Written soon after the founding of the state of Israel, The Second Scroll is A.M. Klein's most innovative and visionary work. The five "books" of the novel are a modern testament of Jewish experience to which are appended "glosses" or commentaries in the form of drama, epistle, poetry, and psalm. The action centres on a young writer from Montreal, whose search for his legendary Uncle Melech becomes a journey of revelation through Italy, Morocco, and the Holy Land. Dissident and exile, reformer and scholar, Melech is a messianic figure who enacts the destiny of his people and embodies the spiritual yearnings of everyman.
The Second Scroll , Klein's only novel, combines the lyric genius of his poetic works with compelling reportage to create one of the most eloquent and original works in Canadian fiction.