The Bible of Clay
Bantam, Apr 2008, $24.00
President Bush has put a clock on Iraq so that if Hussein fails to cooperate by handing over his weapons of mass destruction a regime change will follow. Meanwhile Iraqi archeologist Clara Tannenberg makes a startling announcement at a Mesopotamia cultural panel. She talks about the finding of two cuneiform text clay tablets scribed by an apprentice that references a pair of tablets that tell the Abraham’s version of creation etched a thousand years before the papyrus version that serves as the basis of the Old Testament.
As the invasion nears, several adversarial groups search for the biblical First Patriarch’s story because each understands what this mean in terms of present day religion and power. Meanwhile Clara’s husband Ahmed Husseini, head of the Bureau of Archeological Excavation in Iraq, is irate with her for telling too much and for her insane reverence of her renowned grandfather, who he believes is a nasty sort. However, as Clara realizes her call for help has backfired with so many interested in absconding with the first BIBLE OF CLAY for either personal profit on the black market or to conceal the truth, she finds herself reassessing her family especially her idol, her grandfather who has fallen off the pedestal.
Although there are too many players at the beginning that clutter the story line, once Julia emerges as the lead, THE BIBLE OF CLAY becomes an exhilarating religious artifact race thriller. The premise is engaging as the biblical past impacts the present; yet fascinatingly the entire tale occurs around the time of the Bush invasion. This tale starts off slow and is hampered by a cast out of a De Mille movie, but once it gets going, patient fans will appreciate the changing perspectives and opinions on finding Abraham’s original oldest testament.