John Brewster is heir to and manages the assets of the family business, Brewster Capital, a position he inherited from his father. He lives a secure, comfortable life in suburban Boston with his wife, Mary. The picture of John today is a far cry from the idealistic and energetic young university graduate who did not want to settle for suburbia but wanted to make a difference in the world.
We learn at the outset that the course of John's life was changed drastically just after he left university and could have been entirely different had he stuck with his original plan to head to Africa with the Peace Corps and his roomate, Ed. Although they had been very close during college years, attending anti-war demonstrations and planning how they could save villages from drought by building wells, after Ed left for Africa he and John never spoke again as the gap between their worlds widened.
Instead, due to a crisis at Brewster Capital, John was pursuaded to postpone his trip to Africa to help his father with the business and although it was meant to be only a temporary measure it became a permanent cancellation. It was from this moment that John began to walk the path towards becomming the character we meet at the beginning of the story when he is in his mid-fifties; the John that had settled for suburbia. It is also at this point that Zor, a Haitian dwarf, enters his life and it becomes clear that the direction of John Brewster's life journey is about to be changed again.
Zor is a fascinating book. It is a compelling and easy to read story about how a young man with high hopes and ideals to do good things in the world becomes derailed from his mission and is instead steered down a very different course. The story is told mainly through discussions and debates between Zor and John which are philosophical in nature and touch on many ideas related to the interconnectedness of nature, science, spirituality and conciousness. The story delivers messages on many levels and does not pull any punches when discussing the true nature of happiness, settling for mediocrity and failing to accomplish the ideal of bringing change for good to the world.
When I first read that Zor's character was an Haitian dwarf I began to wonder if the basis of the story was a little too corny and contrived; how many Haitian dwarf philosophers are there in the world? Then I realised that the whole point of this book is to deliver a philosophical and spiritual message in such a way that a reader of fiction may be able to relate to it and get the point. Zor is a typical character of fiction but the message of the story is real and speaks great truth about humanity and the human condition that most of us experience.
I have taken several weeks to get to this review because I wanted to put some distance between reading the book and reviewing it to see if Zor was one of those rare memorable works of fiction. It is! I clearly remember the characters, the message and the story as if I read it yesterday and I cannot say that for the last book I read which I finished at the weekend!
I would highly recommend Zor to anyone. Espcially to those who are remotely interested in the connectivity between Philosophy, Spirituality and Science and for all those "Children of the Revolution" who said they wouldn't be fooled!
The Kim-stillreading blog is book review blog. I read what appeals to me and that's not always the most recently published books. When I land on a book that looks interesting or when I discover a new author, I have been known to buy all their backlist! So, you may find a mixture of books being reviewed on the blog; those that are about to be published; those recently published; those published ages ago and classics!
For the You Couldn't Make This Up! blog, it all started with a challenge from a friend who asked me to write for six consecutive days about things I am grateful for. I did that and soon realised there were many more than six things to write about and so I decided to continue the list on this blog.
Feel free to tag along with me on my journey as I read and write my way through each day.