Beyond Abraham to The Song of Isaac
The Sacred is Profane in this Rendering of the Biblical Myth
Missoula, MT (Vocus) February 2, 2010 -- From the writer Robert Bassett comes a historical novel that places
Isaac squarely at the forefront of the Biblical tale. In this dramatic coming of age story, set in the Canaan of thirty
eight centuries ago, the struggle that takes place within the soul of Isaac heralds the outcome of the sacrifice itself.
In those days, people lived under the ever-present threats of war, bondage and slavery. From Hammurabi's
conquest of Sumeria to the Hyksos occupation of Lower Egypt, armies and peoples were on the move and Canaan
lay at the crossroads. Abraham, Sarah, and their people appear to have been exiles, living by their wits and
whatever the land provided. Those who joined them were probably fugitives, gravitating to a strong leader and
prepared to accept circumcision as the physical sign of their allegiance to Abraham and his authority.
But who, really, was Abraham, and why would he sacrifice his son? Discounting supernatural agencies, the
modem reader may ask, was he simply a monster? Or does he represent an all too human type --- ruthless and
manipulative, as leaders often are, but monstrous only as circumstances, and the dictates of an aroused paranoia,
lead him to be? Facing revolt within his tribe and the impositions of his king, he had reason to be desperate. Yet
this was also the man who drove Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert, and curried favor with pharaohs and kings
by allowing Sarah to be taken into their harems.
The Song of Isaac is a story about power between men and tribes of men, and between men and women; about
love and renunciation, betrayal and reconciliation, and the tyranny of belief in a dark and bloody age. All these
strands enter into the passion of Isaac as he quests blindly for love and admission into the world of men.
Bassett weaves a plot that takes readers into a world they may already have visited, but will change the way they
look at it