Saturday, April 02, 2011

Review: The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

Before picking up The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, it is important to realize the Pullman is an atheist and not shy about it. So I expected to read an insightful and deep, if not funny novel about Christianity.

The book's premise was that Jesus had a twin brother, Christ, who stayed in the background recording Christ's deeds while eventually having an important role to play in the final days of that well known tale. Rather than use the Bible's original words, Pullman does a good job of bringing the stories into the vernacular, and keeping things as I remembered from my (now ancient) reading of the bible.

Nevertheless, I found the plot a little too predictable. Once the premise was provided, it was clear where things were going to go, and Pullman pulls no clever surprises, or ever twists on the Sermons/Parables. He does point out the obvious moral conflicts in what Jesus says, but never does resolve them.

To its credit, the book is short and easily read in a couple of hours, but I wouldn't say it was a good use of my time. Go read His Dark Materials instead.
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