I Am Not The Messiah; Mr Zootherapy tells all

Book Review by Philippa Hadlow

Reading time: 4 minutes

 

I Am Not The Messiah; Mr Zootherapy tells all

By James Sinclaire

Independently published via Bookbuzzr 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5 on Amazon

When Doctor Lester Ventura finally ameliorates his blistering analysis of Zootherapy, I was right on side. As a tardy but pivotal pop-up in James Sinclaire’s novel I Am Not The Messiah; Mr Zootherapy tells all, Ventura alters his precis from one of vilification to open-ended approbation, but for me, it was a pointless redact: I was already a convert.

Book Review by Philippa Hadlow

Reading time: 4 minutes

 

I Am Not The Messiah; Mr Zootherapy tells all

By James Sinclaire

Independently published via Bookbuzzr 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5 on Amazon

When Doctor Lester Ventura finally ameliorates his blistering analysis of Zootherapy, I was right on side. As a tardy but pivotal pop-up in James Sinclaire’s novel I Am Not The Messiah; Mr Zootherapy tells all, Ventura alters his precis from one of vilification to open-ended approbation, but for me, it was a pointless redact: I was already a convert.

Solidly paced and smoothly narrated, Sinclaire had me hooked on Zootherapy from chapter one. Early forays into the practice of “gorillatising” quickly gain intrigue and complexity, creating the essence of Zootherapy – for which its supporters are globally grateful. Relationships between the power-obsessed, people-disparate entities ruling the world are eased; war-faring countries soothed; broken families healed.

Super-rousing stuff, yet Sinclaire’s writing is so expressive; his prose so clearly modulated I feel I am consuming an entirely believable narrative of ‘80s city life in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.

Smattered with Kiwi parlance, philosophy, and social commentary; and aching with personal pathos, there’s no room to question Sinclaire’s skill as raconteur. Pragmatic and consistently low key, he writes from the perspective of a pseudo-privileged Pommie who finds himself freed from British melancholy and engaged instead with a comparatively easy-going part of Earth. Landing in a tall poppy-shunning nation (that contrarily allows him to make his fortune), he describes how a simple gig in a gorilla suit brings about world peace. The result? “Thank God for James Sinclaire”.

But Sinclaire is not the Messiah, and though his humility oscillates from honest to ersatz, the culminating – and bemusing – effect is an edict for leaders worldwide to embrace Zootherapy for the good of all.

The greater good becomes too great and a life devoid of the pure-minded intentions founding Zootherapy encourages Sinclaire to question his tolerance of its wild success. Is it “the perfect guide for a course correction in life, away from materialism and its empty promise” (quoting Deepak Chopra)? Sinclaire pursues the answer in a well-contrived climactic finale.

Even at this late stage interface, the book’s identity as an autobiography, memoir, excellent and highly creative work of fiction, or a cosplay piss-take that rolls from the sublime to the ridiculous remains cleverly ambiguous.

It’s a hugely entertaining read, poignant, with themes both intellectual and innocent – like the unadulterated practice of Zootherapy itself which never wavers from its simplistic core. Sinclaire’s literary artistry is outstanding, leaving me by page 267 still ruminating on the arguable validity of his message. It’s a happy place to be.

About the author
James was born and educated in the UK, emigrated to New Zealand in the mid-1980s, and lived in Wellington for many years, working as a policy analyst for the New Zealand government. His website, Iamnotthemessiah.com describes Zootherapy as psychological therapy encompassing the imaginative assumption of animal characteristics, especially outlook.

“Few memoirs can enlighten you. This one will might…”

 

 

This editorial/review is sponsored content as required by the Advertising Standards Code, and is part sponsored by BiograView.

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