“Beautiful and comely daughters” – A serendipitous encounter with The Book of Enoch

In a former incarnation, Anhkie was an Event Director for a thriving Indie bookstore that hosted some amazing authors – all committed to their work,  their readers and the largely unprofitable task of schlepping store to store to eat bad cheese, drink cheap wine and wear out their smiles behind the signing desk.  Or not.  Sometimes, intrepid writers would make the trek only to find that the audience forgot to show up. It’s hard to ignore a roomful of empty chairs, and how these authors dealt with the disappointment was revealing. There were the sulkers of course, the good sports who made a show of it anyway, and rarest of all – the true believers who took the opportunity to talk, really talk, to the few folks who came.  Among the latter was best-selling author Tess Gerritsen. She had just published The Mephisto Club – a first time foray into paranormal thrills and a stunner if I may say so.  There were fewer than a dozen people in the room, so rather than read, Tess talked about her process, answered questions, engaged and utterly won over everyone in the room – including Ankhie. Someone asked her about the genesis of this gruesome tale of ritual killing and monstrous bloodlines.  Ms. Gerritsen leaned over and pulled from her bag a little, blood-colored volume entitled The Book of Enoch the Prophet. It was from this that she finally did read:

VI. I. And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. 2. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them…

VII.I. … and they began to go unto them and defile themselves with them,and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. 2. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants…3. Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when them men could no longer sustain them, 4. The giants turned against them and devoured mankind.

Lordy lordy! If she hadn’t gotten my attention before, she certainly had it then! She encouraged everyone present to go out and buy a copy, further encouraging those with literary or artistic intention to consult esoteric sources for inspiration.

So here Ankhie sits, years later – working for the publisher of that compelling little tome, noting how well it fits into the subject of this blog (Weiser Classics) and absolutely delighted to see that the gracious and charming Ms. Gerritsen is still hitting the best seller list, with her own fictional creations (her “beautiful and comely daughters” if you will) now taking shape on the small screen as Rizzoli and Isles.  Sweet serendipity. I think I owe Ms. Gerritsen my thanks!

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