Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Enigma by George Mattheson is a novel about the psychology of a schizophrenic character who never liked to study as a child and who never read any books. He confesses that he has never been able to watch the television for more than two hours. But he believes to have a kind of communication with Michael, an Archangel. This is a man who believes the CIA is God and Washington, DC, the Church of God. But can this son of intelligence operatives figure out who Michael actually is? What is the hidden import in his reminiscences and wild assumptions?
George Mattheson has written a psychologically strong novel that allows readers to explore the mind of a schizophrenic individual, understand how reality can be distorted, and what happens when someone lives in their own world. The novel has a deep sense of pathos and from the moment the protagonist — who happens to be the narrator — mentions about being transferred from one psychologist to another, the reader gets a strong idea they won’t be reading anything like in mainstream literature.
This is a unique narrative, breezy and as engaging as it is fast-paced. The quirkiness in the narrative is arresting and the first person voice is so beautifully done that it pulls the reader into the worldview of the protagonist powerfully, irresistibly. From the beginning of the story I wondered if the author could tell an interesting story, but as I read from one engaging page to the next, I understood the story is filled with dread truths and lessons that aren’t obvious. Enigma is a deceptively simple story but it has strong political and religious undertones, uncovering a subconscious that contemporary politicians wouldn’t want readers to awaken. It is utterly gripping, written in gorgeous prose and a strong narrative voice.