Live from Golgotha
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Live from Golgotha

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  879 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, a TV crew will record the Crucifixion, live from Golgotha, in order to boost NBC in the ratings war. In this iconoclastic novel, Vidal japes at the expense of religion, history and taste, mixing Hollywood tough talk with biblical jargon and camp.
Paperback, 248 pages
Published September 23rd 1993 by Little Brown and Company (first published January 1st 1992)
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Vidal is devilishly clever (pun intended, though, irreverently withdrawn...) with this book, a postmodern, post-theist, post-omni masterpiece that has its slow points where it gets a little clever for its own good (perhaps intentionly). I forgive him, though like a Judas must, I still remove a star.

The novel is about the nature of belief and its relationship with narrative structure. It uses Christianity as its model, but one gets the sense that it could have used any Grand Narrative. It's inte...more
Oct 03, 2010 Amanda rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I'm only marking this book 'read' because I don't want to see it in my "currently reading". This book will officially be the only book that I've started and not finished. I'll quote a reviewer below me, "a stream of consciousness that should never have been put to paper." This thing is impossible to read if you aren't 1) used to stream of consciousness, 2) time travel (which I am but,) 3) familiar with the lives of the Saints in the New Testament. I know who they are, who's the favorite, etc, bu...more
This one is funny with just the right amount of irreverence to interest me. I honestly think it comes kind of close to a bizarro work. It's not as free and scrapes bottom at some points due to other goals, but I think the bizarro people I know should check this out. I think they'll be as surprised as me that Vidal wrote this.
Blasphemous, Vulgar, Witty, Pure Vidal
Timothy--Bishop of Macedonia and Ephesus. Maryred in 97AD Killed by a mob of pagans at the Katagogia, a festival for the god Dionysus. Born just after crusifixtion

Gossolalia--speaking in tongues
No such word as Jewish

The Battle of Philippi was the final battle in the Wars of the Second Triumvirate between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian (the Second Triumvirate) against the forces of Julius Caesar's assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC, at Philippi in Macedonia...more
I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting when I picked this one up, but I generally enjoy fictional accounts of Christ’s life. There wasn’t much on the actual life of Jesus, but more of the ministry following his death. The narrator, Timothy, focuses mainly on the life of St. Paul aka Sol aka The Saint. So, Saint fudges a few facts, embellishes his relationship with Christ, has a taste for young men, is in conflict with Jesus’ brother James, and annoys the hell out of St. Peter. It is a satiric...more
When describing Live From Golgotha by Gore Vidal, the word iconoclastic would represent extreme under-statement. This novel, a hotch-potch of fantasy, history, science fiction, theology, politics, philosophy and sheer nonsense, is nothing less than a full-frontal bombardment of Christian myth. The ruins of what originally existed, whatever that might have been, become the skeleton that two thousand years of re-mythologising have fleshed out. They began as an unlikely mistake, according to Gore V...more
a great read for the Christmas season. Vidal uses his usual wit and unblinking irreverence to turn the story of St. Paul on its head and into a funky dark satire reminiscent of Christopher Moore’s Lamb.

or did he tell the Real Story? quo vademus?

we can never be sure because of the presence of one or more hackers who may or may not be erasing and changing the course of history by altering history “tapes.” St. Timothy begins seeing and receiving visitors (he calls them “kibitzers”) and visions from...more
Irene Soldatos
I don't know what to write. It's simply a masterpiece. This book contains a paragraph -- and resulting mental image -- that I will never, ever forget, and which makes me laugh every, single time I think of it. In fact, when I first read the paragraph in question, it almost killed me. I was ill, I had a terrible cough, I started laughing uncontrollably, then coughing uncontrollably, but I couldn't stop laughing, or coughing, which resulted in me running out of breath. I won't tell you what the pa...more
My writing professor in college knew Gore Vidal, so I picked up this title based on his general endorsement. I picked the wrong Vidal book as my first. This is a ridiculous story; meant as satire, but it comes off like a bad Monty Python skit.
Gore Vidal is a very clever and intelligent man, and his novel is also clever and intelligent. However, I think Vidal is a bit too clever for his own good this time. This short novel is packed so tightly with satire, blasphemy, insanity, and mind-bending time-travel physics that it's all a bit too much to take in. It's a funny idea about how NBC executives of the future time-travel to a few weeks before the crucifixion of Jesus to set up a new gospel to be written by a commoner and to film the a...more
Robert Tulba
A funny and creative satire of the history of Christianity. It's good for a laugh. What is interesting, is that as a student of the field, I noticed that Vidal actually did include some genuine historically accurate content among his riffs.
Както знаете Голгота е хълмът, на който е разпнат Исус Христос. Но този акт явно е бил видян от много хора и от много различни ъгли. Гор Видал използва своето въображение, тънък хумор и безкомпромисна критична ръка за да пренапише библейската история, видяна през погледа на св. Томофей Ефески. Тимофей, заедно със св. Павел, започват да преследват дошъл от бъдещето мистериозен хакер, който има наглостта да трие християнските исторически следи и доказателства. Или накратко - това е Евангелието нап...more
Pierre A Renaud
Aug 03, 2012 Pierre A Renaud marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pierre A by: MadgeUK
"What would Jesus do? "select all" then "delete" ("The book is first and foremost a lampoon of Christianity, more specifically, the early years of the church. St. Timothy is a first hand observer [of] St. Paul's effort to expand the market for Christianity. Other Vidal books have documented his cynicism of Christianity and the religious right, but "Live from Golgotha" clearly sets out to satire Christianity from its source: St. Paul. (...)")
Kevin Cole
Not as funny as "Duluth" but uncomfortably fun nonetheless.
Larry Baumgartner
Not my favorite Vidal, quirky but entertaining.
Morris Nelms
It reminded me of the quote "This isn't writing, it's typing."
Vidal is clearly enjoying himself, and that's the only thing that kept me reading.
It wasn't convincing, and when I read it I was not a believer. I was not shocked at the blasphemous content, though I got the feeling Vidal wanted me to be. I had high hopes for this book after Creation, but I think he put a lot more effort into Creation than this one.
I spent most of this book thinking it was interesting, but not very sure of it otherwise. It pulled together at the very end, though, so I think that ultimately, I liked it more than I was ambivalent. I do wonder, however, if I would have gotten more out of it had I been older in the early 90s when it was written as there seemed to be references, etc, that I wasn't entirely sure about.
Julie Marshall
I remember pre-ordering this book in the 90s after reading the Times review. As i remember it lived up to all my expectations. Clever, witty, blasphemous, and hugely entertaining. Now 30 years later, I have dusted it off to give it another go. Have my tastes changed? Do I still have the patience to persevere with Vidal's wild ride? Watch this space and I will let you know.
N. Eric
Riotously funny book about network TV travelling back in time to telecast the crucifixion of Christ. Christ himself doesn't quite live up to the legend (which may be why he said it was easier for a fat man to get into heaven). Of course, its Gore Vidal lampooning religion so it will offend many, but if you read it there is good points to think about in it.
Sacrilegious, punk, scathing, sharp, but ultimately forgettable, and pointless. The perfect book to read on the beach in the summer or when you really want to piss off a Catholic on your Goodreads list.

No, that's not totally fair. Parts of the story are rather clever and memorable. The polished obsidian stone, for example.
Sep 27, 2007 Katherine rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone but religious zealots
this is a quick read and highly entertaining.
it bends the reality of time & space to tell a story about the original disciples of Jesus and how power hungry people from the future go back in time to get a piece of the action for themselves.
i'm almost done with it, it's hard to put down.
Gore Vidal presents the Gospel according to Timothy in a bizarre, sharply funny, scathing satire of religion, the media, and advertising. Vidal draws on his early reading of science fiction to create a time-travel fantasy that isn't for the squeamish.
I generally love Gore Vidal, but this book was pretty silly. Not his best writing, either. And it felt like blasphemy for blasphemy's sake... it just wasn't that funny, to me. Ah, well. I'm sure I'll like the next Vidal book I read more.
Christopher Valin
I can't believe this book isn't more popular, but I suppose most Americans probably consider it blasphemous. Vidal is at his best here, and at his most irreverent. Not for the easily offended (especially when it comes to Christianity).
It took me a bit to adjust to Vidal's frenetic style but once I did, I flew thru this book. It's great and witty religious satire. Highly recommended for anyone who loves taking a bite out of those who take dogma too seriously.
Nick Moffitt
Gore Vidal offers a striking satire on the history of Christianity and modern sciences. It is a time traveling sci-fi similar to Vonnegut's Slaughter House-5 and packs a familiar humor that works very well.
May 09, 2007 Stacey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Most
T.V. networks competing to broadcast the crucifixion. The time travel element is not satisfactorily explained, but it’s all so delightfully perverse and funny that you don’t really care.
My first, but definitely not last, foray into Vidal- irreverent fun, a bit saucy, and quite a bookend for The Testament of Mary, which I read before it...
Lance Reynald
Jun 21, 2007 Lance Reynald rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone that can set aside piety.
Shelves: faves
I love Gore Vidal.
This book is just one of the strong arguments for why.
a fun romp through what media could be if they worked the material in a certain way.
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Eugene Luther Gore Vidal was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. He was also known for his patrician manner, Transatlantic accent, and witty aphorisms. Vidal came from a distinguished political lineage; his grandfather was the senator Thomas Gore, and he later became a relation (through marriage) to Jacqueline Kennedy.

Vidal ran for political office twi...more
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