The Gospel According to the Son

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9780345421326: The Gospel According to the Son
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For two thousand years, the brief ministry of a young Nazarene preacher has remained the largest single determinant of Western civilization's triumphs and disasters. Now, Norman Mailer has written a novel about Jesus's life. Is God speaking to me? Jesus asks. Or am I hearing voices? If the voices are from God, why has He chosen me as His son? And if they are not from God, then who gave me the power to perform these miracles?

It soon becomes evident that we are being told the story of a skilled and most devout carpenter who is living with prodigious questions. The result is an intimately readable account of a man thrust forward by the visions he receives, the sermons he offers, and the miracles he enacts until he comes to the apocalyptic end of his powers.

The Gospel According to the Son vividly recreates the world of Galilee and Jerusalem two thousand years ago. In a time of uneasy stability, the Holy Land is governed by a complacent but fearful establishment who rule over a despairing underclass -- it is a time of great change, open to comparison with our own. Mailer's signal accomplishment is to create for us a man wholly unlike others who is nonetheless filled with passion and doubt, strength and weakness; a protagonist divine and human, a son of God who shares our condition.

In The Gospel According to the Son, one of America's greatest living writers has brought us a remarkable book -- by turns bold, thoughtful, poetic, tragic, passionate, and, to our surprise and pleasure, suspenseful.
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Review:

In the two millennia since Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote their separate biographies of Jesus, only a handful of other authors have attempted renditions--Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, and D. H. Lawrence have tried their hands at it; scholars E. P. Sanders and Raymond Brown have produced academic treatises on the historical Jesus. Perhaps the best-known fictional account of the life of Jesus is Nikos Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ, which explores the Son of Man's all-too-human side. Norman Mailer joins these ranks with The Gospel According to the Son.

Not content to chronicle Jesus' life in the form of an apocryphal gospel, Mailer has the chutzpah to crawl inside his title character's head and tell the story from the first-person point of view. Here we get the Prince of Peace's personal account of his temptation by Satan, his three-year ministry, and his agony on the cross. Mailer presents an entirely new kind of passion play, one that remains faithful to the shape of Jesus' life as outlined in the gospels, while daring to imagine the inner life of this most elusive historical figure.

From the Publisher:

"Only a novelist as daring as Mailer would attempt to retell the story of Jesus in Jesus's own words. There are reasons for this, paramount among them the difficulty, perhaps impossibility, of plumbing the psychology of, and creating an internal voice for, a man meant to be divine as well as human. And the Jesus whose soul Mailer bares in this brave, beautiful and ambitious new novel is both. His Jesus is the Son of God, a Jewish miracle worker who is crucified for his teachings and who, three days later, rises from the dead.

Mailer is brilliant in depicting the human side of Jesus -- his confusion and pride as he comes to understand who he is; his love for sinners, and hatred of the pious; his terror at his impending fate and, above all, his grappling with the limits of his powers ... The Gospel According to the Son's penetration into Jesus's human heart rivals Dostoyevsky for depth and insight. Its recreation of the world through which Jesus walked is as real as blood. Ultimately, Mailer convinces, more than any writer before him, that for Jesus the man it could have been just like this; and that is, in itself, some sort of literary miracle."
-- Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780345434081: The Gospel According to the Son: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0345434080 ISBN 13:  9780345434081
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 1999
Softcover

9780679457831: The Gospel According to the Son

Random..., 1997
Hardcover

9780517401125: Gospel According to the Son

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Hardcover

9780316641685: The Gospel According to The Son

Random, 1997
Hardcover

9780349110141: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SON

Abacus, 1998
Softcover

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