The Lost Messiah
There is nothing especially unusual about a young man reading the Bible on a flight to Israel. But Barbara, who has the misfortune of sitting next to him, finds the fact that he is laughing as he reads somewhat disconcerting. When he starts interpreting the passage he has just read as if he had been there, 2000 years ago, at first Barbara assumes it is because he has an odd sense of humour – but when it becomes apparent that he means every word, the whole business begins to give her the creeps. She is about to look for somewhere else to sit when the captain announces an unscheduled stopover in Rome…
Why Barbara allows Myschkin, as he calls himself, to take her for dinner, she has no idea. But one thing is for sure – when she finally arrives at the airport in Tel Aviv the next day, she is glad to see the back of him. The respite is short-lived, though – when she returns home two weeks later, she is greeted by the first in a series of letters that will preoccupy her for months to come: letters from a man who identifies himself with Jesus and has been pondering why salvation hasn’t come about – until today.
"Henisch is a glorious congruence of an author – one in whose literary house the doors between politics and the imagination, between seriousness and obliqueness, stand wide open." (Die Zeit)