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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ: A Novel
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ A Novel
Author: Philip Pullman
Part novel, part history, part fairytale, The Good Man Jesus offers a radical new take on the myths and the mysteries of the Gospels, and the genesis of church that has so shaped the course of the last two millennia. With all the magic for which Pullman's storytelling is famed, this provocative and thoughtful new book from one of Britain's best ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780802129963
ISBN-10: 080212996X
Publication Date: 3/29/2010
Pages: 192
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

3 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Grove Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 3
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reviewed The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ: A Novel on + 134 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a re-imagining of the life of Jesus by Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy and noted atheist.

The book is a VERY quick read, 240-odd pages with short chapters. Pullman's narrative reads easily and seems pretty plausible (although I did figure out one of the main plot points about 100 pages in). The most interesting part for me, however, was the afterword (not sure if it's present in the hardcover edition, but it is in the paperback). Pullman uses this space to talk about his own personal religious history, how the idea for writing this novel came about, and some of the research and thought process he went through during the writing. I felt as though the afterword alone was almost worth the price of the book itself; it was a very eloquent explanation.

As with any reinterpretation of a religious account, this book may not appeal to very religious (Christian) readers, but for those interested in general religious studies or people who have an open mind about these things, I would recommend this book, if only for a different perspective on a well-known story.
reviewed The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ: A Novel on + 580 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I wasnt sure what to make of this. It is fiction and never claims to be the truth.

It retells the story of Jesus Christ, as if he was born twins, and none of the miracles happened. Christ wrote and changed the story so Jesus would not be forgotten so his death was not forgotten. So Christ had to change some of story. Jesus in the garden is really mad at God and doesnt even believe he exists and predicts all the evil things that the CHURCH will do if it is establish. Christ from the beginning has wanted to form the CHURCH. Christ does all the things Judas does, taking the money and kissing Jesus in the Garden. Christ then pretends to be the resurrected Jesus and the church is born.

I think I got more out of by listening to this than if I had tried to read it.
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reviewed The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ: A Novel on + 181 more book reviews
I was expecting something more along the lines of Lamb by Christopher Moore -- funny, irreverent -- and this was definitely not that. I'm probably only giving the book three stars because I expected something different, but it was actually a good book.

When I told a friend about reading this book, she said she'd received an e-mail from a (Catholic) mutual acquaintance of ours, basically saying that Philip Pullman was the anti-Christ for writing this book. I can see where this would offend Catholics in particular (because there are some very pointed comments about how power within the church corrupts) and church-goers in general. Pullman definitely has some negative things to say (through the mouth of a fictional Jesus) about organized religion, but for me that's not off-putting. If you take organized religion seriously, this probably isn't the book for you.

So with that disclaimer, this is a fictionalized account of the life of Jesus...and "Christ" (whose real name is never given, although it's referred to as being a common name, and by the end of the book you can probably guess it) under the premise that Mary immaculately conceived twins. This allows Pullman to explore various sides of the Christian message and the relationship between faith and religion.