Wednesday, May 26, 2010
My good friend and fellow Freemason Willy Gutman recently has published another book, "The Inventor". I hope to write a review in the near future but until then I would like to post this review of Willy's work from one of the Central American papers to which Willy is a frequent contributor:
Review by Marco Cáceres
I remember the first time I picked up a Harry Potter novel. I read about thirty or forty pages, and then I put it down. There were so many characters, and the plot did not emerge fast enough to hold my attention. Ultimately, I rented the first Harry Potter movie and immediately became so enamored with the characters and the story that I ended up reading each of the seven books in the series twice. My initial experience with W. E. Gutman's The Inventor was similar... although I'm not sure a movie is in the offing.
The Inventor is elegantly written. Through his protagonist and a colorful melding of artists and other notable personalities plucked from the past, Mr. Gutman weaves an intriguing journey within the dark history of the Catholic Church, which has as much a surreal and fantastic texture to it as Harry Potter. This is a book with which you must dine. It does not allow you to consume it in a hurry. It is as if Mr. Gutman dares you to read on and simply accept that the aim of his work is not primarily to entertain you, but rather to provoke you to think and struggle and savor.
There is a cynical undertone to The Inventor, but it is reasonable and even courageous, given the target of that cynicism -- the Papacy and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. And now with the Church wallowing in the early stages of yet another crisis involving the sexual abuse of children by priests and the cover up of these crimes by their superiors, it almost makes Mr. Gutman appear visionary. The book is timely and certainly relevant to the conversation about the increasingly uncomfortable relationship between the Church and secular society.
At a minimum, The Inventor serves to remind us that the Church has traditionally been the predator, not the victim, as its apologists disingenuously claim. It is a kind of blunt testament which challenges those who are ignorant of the Church's history or prefer to downplay the more unsavory aspects of it.
Be it the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and the persecution of Galileo or the silence of Pope Pius XII during the Jewish Holocaust, Pope John Paul II's efforts to squash Liberation Theology in Latin America, and Honduran Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez's attempts to tie accusations of priestly pedophilia to a "worldwide Jewish conspiracy", there is ample justification for the kind of eclectic mix of history, fiction, and social commentary that is so well crafted by Mr. Gutman.
Note: The author of The Inventor is a regular contributor to Honduras Weekly. His book is published by CCB Publishing of British Columbia, Canada. The book is available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.