Jerry Pollock is the author of Messiah Interviews and Divinely Inspired. His latest book, Gog & Magog: The Devil’s Descendants taps the same vein as Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’s Left Behind series, and David Seltzer’s The Omen. Pollock’s novel begins with a war in Heaven. Satan is cast down from Heaven for having the hubris to challenge God. Exiled to earth, Satan enters the Garden of Eden and tricks Eve into eating from the Tree of Forbidden Knowledge, whereupon she convinces Adam to eat from the tree as well. Angry with their actions, God banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Later, Satan disguises himself as Adam and rapes Eve, impregnating her. Eve gives birth to Cain and Abel. Adam is Abel’s father and Satan is Cain’s father.
Flash forward about 2,500 years. The president of the United States is a descendant of Satan. Through his descendants, Satan wants to implement his plan of Gog and Magog and defeat God. God sends the angels Michael and Gabriel to help protect those God has chosen to thwart Satan’s plans. The author takes some poetic license with his explanations of the meaning of Gog and Magog in a conversation between his characters, the twenty-first century Abel and Rabbi Adams:
Abel: “I learned yesterday about a White House CIA covert operation, Code Name Daniel. Remember Daniel’s ancient dream? Well, it’s coming in modern times. The disruption of three of the large horns by the little horn is a metaphor for President Macorley, who represents the little horn and succeeds in destroying Al Qaeda, the Taliban…”
Rabbi Adams: “The prime minister is concerned about the activations of Gog and Magog by the United States.”
Abel: “Code Name Daniel is the prerequisite for Gog and Magog…In Gog and Magog, the first phase of the attack on our state [Israel] is by seven nations…the seven remaining large horns of the beast in Daniel’s dream represents the seven attacking nations.”
Rabbi Adams: “Brilliant Abel, President Macorley is Gog.”
Gog & Magog: The Devil’s Descendants is written in dialogue except for some areas of exposition that sometimes sound like meanwhile-back-at-the-ranch segues. These passages are not necessary. Hastily and poorly written to bridge the dialogue, they are insulting to the reader. It appears that Gog & Magog was originally written as a screenplay or stage play, which would explain the stage direction-like material. For example the author writes: “Gabriel flies headfirst at Satan, and a three minute Kung Fu martial art battle ensues in midair in the courtroom.”
Pollock has created some unforgettable characters, including the irascible but humorous Corsini sisters, Elizabeth and Daniela. The twists and turns in the novel keep readers guessing about the outcome. The author provides a decent story and, at times, incredible dialogue. However, the book lacks a proper narrative structure and that mars its integrity. Gog & Magog has the potential to break new ground in literature in the tradition of Philip Roth’s effortlessly smart, dialogue-driven novel Deception.