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  • The Testament of Mary

  • By: Colm Toibin
  • Narrated by: Meryl Streep
  • Length: 3 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,865
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,728
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,711

Meryl Streep’s performance of Colm Tóibín's acclaimed portrait of Mary is hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “an ideal audiobook,” presenting the three-time Academy Award-winner in “yet another great role.” Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Colm Tóibín's The Testament of Mary presents Mary as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity. In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel. They are her keepers, providing her with food and shelter and visiting her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it"; nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples. This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone, in a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • from a non believer...

  • By Taormina60 on 09-27-13

hated it

1 out of 5 stars
1 out of 5 stars
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-14-14

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The book and voice portrays Mary as a bitter, angry, hateful old woman. It is historically and biblically inaccurate, in the events, timeline, and even details. Mary speaks of her son with disdain, she hates the disciples and even pulls a knife on one of them, and her only "comfort" was a visit to the temple of Athena. Even the timeline is backwards; the resurrection of Lazarus occurs before the wedding of Cana in this horrible "retelling."

Has The Testament of Mary turned you off from other books in this genre?

It really does not belong in the "inspirational" category. It seems like it was written by an adolescent atheist who didn't feel the need to research even small historical details, let alone the bible that is supposed to be based upon. It is ridiculous!

127 of 185 people found this review helpful