The Crossbow Code is a mind boggling novel that will make you think about the events. MC Raj, the author of this book has done an amazing job in delineating the story of this novel. Before starting my review I would like to share a small interaction that I had with him regarding this book. After completing the book, I asked him certain questions and the way he answered them, was fascinating. Here is a small interview like session with him :
Thank you for all the compliments on the novel and its author. Now let me take up one by one the questions that you have raised.1. Is it all fiction? Yes. It is a historical fiction. It means the fiction itself is based on a certain amount of history. But it is not a history book. A story is woven around many historical facts and circumstances. But nothing like this ever happened in the way the story is woven. for example, there is no evidence that Jesus (Kris) had two Muslim wives. It is impossible historically as Islam came much after Jesus. In this sense, we can say that it is only a fiction splattered with some history.2. Mahatma Gandhi: There are many books written on Gandhi and on his experiments with truth. It is well acknowledged by historians that he used to sleep with some young girls naked as he wanted to test his will-power. This particular dimension of great people making use of women for different purposes is a matter of concern for me. I have a very liberal view on sex. If Gandhi had sex with many women it is none of my business to criticize him. But if anyone makes use of women then it is a matter of serious concern. I have written quite a few things about Gandhi in my books and in this novel I have been quite mild.3. Is it Karl Marx? Yes. It is Karl Marx that I have in mind. In a conference among Christian theologians, I said once: Jesus is the first Marx and Karl Marx is the second Jesus. They took it well.4. About my research work: I am a student of philosophy. I did more Western philosophy. I also read many volumes of the history of the Popes. I am a voracious reader of books of history, philosophy, and Leftist literature. I have done researches in many European countries but not on Jesus. Such a study was and is of my personal interest. I have travelled to many countries and all the countries that I have described in this novel have come from my personal visits to them. I travel to Germany two to three times every year and have fallen in love with river Rhine. I have visited the first ever market of Black slaves in Porto Alegre in Brazil. I went to Rome and Vatican mainly because I wanted to write this novel.5. When I want to write a novel the plots run in my mind for a few years and only when I am convinced of a total story line I begin to write the novel. Once I sit and start writing the novel then it takes me only three to six months, as I also have a lot of other work. But it is usually intensive writing. I took only three months to write the Crossbow Code.6. The Poetry and Verses: I write poetry for pleasure. In all of my novels, there are a few poetries. As I write I become poetic and I pen them down. They add a special aesthetic flavor to the novel.