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King Jesus [Paperback]

Robert Graves
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 1981
King Jesus, long out of print, is one of the most controversial historical novels of all time. In it, Robert Graves has summoned his superb narrative powers, his painstaking scholarship, his wit and unsurpassed ability to recreate the past, to produce a magnificant portrayal of the life of Christ on earth.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc (1 Oct 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780374516642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374516642
  • ASIN: 0374516642
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 535,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


The knowledge of a scholar and the imagination of a poet are brought to bear upon Jesus as a child, boy and man (Guardian )

Written with simplicity and reverence (Time ) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robert Graves (1895-1985) was a British poet, novelist, translator, and critic. His many books include the historical novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God, the autobiography Good-bye to All That, and the mythic/literary studies The White Goddess and The Greek Myths.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most fascinating Jesus novel out there 24 Oct 1997
By A Customer
Reading this book is a rewarding challenge. It's weird, esoteric, and somehow simultaneously iconoclastic and reverent. As is often the case with Graves, it's clear that he's done a lot of serious research, and from there has gone off on his own curious tangents. (It looks like he got some material from Robert Eisler's book from the '20s, "The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist"). Graves's methods drive some scholars crazy, because they want a clear line drawn between the research and the tangents. "King Jesus" is clearly more propaganda for Graves's "White Goddess" theology, but as propaganda it's great fun. Indulge Graves early on in the book--material that may seem pointless eventually does inform what follows. With few exceptions, the book is sympathetic to Judaism, but the exceptions should not be read as anti-Semitism; rather, the reader should recognize that Graves is equally discriminatory towards all religions where they don't gibe with his White Goddess-ism.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Astonishing 6 Jun 1997
By A Customer
It is doubtful if there is any man alive today who could write a book which equaled "King Jesus" as
an intellectual virtuoso performance. The work is a dazzling display of esoteric scholarship, poerty and imagination which leaves the reader breathless at the sheer audacity of its mystical logic. This is a most important book which should be read by anyone interested in looking beyond stock theology.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before The Da Vinci Code 3 Jun 2004
I am quite surprised no-one else has commented on how Robert Graves explored the issue of Jesus' supposed marriage to Mary Magdelene and its connection to the more ancient cult of Goddess Worship long before Dan Brown. It isn't just Nag Hammadi and the Gnostics who should be credited for the Da Vinci Code.
On both a literary and mythological level King Jesus is by far superior to the Da Vinci Code and infinitely more controversial and thought provoking.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
By Melchy
Published in 1946 - but never mentioned. Roots Christianity in Jewish and Hellenistic traditions. Like most of Graves' work, a monumental reconstruction that resonates with scholarship. Totally ignored by other biblical and cultural commentators. Never assimilated because he is too challenging, his knowledge of poetry and myth is too deep and encyclopaedic and makes other 'scholars' look like frauds. Try his 'White Goddess' or 'The Nazarene Gospel Restored' - if you can get hold of the latter at all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully fun "read" 27 Nov 1997
By A Customer
Robert Graves' writings are all fascinating, but this one is unique. You do not have to be a biblical scholar or history fan to enjoy this presentation of Mr. Graves' ideas. Well researched and provacative - not for the easily offended. Read it and form YOUR opinion!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
We can name it an historical novel of Jesus Christ. Graves rejects plainly the myth of the Jesus' birth from a virgin and build a plot of mistery, murder and superstition that is readable 100%.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, remarkable achievement 12 April 1999
By A Customer
Easy reading this ain't, especially while you're first trying to get into it, but it's hard to think of a more rewarding way to spend your time and intellectual effort. The research is astonishing, the hypothesis is brilliant and revelatory, the theology flawless and the narrative lucid and inspiring. Moreover despite Graves' atheism the novel remains utterly respectful of Jesus Christ. A riveting book which I expect to continue to bore my friends by quoting for probably the rest of my life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hard read 16 Mar 2008
A very good book, which if one has read Grave's The Greek Myths makes a lot of sense. Also I found Sir James Fraszers "The Golden Bough" a help; or rather it makes more sense of that book. a Thought, at circa 600 AD Medina & Mecca were centres of Goddess worshipping cults what happened!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars King Jesus & Herod
My in-depth review is on my blog, focusing on Robert Graves' important emphasis on King Herod Antipater as the husband of Mary, and the father of Jesus! Read more
Published on 3 April 2012 by David Seals
4.0 out of 5 stars King Jesus, the Origins of Christianity revealed
Like all books by Robert Graves King Jesus is beautifully written, poetic, and full of surprising scenes and images. Read more
Published on 2 Aug 2011 by Robert J. Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars King Jesus - the real story?
As with all Robert Graves novels, he assumes you are familiar with the "White Goddess" an amazing book of poetic myth and legend, filled with esoteric knowledge which just makes... Read more
Published on 27 Jun 2011 by Mrs. Penelope J. Jaquet
5.0 out of 5 stars King Jesus - Robert Graves
Received the book in exremely good condition and very prompt delivery. Haven't had time to read it yet. Am taking it on holiday with me in a couple of week' time. Read more
Published on 7 Aug 2010 by EA Clewes
3.0 out of 5 stars Elegant codswallop
I admire the passion and scholarship of Graves, who was a unique man. This book adds to the canon of misogeny evident in Claudius and Belisarius, and for those unacquainted with... Read more
Published on 6 Jun 2008 by The Outsider
3.0 out of 5 stars fantasy
Graves's Claudius books, though they were melodramatic fiction, at least reported near contemporary accounts with some accuracy. Read more
Published on 15 April 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars the new testament, chapter 2
Robert Graves has done what no organized Christian denomination would ever dream of doing...he has brought Jesus to us as a human, and the life that he led is an obtainable goal... Read more
Published on 3 Feb 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Ok, ok, I'll say it: I, Claudius it ain't
in that King Jesus is certainly not a soap opera. Graves has constructed a well-researched and intriguing life of Christ on earth, which departs in many ways from the received... Read more
Published on 30 Jun 1998
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