Gaspar Redux

E.S. KraayEarlier this week, a good man I know approached me in church and said, “I just finished your book Gaspar.  Great book for this time of year.”  Although the book begins in ancient India, the protagonist makes his way to ancient Ireland and concludes his lifelong quest for truth in ancient Judea during the Passover.  He is intimately involved with the passion of Jesus.  As Christendom celebrates Holy Week next week, I am certain that is the connection the reader makes.

Shortly after Gaspar, Another Tale of the Christ was published, it was brought to my attention that there were many typographical errors throughout the book.  I can’t say whether I was more embarrassed or more displeased.  In either event, I spent recent months rereading the book and correcting the errors I could identify.  I regret to admit that I found 58 errors.  I take personal responsibility and apologize for that.  While I cannot pull the printed book, yesterday, I replaced the original file on Kindle – the file uploaded by the publisher in 2014.  While the new electronic edition may not be as aesthetically appealing as the original, I can assure you with certainty that it more accurately presents the original manuscript.

If you have considered reading Gaspar, this may be a good time to do it.  Having just finished another reread, I am pleased with the story and its message.  My ‘collaborators’ characterize my prose as ‘sparse.’  They offer that observation in a good way, much like one might call Hemingway’s prose as ‘sparse.’  Don’t think I am comparing myself to Hemingway.  I would never be so bold.

As an example of my ‘sparseness,’ my ‘Last Supper’ is not a congenial ‘Da Vinci’ painting, and I address it in four, simple paragraphs …

“Raised voices of repressed anger rumble above us.  Heavy footsteps, perhaps a scuffle.  A chair grinds the floor, another falls heavily.  Footsteps to the doorway, then down the steps outside.  A figure halts and stares into the room, probably not expecting to see us.  The man’s hair and eyes are dark, indecision and worry etched into the lines on his brow, so deep that they are shadowed.  He turns and takes a step toward the stairway, maybe thinking to return.

“He takes his head in his hands as if holding it together.  He is in pain, more mental than physical.  His anguish is visible in every drop of sweat that falls from his forehead.  “Damn him.  Damn them all,” he whispers under his breath.  He runs into the street and disappears into the night.

“More footsteps above us.  Someone standing on the balcony calls into the darknesss with a restrained and husky voice, “Judas, Judas.  Please come back.”

“But Judas, if that was his name is gone.”

Throughout my life, I have been drawn to Judas Iscariot.  I do not paint him as a villain in my book.  If you read Gaspar, you will find that I view Pontius Pilate in a positive light as well, a man who does everything he can to save who he believes is a guiltless and inspired man.

During this special time of year, I invite you to skip the chocolate rabbits and read Gaspar, Another Tale of the Christ.

On another note, 48 hours from now, I will be touching down in Port-au-Prince, Haiti where I will join Tony Sanneh and his Haitian Initiative Team.  If the electricity and Internet hold up in Port-au-Prince, I plan to post daily updates on my sister site, The Vitruvian Man.  See you there, and thanks for your continued support.