The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

Paperback, 272 pages

Published April 12, 2011 by Canongate U.S..

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3 stars (6 reviews)

This is a story. In this ingenious and spell-binding retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman revisits the most influential story ever told. Charged with mystery, compassion and enormous power, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ throws fresh light on who Jesus was and asks the reader questions that will continue to resonate long after the final page is turned. For, above all, this book is about how stories become stories.

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Review of 'The good man Jesus and the scoundrel Christ' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

What Pullman tries to do (and very largely succeeds, from my point of view) is both celebrate the life of a man who tried to do some actual good and condemn the willful misuse and misinterpretation of his words to better control the masses. As Christ witnesses through his own actions the inevitable corruption that infects any political hierarchy, he begins to doubt his very belief in what he has so long argued for:

"The body of the faithful, the church, as [the stranger:] calls it, will do every kind of good, I hope so, I believe so, I must believe so, and yet I fear it'll do terrible things as well in its zeal and self-righteousness...Under it's authority, Jesus will be distorted and lied about and compromised and betrayed over and over again."

That's a little on the nose, but we are talking parables here, hardly the most subtle …

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