The Liar’s Gospel is the story of Yehoshuah, a Jewish man who wandered Roman-occupied Judea giving sermons and healing the sick. Now, a year after his death, four people tell their stories, recalling their memories of a man battling with a loss of faith in a land on the brink of conflict. It was a time of brutal tyranny and occupation, of rebellion and riots, of rumour and betrayal. And in the midst of it all, one inconsequential preacher died.
And either something miraculous happened, or someone lied…
©2012 Naomi Alderman (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd
It's not bad. It's also possibly not very good. I finished it completely unattached to any of the characters, and, although I do understand Alderman's approach to this essential topic, it still feels like a less than rounded piece.
It's hard to tell why; I understand her attempt to take the emotions out of discussing the times surrounding a character we think may have been *the* Jesus of the New Testament. I also understand her demotion of the impact of his presence on his times and circumstances. I also like the idea of the Rashomon-like detour around various characters examining more or less the same events (or non-events). I also appreciate her circumventing final statements and definitive answers.
So I don't know why I don't like it more. I guess it lacks that "it" that sucks you in. The women are strong and vocal while apparently submitting to a male-dominated society; the good men are worse than you think, the bad men are better. They all work for small immediate purposes, under abstract notions. I guess it's such a politically correct circumvention of definitive answers that the thread is too thick and the weave ends up being unsatisfactory.
"The Liars' Gospel by Naomi Alderman"
A new take on an old story
Judas's life story
Mary's rejection by Jesus
Very thought provoking. A very well researched and imaginative telling of a familiar story.
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