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.
These answers were really helpful for me as it gave me an idea about his thoughts.
Cover- The cover of the book is captivating and gives us a tinge hint about the mystery that we are going to read.
Title- The title is intriguing ‘The Crossbow Code’ and gives the readers a senak peak of the mystical elements in this book.
Setting- The setting takes place at various places like VAtican, India, Mumbai and many more. The descriptions are refreshing.
Plot- The plot is crisp and gripping. The author has done full justice to the development of the plot. It is a story of mysterious Kris and his struggles till the end of his life. During the course of journey, there is risk, thrill, mystery and many more. It is a power pack story that keeps the reader glued to the book.
Characterisation- The author has done a splendid task in showcasing the characters. My personal favourite character is of Kris. Kris is a mysterious character that has lot of secrets in him. The way he hides his truth and survives is impeccable. His love for his wives Fatima and Rhea moves the readers.
Further, the characters of Fatima and Rhea are well crafted who are loyal towards their husband and takes keen interest in the happenings around them.
MC Raj is not only good in portraying protagonists but also in his antagonists. The villains are flat characters who remains the same throughout the novel. The way they hatch the conspiracies is unique and how they find out a way with the things is mind blowing.
Theme- The author has shown various sides of life in his novel. The dark side of church is thoroughly incaptulated in this novel. Further, the other side of Mahatma throws light on his views about self control by sleeping with naked women wothout touching them. Not only this, the author has given a clear picture of KArl Marx’s views and Bhim’s views. Besides that, there are others who have been fantasmagorically highlighted.
Style- The author has used third person narrative with impersonal descriptional pattern. The sentences have a range of short, simple, complex and compound sentences. We also find self mockery and remarks at the end of the conversation. Furthermore, there are poetic traits also that has river like imageries, metaphors etc. There are verses in name of Jesus which gives us an image of Christianity. Even there are glimpses of Buddhism from the views of Bhim.
About the Author