My Brother the Messiah
It is 2096, and a state of drought has obtained for many years. The bed of the River Vltava has dried up. But hope exists thanks to a scientific project that fends off the sun’s rays in the stratosphere. Eli is born in the Prague district of Holešovice as the first rain is falling.
It is 2168, and Marek, Eli’s elder brother, is in a Greek settlement close to Mount Olympus, preaching to survivors of the worst exodus in human history. At this point, only a staunch handful believe that martyred Eli was the Messiah.
The latest novel by Czech writer and visionary Martin Vopěnka has the highest ambitions. Plausibly and with great sensitivity for the psychology of his characters, the author shows how much pain, love, hate, doubt and hope one life can bring, when its subject appears capable of emulating the role in human history played by Jesus. In the opinion of the author, although Jesus was not a miracle worker, the mere fact that his legacy has survived to the present day is a miracle in itself.
Vopěnka has yet again produced a book that explores many pressing issues of the near future. Highly readable, beautiful and terrifying at the same time, it presents to us a future that may not be as distant as it may seem at first sight.
Rivals Orwell’s 1984
My Brother the Messiah presents a nightmarish vision of a future where human selfishness has all but destroyed the Earth, and the only apparent hope is either in religion or science. Czech author Martin Vopenka tackles complex contemporary issues in his writing. My Brother the Messiah is no exception—a quietly profound story that moves slowly at a deliberate pace and stays compelling. It presents a subtle and provocative meditation on the nature of faith and hope in the face of despair and chaos.
Vopěnka's prose is bone dry, his thinking original, provocative and engaging. My Brother the Messiah is a challenging read but a rewarding one.