Catherine's Reviews > The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman
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's review
May 27, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: 2010, historical

I was expecting something more along the lines of LambLamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal -- funny, irreverent -- and this was definitely not that. I'm probably only giving the book three stars because I expected something different, but it was actually a good book.

When I told a friend about reading this book, she said she'd received an e-mail from a (Catholic) mutual acquaintance of ours, basically saying that Philip Pullman was the anti-Christ for writing this book. I can see where this would offend Catholics in particular (because there are some very pointed comments about how power within the church corrupts) and church-goers in general. Pullman definitely has some negative things to say (through the mouth of a fictional Jesus) about organized religion, but for me that's not off-putting. If you take organized religion seriously, this probably isn't the book for you.

So with that disclaimer, this is a fictionalized account of the life of Jesus...and "Christ" (whose real name is never given, although it's referred to as being a common name, and by the end of the book you can probably guess it) under the premise that Mary immaculately conceived twins. This allows Pullman to explore various sides of the Christian message and the relationship between faith and religion.

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