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Archive for May, 2010

Will Rabjohns was the most controversial wildlife photographer in the world, who had made his reputation by cruel photographs of the life of endangered species.

While shooting polar bears in the Artic he was attacked by a female bear that left him in coma for several weeks.

Will revisited his childhood in his coma, at the time when he met a couple who had a major influence in his life as an artist and as a man. Will’s parents lived with the trauma of the loss of their favorite son and so Jacob Steep and Rosa McGee offered Will the love his own family denied him. However, this was no ordinary couple: Rosa and Jacob were centuries old, didn’t remember their childhood or even knew who they were. They wandered together around the world, Rosa lusting for sadistic sexual pleasure and wishing to have children, and Jacob taking pleasure on the death of animals (especially if they were the last of a species) and killing his and Rosa’s children.

Although Will was separated from Rosa and Jacob, a mysterious bond between him and Jacob was created.

When Will woke from the coma he started a journey to discover the nature of his bond to Jacob and Rosa, and the role all them would play in the destiny of Life.

Sacrament is rich in symbology, which is used to tackle two main subjects at the same time and to draw a parallelism between them. The first is the boom of animal extinctions caused by Man, the “disease” of Life in Earth. The second is the boom of death among gay people caused by AIDS. Will Rabjohns, as a photographer and a gay man, watches and portrays the disease, struggle to survive and near extinction of wildlife/gay people.

The characters in Sacrament are well drawn and filled with pure raw energy – life and death energy. The symbolic elements give a vivid color to the novel, especially in the most melancholic parts where it could have turned dull. There are also some funny and dark humored moments and thoughts. For instance,  Jacob Steep, whose hobby was to kill the last specimens of a species, was strongly annoyed by homosexual people. Even if he managed to wipe out every homosexual from the Earth, they would still be born and “slyly” recover their numbers.

However, sometimes the symbology seemed a bit forced, or that it was getting out of control. Also, the references to God did not help.

Even with its flaws, Sacrament is highly imaginative and interesting to read. A special praise must be done to it: the plague of AIDS in the American gay community during the 80’s inspired thousands of novels (to nausea), but in Sacrament the approach is different enough to make it worth reading.

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