A work of dangerous and haunting beauty by America's last real literary outlaw.
Under Tiberius is a thrilling story of crime and deceit involving the man who came to be called Jesus Christ. Deep in the recesses of the Vatican, Nick Tosches unearths a first-century memoir by Gaius Fulvius Falconius, foremost speechwriter for Emperor Tiberius. The codex is profound, proof of the existence of a Messiah who was anything but the one we've known - a shabby and licentious thief.
After encountering him in the streets of Judea, Gaius becomes spin doctor for Jesus, and the pair schemes to accrue untold riches by convincing the masses that Jesus is the Son of God. As their marriage of truth and lies is consummated, friendship and wary respect develop between these two grifters.
Outrageous and disturbing, Under Tiberius is as black as the ravishing night, shot through with fierce and brilliant light.
©2015 Nick Tosches (P)2015 Hachette Audio
omnes vos postulo est amor
I would imagine that this book will resonate better with Atheists than Theists. Very funny in places!
The story itself was fabulous - a fascinating potential backstory. But the sound quality was abominable in that it was highly variable so you had to turn the volume way up to listen to the quiet parts and then all of a sudden it would be much louder and blast your ears out until you can get the sound turned down quickly. So it was really frustrating to listen to even though I enjoyed the story greatly overall. If you listen to the story in a completely quiet environment this will be a problem. But listening to it in the car or in the hot tub or at the gym where there is other noise going on around you means that the sound is really hard to regulate. And this is regardless of whether you were listening to it over speakers or through earbuds.
I was looking forward to a wry, tongue-in-cheek take on the gospel story, that was just as likely to have happened as the ones we have handed down in the Bible. I had heard Nick interviewed on NPR and liked the extract he read. But instead, I found this novel very labored, crude and too serious, so I am going to return it. I like what I think the author is trying to do but I don't think he succeeds. And it could be the fault of the super-intense, takes-himself-far-too-seriously reader, that didn't bring out a spark of humor in the chapters I listened to.
I much preferred Lamb by Christopher Moore - that was a really good listen.
Shortened it, made it somewhat more humorous.
Laborious, serious, monochrome.
I would have cut down some of the crudity and "toilet" scenes - not removed them altogether, but once the point was made, move on.
His exploration of the theme that Jesus was an impostor, helped by a noble birth Roman is interesting. NT borrowed too much "thought process" from modern times. Would have been more interesting if he had tried harder to capture the thinking processes of the 1st century human.
I was very intrigued by the idea of this book, but the execution was inadequate. I was disappointed.
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