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The Gospel According to the Son

Mailer, Norman

1,401 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679457836 / ISBN 13: 9780679457831
Published by Random House, New York, 1997
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Gospel According to the Son

Publisher: Random House, New York

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

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.

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.

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