- File Size: 1527 KB
- Print Length: 198 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1505317304
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: January 15, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00QIJ4DJ6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,394 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$8.99|
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The Healer Kindle Edition
|Length: 198 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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No chance of spoilers from me, I would ruin the book for you if I did. All I will say is that the story centres around Erika, who choses to seek alternative treatment for her cancer. The alternative treatment she seeks and the deceit, plot twists and intrigue that follows, just mount up. I wanted to put the book away several times but kept going back for just one more chapter. You will love the flow of this book. Perfectly paced for me, a well balanced study in character I have become a Christoph Fischer fan today. If you are the sort of person who is afraid to take a risk with a new author, you need not worry, you are in safe hands. Pick this book up and look for his next one.
Our heroine, suffering from Stage 4 cancer, having exhausted all that traditional medicine can do for her, finds herself at the mercy of a faith healer, a practitioner of alternative medicine, energy medicine and Qi Gong, Reiki, and much more. But his unique abilities go far beyond his adeptness with esoteric practices; he has the gift as it were. He presents as a guru type who is a lot more than mere hype, going from the well documented success stories working with people who were never suckers for New Age medicine. Quite the opposite. They were inclined like our heroine to be entirely skeptical and to have marched their way in and out of his care with an army of scientists to demonstrate that their incurable cancer had indeed been cured. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it kinda is.
The mysterious figure who she entrusts her life to is a complex, not exactly trustworthy figure. He reminded me of the spiritual guide in the Carlos Castaneda books who can’t be taken at face value, and who may be willing to teach and heal as much through treachery, menace, misuse of power, and whatever other entirely Machiavellian measures he deems necessary. And he is a man of some ego, no shortage of moodiness. And if there is something larger than life about him, there’s also something all too painfully human about him, and not in a good way. In short, I wouldn’t want to have to trust my life to this guy. He’s quite scary. And his actual motivations for getting involved with her therapy are never entirely clear. Is he a noble ends-justifies-the-means kind of guy, capable of thus rationalizing his totally unsavory tactics? Or are his ends every bit as uninspiring as his means?
Only through reading the book and taking the heroine’s journey with her can you come to truly know the answers to these questions. And as you do just that, you experience the terror along with her, the emotional doubts and insecurities, the ups and downs, the kaleidoscope of emotions on display that is dealing with death and dying in a truly self-transformative way; a way that forces self-transcendence to some degree, win, lose, or draw. You begin to wonder early on if her anxiety attacks, the parade of misgivings and paranoid ideation are part of the intense healing of mind, body and spirit that can only be accomplished with total surrender to a spiritual master—as legends tell us. Or if they’re simply entirely sane reactions to this bizarre healer and her fears are entirely justified.
I’ve read quite a few books penned by spiritual masters, including an unusual Russian figure by the name of Gurdjieff, and P. D. Ouspensky, one of his disciples who wrote heavily about him. Students’ accounts of Gurdjieff and what it was like to deal with the man and the healer were quite similar to what our heroine undergoes with her faith healer. Does that mark him as the genuine article? Or just another nut case, to whom she’s just signed over all of her wealth and belongings? Once again, you just have to take the journey to find out, and very possibly, in taking it with her, you’ll be more than just fascinated, you’ll undergo some healing, some transformation, and some self-transcendence yourself. Which I think is very much the point in a novel of this sort.
One of the best-in-class books I’ve ever read in this sub-genre of spiritual fiction. That also goes for books on people dealing with cancer and or some other terminal illness, and struggling with the self-transformative process that implies. So, needless to say, highly recommended.
Her willingness to go into the guru-style therapy with the once-famous and now reclusive Arpan shows plenty about her quest. She doesn’t really believe in anything beyond the scientific, so turning herself over to something that requires blind faith in the unseen and untouchable, gave her believability and eventually likability.
The frantic search for a cure-all for the evil cancer drives the plot of this novel through all its gyrations and mysteries. The mystique of Anuj, the disappearance of Hilda, and the vitriolic of Julia all add to the suspense. The magic healer Arpan keeps his own secrets as does Erika, or rather Maria, as she presents herself to Arpan. The unraveling of it takes up the second half of the novel, while the first half revolves around the sped up healing process for Erika.
I won’t give any spoilers, but I will say the final links in the mystery at the end took me by surprise. I thought several times I had the mystery of all the characters solved, and then the author throws another hairpin curve on the road to discovery.
Arpan’s specialty for healing is pancreatic cancer. I recently lost a friend to this devastating disease. I found Erika’s search for a cure and disgust with the effects of chemotherapy believable. My friend probably would have signed a pact with the devil to first, be done with the ravages of chemicals surging through her body to unsuccessfully kill the cancer, and second, to live without pain, and third, but certainly not least, to simply live. When the reader first meets Erika, she has arrived at that point.
The Healer is not a light read. The discussions between Arpan and Erika expose many of the problems with Western medicine’s practices. The desperation of pharmaceutical companies to find the magic elixir rings true in the author’s exploration within the tension-filled plot. The drawbacks to putting all one’s faith in another who claims to have special powers is also a central theme of the book. Who is the culprit? Who is the victim? The answers lie within the pages of The Healer.
I marvel yet again at Christoph Fischer’s ability to write about relevant issues that impact us all. His leap from historical fiction to writing works about contemporary dilemmas represents his measure and ability as an adept storyteller, no matter the genre.
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