanings may be unearthed in later reads. Occasionally Karchmar gives a hint of the matter being touched upon by dropping quotes from the poetry of innumerable Sufi poets. He also brings in quotations from Plato and the Psalms of David. These quotes were a favorite part of the experience.
As an experiment, author Irving Karchmar is now offering the Sufi novel, Master of the Jinn, to anyone who wants one as an EBOOK. It will be emailed in pdf form to your homecomputer. This is the same book as the paperback, with all the interior illustrations intact, taken from the original file.
Click here to read the full offer: