REVIEW: Mister God This Is Anna By Fynn

Mister God This Is Anna By Fynn

I’ve been putting off posting this review, not because It was a dud but because there is so much I want to say about this jewel of a book. But on Friday I went to Joondalup Library for a school excursion, and the last time I went to Joondalup, I was reading Mister God this is Anna for the first time, so I thought that was push enough to spread the word.

It is hard to describe this book. It would be like trying to describe a religious revelation – it is an individual experience. All I can say is that it is one of the most beautiful, philosophical little books I’ve ever read. It revolves around a little girl called Anna, who at the tender age of five is found by a young man called Fynn, alone in the middle of the night on the streets of East-end, London. Fynn sees that Anna needs a home and has been abused so he takes her back to his humble abode to live with him, his mother and the other waifs and runaways they have taken in. Fynn soon discovers that Anna is no ordinary little girl; she is a firecracker of curiosity and wonder, always asking questions and creating theories about how the world works, especially when It comes to Mister God (as she calls him). The author is stated as Fynn, and the story is told through his eyes, but when I did a little digging I found that the man behind this book is actually Sydney Hopkins and to my amaze/excitement I found that he wrote two sequels: Anna’s Book and Anna and the Black Knight.

There is so many amazing ideas in this book that It could easily be the basis of its own religion. It is, at its heart a religious novel, but you don’t have to be religious for it to move you. I’m Pagan, so I don’t really believe in “Mister God” but while the themes of the book are religious, I didn’t feel that they were necessarily Christian or promoting organised religion, but were more spiritual and thoughtful. There would be food for thought for anyone here, even atheists, because beneath the subject matter is simply a little girl overcome with wonder at the world around her, and weren’t we all like that once?

The other amazing thing about this book is the accompanying pictures by William Papas.

One of Papas' drawings

His free-form sketchy style fits the youthful exuberance of the book so well, and even though there is so many pictures of little Anna, you never see her face because it’s always obscured by a mane of wild hair, adding a lovely mysteriousness to the character.

 
I’m not afraid to say, this book greatly affected me the first time I read It. A friend of the family lent it to me because she thought I would like it, and I mostly read it on the train ride to and from Joondalup, where I was getting counseling for anxiety once a week. I was only about 18 and at a hard time in my life, and Mister God this is Anna was a little ray of sunshine. When I read the final chapters, I cried on the train, and didn’t even care who saw. When I returned it to my family friend I tentatively asked if I could keep it (in fact I was so nervous about doing so, I think I asked my mum to be the middle man) but alas, she treasured it too much to let it go.
 
I was so excited to read it again and re-discover all its beautiful moments, and while I did enjoy the reunion, it was overshadowed by the fact that I knew how it ended, and even though the first page warned of the tragic ending, It’s different when you have the image of it. I didn’t cry this time, but that is probably due to the fact that it wasn’t a shock.
 
Despite this shadow hanging over my second reading, I plan to read Mister God this is Anna again and again, and I implore anyone – if you can find this book, do so because I just may change you life.
 
I give Mister God this is Anna By Fynn:

5 / 5 Stars

 
 
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7 thoughts on “REVIEW: Mister God This Is Anna By Fynn

  1. Karen says:

    I read all three books many years ago. Now at the age of 50 I am reading them again (for about the 4th or 5th time). Besides the Bible Mister God This is Anna is my most favorite book. So deep yet so simplistic! I often wondered who Fynn was and if he was truly real. Now with the Internet I found him to be. If we could all see God through the eyes of Anna, how much better off this world would be. As we are told in the Bible, unless we become as a little child we cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

    Like

    • wonderful comment (TQ Karen!!) on a perfect review! (TQ Bookpoly!!)

      yesterday, after perhaps 30 years, I started reading this jewel of a book again… how it wrung my heart with joy.. I think I learned to fly in my heart again ….. alright. so Anna is an angel and makes all us readers enlivened with love and joy… but I feel so indebted to Fynn for his beautiful way of writing and actually giving Anna to us…. I wish I could meet him and spend days together just romping around and talking about Anna. thank you thank you thank you Fynn!!!! Mister God surely held your hand and allowed your heart to pour out of it…otherwise it wd not have been possible for anyone to convey the experience of your (Flynn’s) being so in love with, so bewitched by Tich (Anna). I simply wish to express my overwhelming gratitude to Flynn, Anna and to Mr God for giving them to us and particularly into my heart once again!

      —–the end–

      (I just want to share a little pointer here for anyone who might be inclined towards the philosophy of such profound, sensitive love in theology….something very personal for me in my spiritual journey… When I first read Anna, I had no book-knowledge of spirituality or religion although I always did believe in God. But in the intervening years between then (when I first read Anna I was 18 and in college) and now, it so happened that I had some sort of calling and became a student of and later, a dedicated promoter (like a postman delivers mail, I share the books if these teachings to whoever participated in the devotional programs I organized regularly at the local temple of Lord Krishna or at gatherings in homes of my friends and our congregation..)…
      and yesterday when I started re reading this treasure if a book,

      …I was astounded to see how many of the profound truths that Anna tries to express and ‘educate’ Fynn in, actually fit so snugly within the sublime revelations that were given to the world by the incarnation garbed as a saint …

      …500+ years ago Who was perhaps the greatest apostle of love for God the world has ever known, namely Lord Caitanya, (The Golden Avatara).

      In essence, what He taught or rather revealed, was the ecstatic demonstration of how one who is lost in love for God displays incredible transformations of ecstasy on one’s body (He was totally absorbed in this trance of madness for the last 12 years of His incarnation and did no further preaching during those last 12 years – the holy room wherein He resided is preserved to this day where a ghee lamp burns nonstop since He resided there [up to 1534 A.D., in the Radhakanta Mutt, Jagannath Puri, Orissa, India]… surely words can never compare to the experience. yet, that having been said, He still revealed a theology to help sincere aspirants of pure and ecstatic SPONTANEOUS love of God be guided to gaining that pure love for God while consciously progressively uprooting all the (religious) frills and other unwanted byproducts of the spiritual quest which actually inhibits further growth to the point of total pure love, by which Mister God Himself is totally purchased and conquered!!!

      Those teachings He masterfully encapsulated in a concept called Bhakti Rasa and He revealed the details and stages with wonderful clarity to His principal disciple (who was then the Prime Minister of Bengal in the regime of Nawab Hussein Shah), namely Rupa Goswami. The teachings took place in private between the two saints in the holy city of Benares over ten continuous days on the steps of the bathing Ghat there known as Dasasvamedha Tirtha.

      Later, Rupa Goswami compiled this profound theology of ‘the mellows of love of God’ in in his Sanskrit masterpiece, his magnum opus Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu. Available presently in English as The Nectar of Devotion by A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. (Free eBook at http://www.krishnapath.org)

      The principle disciple of Rupa Goswami was the most prolific Sanskrit author ever Java Goswami. He systematized the entire theology of Lord Caitanya in six detailed theses called the Shut Sandarbhas – Bhakti Sandharbha, Krishna Sandarbha etc.

      It appears that never before has so much detailed information about spontaneous loving exchanges with God the Supreme Person been revealed. The sincere seeker would do well to go through the works mentioned above (to find better appreciations for the profound joyful experiences of Anna!) as well as the books of Bhaktivinoda Thakur, who first revealed in English the profound life and teachings of the great Lord Caitanya! Of particular note is the lovely novel he penned ‘Jaiva Dharma’ in which the theology is masterfully revealed thru the sincere search of two young seekers.

      happy searching and researching to one and all! God bless Anna, (and Fynn!)

      love,

      dina

      Like

  2. wonderful comment (TQ Karen!!) on a perfect review! (TQ Bookpoly!!)

    yesterday, after perhaps 30 years, I started reading this jewel of a book again… how it wrung my heart with joy.. I think I learned to fly in my heart again ….. alright. so Anna is an angel and makes all us readers enlivened with love and joy… but I feel so indebted to Fynn for his beautiful way of writing and actually giving Anna to us…. I wish I could meet him and spend days together just romping around and talking about Anna. thank you thank you thank you Fynn!!!! Mister God surely held your hand and allowed your heart to pour out of it…otherwise it wd not have been possible for anyone to convey the experience of your (Flynn’s) being so in love with, so bewitched by Tich (Anna). I simply wish to express my overwhelming gratitude to Flynn, Anna and to Mr God for giving them to us and particularly into my heart once again!

    —–the end–

    (I just want to share a little pointer here for anyone who might be inclined towards the philosophy of such profound, sensitive love in theology….something very personal for me in my spiritual journey… When I first read Anna, I had no book-knowledge of spirituality or religion although I always did believe in God. But in the intervening years between then (when I first read Anna I was 18 and in college) and now, it so happened that I had some sort of calling and became a student of and later, a dedicated promoter (like a postman delivers mail, I share the books if these teachings to whoever participated in the devotional programs I organized regularly at the local temple of Lord Krishna or at gatherings in homes of my friends and our congregation..)…
    and yesterday when I started re reading this treasure if a book,

    …I was astounded to see how many of the profound truths that Anna tries to express and ‘educate’ Fynn in, actually fit so snugly within the sublime revelations that were given to the world by the incarnation garbed as a saint …

    …500+ years ago Who was perhaps the greatest apostle of love for God the world has ever known, namely Lord Caitanya, (The Golden Avatara).

    In essence, what He taught or rather revealed, was the ecstatic demonstration of how one who is lost in love for God displays incredible transformations of ecstasy on one’s body (He was totally absorbed in this trance of madness for the last 12 years of His incarnation and did no further preaching during those last 12 years – the holy room wherein He resided is preserved to this day where a ghee lamp burns nonstop since He resided there [up to 1534 A.D., in the Radhakanta Mutt, Jagannath Puri, Orissa, India]… surely words can never compare to the experience. yet, that having been said, He still revealed a theology to help sincere aspirants of pure and ecstatic SPONTANEOUS love of God be guided to gaining that pure love for God while consciously progressively uprooting all the (religious) frills and other unwanted byproducts of the spiritual quest which actually inhibits further growth to the point of total pure love, by which Mister God Himself is totally purchased and conquered!!!

    Those teachings He masterfully encapsulated in a concept called Bhakti Rasa and He revealed the details and stages with wonderful clarity to His principal disciple (who was then the Prime Minister of Bengal in the regime of Nawab Hussein Shah), namely Rupa Goswami. The teachings took place in private between the two saints in the holy city of Benares over ten continuous days on the steps of the bathing Ghat there known as Dasasvamedha Tirtha.

    Later, Rupa Goswami compiled this profound theology of ‘the mellows of love of God’ in in his Sanskrit masterpiece, his magnum opus Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu. Available presently in English as The Nectar of Devotion by A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. (Free eBook at http://www.krishnapath.org)

    The principle disciple of Rupa Goswami was the most prolific Sanskrit author ever Java Goswami. He systematized the entire theology of Lord Caitanya in six detailed theses called the Shut Sandarbhas – Bhakti Sandharbha, Krishna Sandarbha etc.

    It appears that never before has so much detailed information about spontaneous loving exchanges with God the Supreme Person been revealed. The sincere seeker would do well to go through the works mentioned above (to find better appreciations for the profound joyful experiences of Anna!) as well as the books of Bhaktivinoda Thakur, who first revealed in English the profound life and teachings of the great Lord Caitanya! Of particular note is the lovely novel he penned ‘Jaiva Dharma’ in which the theology is masterfully revealed thru the sincere search of two young seekers.

    happy searching and researching to one and all! God bless Anna, (and Fynn!)

    love,

    dina

    Like

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