6 May 2010


This is a STORY.
... From the outer back cover.
In this ingenious and spellbinding retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman revisits the most influential story ever told.
Charged with mystery, compassion and enormous power, The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ throws fresh light on who Jesus was and asks the reader questions that will continue to resonate long after the final page is turned. Above all, this book is about how stories become stories.
.... From the inner front cover.
FIRST SENTENCE: This is the story of Jesus and his brother Christ, of how they lived and (I'm not going to continue for fear of giving part of the story away.)
I started this blog, promising myself I'd review every book I read and so far I've kept to that promise but this review is proving rather difficult (Sighs), so much so that I really don't know if I want to post it.
I'd read so many things about this book, including, of course HUSBAND DEAREST'S REVIEW, and so was expecting 'something' - quite what, I'm not sure.
A totally different review to Hd's as for one thing we read and review books it two completely different ways - he is much more analytical whilst I tend to see things at face value and, in this instance, he has a good working knowledge of the Bible whilst I do not. That said, there was plenty that I did recognise from my childhood telling of the Bible stories, not to mention, all of those Biblical films that I so love.
And that's where I kind of get stuck as, whilst I recognised that the author was trying to make some point, I simply could not get my head around what it was.
Not even able to take the book at face value without looking for some deeper meaning, I, at one point, gave up only to decide on reading it through to the bitter end.
Not a story I enjoyed - the only positive thing I can say about it is, never has there been such debate over a book (no, not even Harry Potter or The Da Vinci Code) in the Petty Witter household.
Having recognised some of the events in the book do I now feel inspired to read the Bible as some have done? Truthfully? No.
One of the worst books I have read in a long while but perhaps for a different reason - I can't say it was particularly well or particularly badly written just like I have no real opinion on any of the characters. Totally bland in one's humble opinion, I found myself totally passionless (either to the good or the bad) about this latest offering from Philip Pullman.

This novel was purchased through Amazon, my third read in THE TYPICALLY BRITISH BOOK CHALLENGE (Click on the relevant links to view the 1st and 2nd books read.)

Read John Crace's Digested Read of the book by clicking HERE though you may not wish to do so if you have not already read the book and plan to do so.


Trac~ said...

Wow - sounds quite interesting! Thanks so much for sharing. P.S. I have posted about the award you gave me last week on my blog today. Also, you should go and read about my embarrassing moment lately - I think (hope) you will get a kick out of it! Have a great day! Big hugs! :o)

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Hi Petty, I love this song too, if you feel embarrassed I could upload another song.
Looking forward to your reply.
My e-mail:


Kissed by an Angel said...

At first I thought I could read it, it sounded interesting!! But given your final words I don't think I'll bother!!!
Glad it's better news about hubby!

Jessica said...

Thanks for the review - I have this book which I'll get round to reading at some point. I was brought up as a christian but I don't think that was why I brought it, be interesting anyway when I do finally read it!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Petty, I'm pleased that Husband Dearest seems to be on the mend. I'll continue my prayers.

Thanks for your book review. I have no intention of reading Pullman's book, but I may not have read it even without the review. :-)

Bad Alice said...

I’ve been hearing a lot about this book. The main impression I get is that is rather…joyless. I love Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, particularly The Golden Compass. I found them imaginative and complex. They brought up great questions about religious authority, the nature of sin and evil, and how we should respond. And I loved Lyra. This book just sounds like a dull exercise.

NabilaHazirah said...

I certainly hope your book will be a good read!


chitra said...

I read the review . I like some thing with lot of humour. PG Wodehouse my Fav.

Kelly said...

You know I make no bones about being a Christian and the depth of my beliefs. That said... I'm secure enough in my faith that I don't shy away from "debatable" books. I quite enjoyed the Da Vinci Code (though the movie fell a bit short, imo). This one just doesn't appeal to me, though. Even less so after your review. There are just too many other things out there I want to read!
Thanks for toughing it out and providing us with your review!

Vivienne said...

I am still not sure about this book. I have heard some fab reviews, but I am not very religious and I would probably struggle with the biblical side of it.

Mae Rae said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I love to read and intend on coming back quite often.

Thank you,

Oddyoddyo13 said...

That sounds awful. I would've put the book down by that point.

I've found it hard to get into Pullman's books sometimes-the Golden Compass especially. I suppose it was better the second time I read it, but I still had trouble getting into it, no matter how good his writing was. Very disappointing, especially after all the hype on the book and the movie. :(

Anonymous said...

Pullman can be tough, I loved his Dark Material trilogy but that was because he had so many fantasy elements, (and talking polar bears) in it, and I love fantasy. I kept feeling frustrated though, like he could have gone further with his ideas, at least for me, some felt he went too far.
I'm torn by the two reviews posted here as to whether I want to tackle this one or not. Hmmm, thanks you two, you have me stumped!
I'll probably just have to dive in and decide for myself. Glad to hear HD is on the mend.

Jennifer McLean said...

Hello you! So glad to hear about your lovely husband! Still keeping fingers & toes crossed for his improved health, although I had to uncross my eyes as I kept bumping into things.
Now it's my turn to tag YOU, although, I won't hold you to the requirements if you're too busy and tired. I know you have so many of these, but since this award is given to people and blogs who inspire me, I had to include YOU. ;o)
Come on over and pick up your award.

themethatisme said...

Go for it Aine...then we can discuss the finer points....

Jenners said...

I tend to take things at face value too ... and read books about topics I know nothing about so I relate to your feelings.