Jennifer Stephens's Reviews > The Liars' Gospel

The Liars' Gospel by Naomi Alderman
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did not like it
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The Liars' Gospel by Naomi Alderman is a "creative" retelling of life in Israel under Roman occupation and early on centers on Jesus. Alderman's crafting of words is superb so it's quite disappointing that she put her talent to work slandering a public figure in such an offensive manner.

In the novel we are exposed to the viewpoints of Mary, Barabbas, and Judas as imagined by Alderman. I can get behind historical fiction wherein we take a real place or course of events to set the scene and slide in imaginary characters to build a plot. Likewise I enjoy a twist on a known public figure that shows another side of them that is faithful to their overall historical presence but adds a new dimension of storytelling. But I really have a problem with a convenient retelling that absolutely butchers the essence of a character we've come to know through history. Jesus punching his father in the face and the other nonsense that goes on in The Liars' Gospel is disgusting and the character sketch of Jesus as depicted by Alderman is very offensive to not only Christians but to the record of history. What's next, a historical novel about Ghandi detailing his secret role as a fascist, working undercover for the state to stir up insurrection and justification for his friends in power to destroy the people? Perhaps a creative retelling of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King recast as a drunkard and adulterer whose main focus was becoming famous and having a movie made about himself? Or we could approach it from the other direction and spin a moving story of Hitler and how he was deeply misunderstood?

I've read other reviews in a similar vein (thus my voice ads to the chorus) and so I know what's next: cue the godless hoards to leave argumentative comments on this review and attack my coverage of the novel.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 3, 2013 – Shelved
June 3, 2013 – Finished Reading
June 27, 2013 – Shelved as: reviewed

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

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Hamster Amen, sista.


message 2: by Edoardo (new)

Edoardo Serpelloni "butchers the essence of a character we've come to know through history" No. just through a single book


Alex Unlike Gandhi, MLK and Hitler, Jesus isn't a historical figure. Jesus has been interpreted a million different ways; the Gospels aren't even remotely consistent with each other in depicting Jesus' character. And Alderman isn't "godless," she's Jewish. Jesus and his followers have meant something very different to Jews than what they mean in your self-congratulatory reading of what you think qualifies as "the record of history." Alderman's interpretation may not be politically correct, but it's as valid as yours.


message 4: by Thomas (new) - added it

Thomas Gizbert Token atheistic argumentative comment.


message 5: by Nik (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nik Kane "Godless hordes" Love it! If it was satire this review would be brilliant.


Alex Nik, are you familiar with Poe's Law?


message 7: by Nik (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nik Kane Aleks, yeah, that's kinda what I was hinting at, although I don't think I'd go so far as to say this review is indistinguishable from satire, just close enough to be amusing.


Alex Well, Rev. King was an adulterer, so she accidentally got one thing correct.


Kirsten What a ridiculous review.


Ashley 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂


message 11: by Maui (new)

Maui Island Pretty funny in its insipid, simple minded thinking


message 12: by Lauren (new) - added it

Lauren What an incredibly ridiculous review. You do know there’s absolutely zero evidence Jesus/Yeshuah actually existed, yes?


message 13: by Lauren (new) - added it

Lauren Still laughing about this review so I just thought I’d pop by and remind you that you’re completely ridiculous.


message 14: by Mariel (new) - added it

Mariel "godless hordes" wow lol


Natalie Godless "hoardes" actually. Whatever they are. Stacks of books by Richard Dawkins?


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