Based on Tom Block’s non-fiction study of the cross pollination between Jewish and Islamic mysticism (published as Shalom/Salaam: A Story of a Mystical Fraternity, Fons Vitae, 2010), The Fool Returns is a page turning, spiritual thriller based on fact.
The Fool Returns centers on the idea that medieval Jewish thinkers discovered the underlying impetus for current political issues between Jews and Muslims in the Biblical story of Isaac and Ishmael (Genesis 21). They set a 500-year quest in motion, which was coming to fruition in 1992, when a NY bartender (Bill) had a card made from human bone thrown into his lap in the middle of the night, on the subway. If he succeeds in his quest, a positive energy will be released and Abraham’s original weakness before God reversed. A new age between these Children of Abraham would flower.
What ensues is a voyage – both physical and spiritual – which takes Bill far from his life as a bartender into lost Iberia, where he meets an increasingly bizarre collection of crypto-Jews who have been waiting for him; descends into hidden “bone chapels;” must leap across a vast psychic abyss, work his way through subterranean tunnels deep beneath the city of Cáceres, Spain and bring the card to its final destination, somewhere on the other side of a bordello in ancient Lisbon. All the while, he is pursued by a shadowy figure from his past, a man named “Hoopoe.”