Read A True Son of Asmodeus by Zvi Zaks Online

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As a boy, Dr. Eli Rothenberg's apparent psychic gifts created such conflict in his family, he dedicated himself to a strictly rational and scientific outlook. Now completing his medical residency, Eli is deeply shaken by the attempted suicide of his mentor and begins to re-evaluate his life choices and his feelings toward his Jewish heritage. He applies for a year-long resAs a boy, Dr. Eli Rothenberg's apparent psychic gifts created such conflict in his family, he dedicated himself to a strictly rational and scientific outlook. Now completing his medical residency, Eli is deeply shaken by the attempted suicide of his mentor and begins to re-evaluate his life choices and his feelings toward his Jewish heritage. He applies for a year-long research position in his specialty, hematology, that requires him to live in England and then Germany. He is accepted, and leaves for England determined to adopt a more traditional Jewish lifestyle. As he travels from Los Angeles to Europe, Eli encounters two strangers who seem to know things about him that defy explanation. One is a Hasidic Jew, Abram Rabinowich, who urges him to live according to Jewish law. Abram tells Eli to look him up when he gets to Munich--even though Eli has not mentioned that he will be going to Germany. The other stranger is a far more sinister man who gives the name Schmuel and claims to be a "completed Jew"--one that has converted to Christianity. In London, a series of bizarre assaults and murders suggest the possibility of something more than a serial killer. Victims are found with puncture wounds and suffer from uncontrollable bleeding. Schmuel finds Eli and tries to invade his life. When the English portion of his grant is abruptly terminated, Eli leaves for Munich with some relief. In Germany, he visits the ruins of the Dachau concentration camp. There he encounters an entity of such extreme evil, he barely survives. German authorities tell him that he's only the latest of a number of tourists who had been overcome by something at the camp, and all the rest of them died. Eli's rational mind recoils from the notion of vampires, but he finds it more and more difficult to resist what his experiences are telling him. He seeks out Abram Rabinowich. Through Abram, Eli is introduced not only to a community of deeply religious orthodox Jews, but to a wider circle of gifted individuals united to fight spiritual evil. He learns that his youthful psychic gifts have a far deeper significance than he could have imagined. Eli's new disciplines and intense training take him to Israel, and finally to the ruins of Auschwitz, where he will face the ancient evil at the root of vampirism and millennia of human suffering....

Title : A True Son of Asmodeus
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781935303350
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 292 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A True Son of Asmodeus Reviews

  • Allan Dyen-Shapiro
    2018-11-09 18:41

    Zvi Zaks’ A True Son of Asmodeus is not what it seems to be at first. I was prepared for a new take on the vampire legend. With all the cute and lovable vampires teen literature has foisted on the reading public in the past few years, Zaks makes an excellent point that we have lost track of the original Christian symbolism of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. What I thought he was going to do, after reading the first few pages, was introduce us to vampires divorced from Christianity; instead, in a Jewish context. He did. And the classic monster from Jewish legend—the Golem—did indeed appear along with a frightening amalgam of every villain in Jewish history from Haman to Hitler re-envisioned as a vampire. However, this was neither the main point of the book nor the most interesting part. Zak’s protagonist, Eli, is certainly a workable vehicle for moving the story forward. He is a doctor, and Zaks’ background as an internist lent realism to the scenes of his life. His disaffection with the Los Angeles society life of a rich Jewish doctor certainly is an emotion felt by many Jews conflicted by the demands of their ancient religion to improve the world and the lazy comfort of money in a heavily Jewish area. This apathy and assimilation as destroyers of Jewish culture manifest themselves as metaphor—Zaks’ vampire. But neither Eli nor the vampire was the heart of this story. Instead, two fascinating characters Zaks creates took this story out of the muddle of today’s overworked vampire fiction and raised it to the level of literature worthy of an intelligent reader. The first was Zaks’ recasting of von Helsing—the vampire hunter—as Abram, a Hasidic Jewish rabbi. Abram is of this world and yet not of this world. Abram is capable of von Helsing-style this-world plotting against the vampire or of magic, yet magic that stems from immersion in a Torah-centered lifestyle. Zaks uses Abram to create a powerful argument for what is lost when religion and tradition are abandoned to radical secularism. The second wonderful creation is Shmuel. Zaks fuses the classic vampire minion—a fusion between human and vampire—with another sort of fusion, the messianic Jew. Shmuel is weak-willed, serving the demon/vampire/Hitler, but only after being taken in by false promises of being both a Jew and a Christian. Yes, Zaks does work the horror film-derived tropes sufficiently to keep the story fast paced. Devotees of the vampire as horror will not be disappointed. However, the lasting appeal will be to those wrestling with the age-old personal crisis of assimilation versus acculturation version steadfast devotion to ancient ways, and more interestingly, with whether observance or faith is central to identity. The vampire as metaphor is not new—the vampire as this metaphor very definitely is. A unique piece of fiction worthy of a place on the bookshelf of a diverse audience.