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Publisher's Summary

A scroll is discovered, buried among the ancient papyri of the Dead Sea. Although fragile and crumbling, the scroll is mostly intact, the faded lines of Koine script still legible. When Father Leo Newman, a priest from Rome, is called to Jerusalem to help decipher the scroll's meaning, he soon discovers that the text appears to be a fifth gospel. If the scroll is authentic - and if the radical, incendiary story it tells is true - all of Christianity itself will be open to a complete reinterpretation.

Leo is poised on the brink of an abyss, for, while he unravels the mysteries of the scroll, he is also fighting an impossible attraction to a married woman. Leo's whole life has been held together by the strength of his faith and his intellect, but now the testimony of the Judas scroll and the desires that make him human threaten to throw his entire vocation into question.

With vivid evocations of Vatican Rome and the holy city of Jerusalem, and including fascinating details of papyrus science, Simon Mawer expertly weaves together a dramatic narrative that spans 2,000 years across Europe and the Middle East in poetic, illuminating prose.

©2001 by Simon Mawer, All Rights Reserved; (P)2001 by Time Warner AudioBooks

Critic Reviews

"A gripping, utterly compelling story." (The London Times)
"[Mawer's] greatest strength is in crafting probing, puzzlelike narratives..." (The Atlantic Monthly)

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  • Story

Promised much, delivered little

The first thought that I had when this book ended was that I had wasted my time. I read it a few weeks ago, and actually, other than the fact that I didn't care for it,I remember very little about it. If it had a plot it eluded me. I wanted the reader to get some serious insight to what kind of man Judas was, be we never get to delve into the "Gospel of Judas" at all; there is just this milling around of people, poor character development, and everything goes nowhere very slowly.

I once read a similar book; I wish I could remember it's name, which told a fascinating story about Judas, showing him as one of Christ's most passionate followers and not a traitor at all. Judas' idea of the Savior was a militant one, rather than the peaceful teacher of "love thy neighbor", and thought he was actually helping Christ achieve his goals by turning him in. It made me look at Judas the man in a different light.

Unfortunately, "The Gospel of Judas" does not give us any insight into the man himself. It is just a loosely woven tangle of characters who don't seem to be interested in much of anything.

30 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • ODESSA, FL, United States
  • 09-14-06

Booring

After an hour+ of listening to this poorly written soap opera of a book, it is all that I can do to make myself listen to anymore of it.
If you have not bought it yet, don't bother.
A waste of memory on my ipod. I actually rate it 0.01 star.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Less than promised

Fiction about archaelogical discoveries is fascinating, but you won't find a good example here. This book is very short of archaelogical detail and loaded with characters' trivial pursuits along a thin plot line. Pass on this one. There is less here than meets the eye.