BOOK REVIEW. (BOOK: CHILDLESS. AUTHOR: BRIAN J. GAIL.)
I lack words to describe this book’s epilogue. The climax is a necessary hope in an apocalyptic time. One reviewer wrote “Its conclusion will drive you to your knees in prayer”.
Childless is the last of a trilogy by Brian J. Gail. The entire trilogy is a work of fiction. One continuous story that begins with the book Fatherless, then Motherless and finally Childless.
The story is a work of fiction, but, the books are laden with facts. Facts which could not be written blatantly hence the need to emblazon them within a narrative.
The story is based within Catholicism, but the books are not to be read by Catholics only. At some point in the story, the Russians, the Jews and the Muslims form a dark seat of power. A circle of less than ten individuals who influence how the world is run and most urgently, spearhead “the creation of a new man”.
This dark seat of power will catalyse schism within religions, a desirable outcome that will be an enabler for what they plan to do next.
Of course, the Muslims harbour great hatred for Jews and Israel in general. The Russians dislike the USA with passion. So yes, these individuals may have formed a world governing mini council of less than ten to achieve matters of convergence but each one of them has secret interests of revenge and power.
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Fr. John Sweeney, is one man you are guaranteed to love. He is a liberal priest who we meet in Fatherless as a young man, freshly ordained and sent to begin his mission as a priest in Nar brook, St Martha’s Church, Philadelphia.
Every challenge meets capable hands. At St Martha’s, he quickly realises, there are numerous young couples who are also starting on their divine missions in life _ staying faithful to their marriages and bringing up children of good character and they need to be fed with hope, Godly values and God’s message.
Gradually, he identifies with these families and particularly, he forms a special bond of friendship with the Delgado’s, the Burn’s, and Maggie who faces unimaginable challenges in her marriage with Bill. later she remarries.
These young families and Fr. Sweeney take us on a journey of sheer grit, faith, prayer and the world of science _ current and coming … literally.
Trying to bundle up the contents of these three books into one simple, short and sweet write up is a challenge I have not yet learnt how to elegantly accomplish. But I will try as best as my ‘kind’ can _ My kind are non-writers just so you know, and I am their secretary.
The Catholic church, and I presume you know, has been the voice against the use of condoms and contraceptives ever since the two were first introduced. But why?
You can make all the guesses in the world and never come close. The reason is love.
It is written elaborately in one of Fr. Sweeney’s preaching’s. “God intended for women to be equal to men”. Couples were ideally meant to marry out of love. A love that originates from God. Sex was the natural process through which a man and a woman could intimately share that love.
When a child is born, both the man and a woman become co-creators and the product of that love is the child.
When a woman contracepts, it becomes possible to mute or ‘play’ her reproduction. Man, hence objectifies the woman and does not respect her fertility, in return, it makes it easier to cheat, to delay marriage, fall out of marriage and finally we have the millennials who no longer need to have children but can have all the sex they want.
Disclaimer: Trust me, my review is not a spoiler. To bring out the main theme of the story, I must be over elaborative on origins.
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Joe Delgado works in the pharmaceutical Industry and Michael Burns works in the advertising Industry. Maggie is a stay at home mum at first, later she heads a Catholic Mission Hospital.
In the larger scheme of things, Global Communications, the world largest advertising company appears. It is headed by the improbable Henry Siliezer.
Methodically, Global begins buying out pharmaceutical companies, research companies and advertising companies. Global becomes the world largest corporation bigger than the economies of some small countries combined.
At one point, Joe discovers a heinous cover up on the number of women who died during the initial testing of the effectiveness of contraceptives. This will redefine his priorities in life.
Michael Burns Advertising Company is bought by Global too, and he is made head of Cable TV marketing. Later, this does not settle well with him because he cannot appreciate orders coming from above. His bosses need people to have freedom of what to watch, whether day time or night. Hence they start airing ‘Day time programming that has semi-nude and sometimes nude scenes’.
He has American Families to think about, more so his own family. A true Christian he is, he resigns. God blesses this humble act and Michael becomes overly successful in life. Joe Delgado reflects _ Michael Burns was unfairly blessed for his commitment to values.
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Somewhere in between, we begin to understand what is happening. Henry Siliezer has unfathomable plans. _ ‘To clone Man’.
After years of effort and strategy, Henry manages to bring together the leaders of the world bank, United nations and IMF into the ‘Homo Sapien 2.0’ project. In this dark seat of power running the world, they are joined by the richest Russian Oligarch and the leader of the Muslim world, Bin Alamin. Henry is the leader of this project and the game is on. No need for Africans.
How do they begin project ‘Homo Sapien 2.0’ and where is the church in all of this?
First plan is to create schism within the church. Make the idea of God an Impossibility, let people contracept and 50 years down the line, Christians can longer half-fill churches since children are not being born. The USA as we know it, can no longer ‘replace itself’. Yeah, don’t underestimate the power of births. At the same time, make great scientific break throughs geared towards cloning.
Second, create a brain Implant with tiny nanobots that would read human DNA and brain functions. Then, produce a chip implant to be inserted in all humans _ who ever does not have a chip, cannot make purchases or travel. Interestingly, a woman’s chip is inserted through the vagina. Why? To eliminate conceiving.
Third, through stem cell technology, using embryos bought from a robust aborted embryos market worldwide, make it possible to change algorithms of cells and DNA. Then implant another chip or rather advanced nanobots in all humans with ability to eliminate disease and drag aging process. Lastly, using cells from animals combined with human cells, create a man who cannot die, a man who is made by men in the likeness and image of men. The idea that God exists is nullified.
Israel is where Henry and company set up the laboratories. The world is the financier. Politicians the world over have no idea what will hit their countries in four to five decades.
I won’t tell you how a Pakistani acquires a nuclear weapon blue print. New York is Nuked. Ever watched the San Andreas movie? Prior to the nuke, an earthquake occurs at California and Silicon Valley is gone. Later, rebuke the nuke, New York City the world financial centre is blown up. USA is but a shell.
Picture this; in this Armageddon kind of USA and the world at large, inserted chips are a must so that people can access services. USA is the last region in the world without chips, because as we all know, it takes time to penetrate the institutions of a mighty nation. Christianity is illegal and Christians and Priests are either killed or held in detention centres. However, God is not denied by all. Few remain faithful for the sake of the many.
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Later, we meet the Burnses building a community in the middle of nowhere for the few Christians at St. Martha’s to hide. They have vowed never to wear chips.
The drama at this point is pure adrenaline RUSH! I could replay in my head scenes from the series ‘The walking dead’ as I read through.
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In Israel, the year is 2033, Henry now 70 years old, together with his council, finally, they manage to clone a man, or did they?
With genes from west African orangutan and the Spanish appaloosa recalibrated with human genes. Icarus Redux is born. A man who could be ten times more powerful, more intelligent and a man with an ability to replace aging genes internally. A man who would have an ability to live forever.
When this child is removed from the artificial womb, Brian writes ‘There was a disturbing sound, not of an infant crying, but the sound of an older child laughing’.
Where was God? Was there a church, how did the characters in the story fair? The epilogue blows your brains out.
So many interesting and shocking things happened in all the three books. Brian seems to highlight some of the things happening in the world today as not mere coincidences.
There is an inherent feeling within the books that some of the things written are facts, then, the author tries to predict where we are headed.
Brian kills many a favourite character rather abrupt. A style I have not seen anywhere else. Numerous sentences like ‘That was the last car he ever saw’ or ‘This would be his last Christmas’, sometimes I got tempted to fist punch these books senseless. This rage is deserving because, we meet almost all the characters in their 20s and we grow with them and we learn to love them, then death knocks.
From a very objective point, these books seem to dictate boldly _ if you do not believe, at least pray like you do.
love is brought out in a way that God intends for it to be romantic and warm. An expression of his love through you to the next person. For couples, Love, Marriage and co-creation are never far apart. A break in one of these natural laws leads to a long spiralling downward road to a crazy world. Think year 2200 if such a year will ever come.
In the two or three preaching’s by Fr. Sweeney that you will encounter, the truths about living or rather his statements on living are transcendent across religions. These are books I can encourage anyone to read, whether to understand Stem cell research, Contraceptives, sex, love, world politics, religion, money or even the next technologies in line. Everyone can get a pie in these books.
The books are not doomsday type like I make them sound. It’s one fantastic story, four families journeying through modern life and they face incomprehensible challenges.
Faith is in the midst. Prayer, science and hope reign supreme. Apocalyptic events are no fewer in the quest of man seeking self-discovery. Brian J Gail wrote a truly profound story.
In the words of a certain reviewer -:
It is a truly transcendent conclusion to what I’m afraid will prove to be an eerily prophetic American Trilogy.
These books were lent to me by Fr. Peter Kaigua, a passionate reader, a priest and the chaplain of University of Nairobi to whom I owe ‘thanks a bunch’.