- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (2 Sept. 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1860466842
- ISBN-13: 978-1860466847
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Gospel According To Jesus Christ (Panther) Paperback – 2 Sep 1999
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"Profound and poignant" (Independent)
A reissue of Saramago's fictionalized account of the life of JesusSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Saramago has developed a velvet like way of writing which is often difficult to read over prolonged periods. The absence of standard punctuation and paragraphs make it reminiscent of Beckett, and his use of language is comparable to that other winner of the Nobel prize. Read this book just for its beautiful descriptive passages, the delicate love story, the distrust of power and its groundedness in humanity.
It will linger with you for months after.
Jesus' biblical story is re-told by an unnamed `evangelist' at pains to detail his early life so that the reader can understand his subsequent actions. The guilt suffered by Joseph by not warning the parents of Bethlehem of Herod's intended massacre of the innocents drives and haunts him throughout his life and becomes Jesus' inheritance. The angst of Jesus continues through much of the book and is later replaced by the demands of his second Father, God. These demands are transmuted into guilt for the future deaths and sufferings of many thousands of people when Jesus begins to understand God's plan to start a world encompassing religion using his son's life and death.
If God made man in his image, then God must be made in man's image - and if this is so, then he must act with all the faults and errors of a man though with more power. This logic informs the final third of the novel once God has made his divine plan known.
The narrator also picks at the many holes in the Gospels' accounts using logic and reasoning. But this is not the real purpose of this novel - after all many other writers from Thomas Paine to Christopher Hitchens have obliterated any claim the Bible may have had to be either a true account of a divinely written text. The central aim in this book is to answer the question "Who is God and why does he allow such evil, misery and suffering in the world?Read more ›
Nothing is absolute, nothing is black and white, and it all just alters depending on the perspective you're looking at it. We all know that, nothing new there, but Jose Saramago does it beautifully and boldly to a subject that is so divisive in human history, you hear the sharp intakes of breath and murmurs of - `how dares he?'
I loved every minute of it, even some of the more long drawn passages.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
MUCH TO DISOCOVER IN THIS BOOK DESPITE THE FEW SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
The word Gospel (and also Evangelho, in Saramago’s original Portuguese title) means “good news”;... Read more
Fascinating book by one of Portugal's finest writers of the 20th C.Published 6 months ago by MR LINKS
I don't know much about the bible, but really enjoyed reading this. I guess if you're religious it might be challenging to the bible's account of what happened and a bit... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mrs Nicola J Elliott
A classic, hard to let down once one can become familair with Saramago's way of writingPublished 15 months ago by Luisa Tropartz
José Saramago presents a richly imagined human interpretation of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Geoff Crocker