WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
HISTORICAL VALUE: 2.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 2.5/5
Imagine you get up in morning, step out of your house to relish the freshly settled morning dew on your bougainvillaea and begonias, and you come across a book at your doorstep, a rather mysterious looking manuscript written by a dwarf. A dwarf, almost 3200 years old, who is put to sleep so that he will wake up in our time and enlighten humans about the world back then. It is this dwarf which writes the book, and leaves it at the doorstep of the editor Jos Rogiers one fine morning, asking him to edit and publish it so that the world may become aware of what his time was like.
It is this dwarf which writes the book, and leaves it at the doorstep of the editor Jos Rogiers one fine morning, asking him to edit and publish it so that the world may become aware of what his time was like.
Now, just like your good selves, I too was astounded to the core, for I could not fathom whether it is actually the dwarf writing this Message from a Hidden Past or is it a figment of the author’s imagination. It is to this day, as I am penning this review down, that the answer still eludes me. A note from the editor, in the beginning, does explain that it was actually the dwarf who authored this puzzling piece of work but you can never know.
The dwarf talks about the Era of Gods, particularly mentioning that the gods were no supernatural beings but a more evolved and superior species (referred to as the Homo Super Sapiens). It was gods who taught the uncivilised humans the way of life and the way of civilisation. They used to rule the Earth from Ker, a land north-west of the African continent which, in most likelihood, is the unsubmerged version of today’s Canary Isles. The language of their time was Proto-Indo-European which is the mother of all major subsequent languages including Latin, Greek and Sanskrit. In presenting his version of the history of our ancient times, the dwarf gives substantial proofs which constitute the major chunk of this book. The proofs that he presents are scientific and are majorly based on Toponymy and Etymology.
The biggest plus point of Message from a Hidden Past is its sui generis concept which is never heard of before. From the look of it, it appears very fascinating and alluring. The language is relaxed and the writing has a personal touch, with the dwarf including small bits of his daily routine, thoughts and other itsy-bitsy at the beginning of most chapters. The material is skillfully supplemented with maps and illustrations by the editor which enables a better understanding of places and their relative locations. Besides offering a very different take on our ancient history, the reader is also provided with a vast array of knowledge about the Greek and Roman history, particularly the Classical Antiquity. The book also provides an avenue for further probing and research on the same topic.
Though Message from a Hidden Past has many good points, it is also marked by certain limitations. Firstly, the book could have been written in a more interesting way. For a compelling topic like this, it was not an interesting enough read; filled with oodles of facts and plethora of information, it was more of a dull and boring read. Secondly, in his pursuit of convincing us about his history, the dwarf has not done his job well.
After finishing the book, I was nowhere close to even slightly believing the theory which he proposes and in the end, I again reflect on the same question – Who is the real author of this book? Coming across other works from the same editor on similar subjects (The Bible: The Devil’s Book and The Lost Civilisation of Homo Super Sapiens) further, makes me fiddle with the same question. In the end, I give this book a three star and hope for a more enlightening read on the same subject, in future.