Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal” as Want to Read:
Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  1,115 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Timothy (later St. Timothy) is in his study in Thessalonika, where he is bishop of Macedonia. It is A.D. 96, and Timothy is under terrific pressure to record his version of the Sacred Story, since, far in the future, a cyberpunk (the Hacker) has been systematically destroying the tapes that describe the Good News, and Timothy's Gospel is the only one immune to the Hacker's ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Live from Golgotha, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Live from Golgotha

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 29, 2013 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary, pop
Vidal is devilishly clever (pun intended, though, irreverently withdrawn...)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
Oct 03, 2010 Amanda rated it did not like it
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
Seth Reeves
Mar 15, 2016 Seth Reeves rated it it was amazing
Gore Vidal was, based on my experience so far, incapable of writing a bad book. This book is a bit strange and definitely ties a knot with the normal narrative timeline but I like a book that can surprise me with it's creativity and originality while still crafting interesting characters that make me laugh and think at the same time.

I love Roman history and how it represents and then runs into Christian history. Much like his books about America's founding fathers, I like the notion of being a
Mel Bossa
Sep 22, 2015 Mel Bossa rated it liked it
Shelves: 0006-lgbtq
Here's the thing: this is very smart, witty, full of real knowledge about the period and quirky humor.

But, it takes more than a fast tongue and phenomenal vocabulary to sweep me off my feet.

I mean, yes, Vidal is highly intelligent in this little novel, rewriting the gospel, dropping names, calling people out on the shit they do in the name of God, giving his own little twist to the Judas kiss of betrayal, and even laughing at the "art" of writing itself. It takes some solid balls to do this an
I. Merey
Gore Vidal (like Salman Rushdie) is one of those writers whose been hanging in the outskirts of my writers' consciousness my whole adulthood without me having read a single one of his books. I picked up 'Golgotha' at some cheapo booksale, thinking finally. I'm going to Read Something by Gore Vidal.

Obviously, he is a talented, witty writer, but I could not get into it and I'm jumping ship.
Fuck, maybe I'll just have to die, never having finished a novel of Gore Vidal. : /
Jan 20, 2014 David rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 03, 2016 Kathryn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 13, 2009 Chriskolak rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy
Blasphemous, Vulgar, Witty, Pure Vidal
Jan 14, 2011 Elaine rated it did not like it
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
Mar 15, 2013 Philip rated it really liked it
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
Saint always adjusted his grammar to the audience and never the audience to the grammar. But then we saints are born knowing the tricks of the trade except that Saint had one trick that nobody else has ever mastered. When we have to go into all that endless rap about how J.C. is descended from King David and so on, the result is not only deeply boring but absolutely mystifying for a Gentile audience that doesn't know the difference between a Jew and a Chinaman. So how did Saint get through the d ...more
Hasso von Moltke
Sep 27, 2016 Hasso von Moltke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vidal
While not my favorite of Vidal's works Golgotha is certainly entertaining. It is a relatively short working focusing on Saint Timothy being chosen to anchor a live filming of Golgotha for NBC and record his version of the Gospels in response to all other versions being corrupted by a hacker.

As one might guess the plot is a bit convoluted and chaotic but still enjoyably sacrilegious. It delves into the confusion and infighting of the early church as they try to solidify "Jesus'" message, as well
May 24, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fiction
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
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
David Mckinnon
Dec 08, 2014 David Mckinnon rated it really liked it
Farce. Satire. Comedy. Black comedy. Irreligious. Sacrilegious. Gore Vidal has written a novel that is all of these and yet none of these by themselves. Even the non-believer may shudder at times, expecting the visitation of thunderbolts hurled by an angry God.
Vidal has taken the early days of Christianity and turned them up-side down. The events and the people who were a part of them are no longer recognizable. What were the roles of Peter and Paul in this fictional interlude? How does a Judas
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
Jan 21, 2012 Scott rated it liked it
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
Mar 31, 2015 Makomai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
a meta' tra fantascienza e libello anticristiano (antipaolino in particolare: Paolo di Tarso e` la vittima prediletta di Vidal, che lo ha - a mio avviso giustamente - ridicolizzato anche altrove, V. anche il suo "Giuliano"). Irriverente, scanzonato, divertente, a tratti molto volgare, il libro gioca sulla linea dell'assurdo, ma coglie nel segno - a mio avviso - nell'individuare in Paolo di Tarso l'artefice del passaggio del cristianesimo da un messaggio inteso per il solo popolo ebraico (in cont ...more
Pierre A Renaud
Aug 03, 2012 Pierre A Renaud marked it as to-read
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. (...)")
Oct 05, 2012 Lammoth rated it it was amazing
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
Morris Nelms
Aug 09, 2012 Morris Nelms rated it it was ok
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.
Sep 15, 2011 Joseph rated it really liked 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.
Jul 04, 2010 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
N. Eric
Apr 02, 2012 N. Eric rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 17, 2015 Honeybadger rated it really liked it

Time traveling Zionists vrs NBC vying for control of the broadcast rights to the live crucifiction of Judas! This book was too full of naughty bits, but that just added to the humour. No laugh out loud moments but a constant smirk of amusement about the word play and biblical juggling act. Literally, there's a juggling act. Just hilarious.
Julie Marshall
Sep 14, 2014 Julie Marshall rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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.
Therese Wiese
Sep 27, 2014 Therese Wiese rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A hacker from the 20th century destroys/alters the Bible. Folks from the 20th century appear in the 1st century to St Timothy as holograms. asking him o write new scripturesand hide them. Jesus ends up to be the hacker (sorry, spoiler alert). Some Christians will appreciate the ending, but many will be insulted about the topic.
Christopher Valin
Nov 15, 2009 Christopher Valin rated it it was amazing
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).
Sep 27, 2007 Katherine rated it liked it
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.
Nick Moffitt
Aug 27, 2012 Nick Moffitt rated it really liked it
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Short History of Philosophy
  • How I Grew
  • You are There
  • Guardians of the Tall Stones
  • Heaven's My Destination
  • A Fine Old Conflict
  • Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare
  • Alias the Cat!
  • Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion
  • Forgery and Counter-forgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics
  • Citizen Tom Paine
  • The Grand Inquisitor's Manual
  • I Was There
  • Pope Joan: Translated & Adapted from the Greek
  • Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution it Inspired
  • The Annotated Northwest Passage
  • Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths
  • Caracole
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 about Gore Vidal...

Share This Book