Sunday, July 07, 2013

Review: The Liars' Gospel

The Liars' Gospel
The Liars' Gospel by Naomi Alderman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was ... interesting. Definitely gets inside the minds of people living in the years contemporaneous and just after Jesus' death. The book has four "gospels" told from very different points of view: Jesus' mother, Caiaphas, Judas Iscariot, and Barabbas (I'm using their traditional names here, rather than Alderman's more Jewish names). The portrait we get of Jesus, and his closest companions, is far from flattering, regardless of which of the points of view we're getting, but most of the people telling their stories aren't very nice people. Even Mary turns out to be a bit problematic, though she is the most sympathetic.

I have a much clearer view of what it must of have been like to live in the early C.E. era as a Jew in Israel. It wasn't nice, it wasn't pleasant, and it certainly wasn't clear who was believable and who was trustworthy. Terrifying, really, to think how things come together seemingly randomly to create a groundswell.

Good book.

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