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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ Audio CD – Audiobook, 27 May 2014

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (27 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1491503998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491503997
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,350,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on 19th October 1946. The early part of his life was spent travelling all over the world, because his father and then his stepfather were both in the Royal Air Force. He spent part of his childhood in Australia, where he first met the wonders of comics, and grew to love Superman and Batman in particular. From the age of 11, he lived in North Wales, having moved back to Britain. It was a time when children were allowed to roam anywhere, to play in the streets, to wander over the hills, and he took full advantage of it. His English teacher, Miss Enid Jones, was a big influence on him, and he still sends her copies of his books.

After he left school he went to Exeter College, Oxford, to read English. He did a number of odd jobs for a while, and then moved back to Oxford to become a teacher. He taught at various middle schools for twelve years, and then moved to Westminster College, Oxford, to be a part-time lecturer. He taught courses on the Victorian novel and on the folk tale, and also a course examining how words and pictures fit together. He eventually left teaching in order to write full-time.

His first published novel was for adults, but he began writing for children when he was a teacher. Some of his novels were based on plays he wrote for his school pupils, such as The Ruby In The Smoke. He is best known for the award winning His Dark Materials series, consisting of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

Product Description

Review

A supreme storyteller . . . Pullman has done the story a service by reminding us of its extraordinary power to provoke and disturb. --Sally Vickers, Telegraph

A small gem or, given its explosive story and exquisite artistry, a hand grenade made by Faberge. --Bryan Appelyard, Sunday Times

Clever and thought-provoking. --Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Magnificent . . . Five hundred years ago Pullman would have been burnt at the stake as a heratic. Now his ideas merely set the debate alight. --Nigel Nelson, Church of England Newspaper

The Gospel according to Pullman, precisely because it is so skilfully constructed, will prompt many readers to turn once more to consider whether or not they should accept the apparently bizarre testimony of the early Christian witnesses.
--A. N. Wilson, Literary Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Philip Pullman retells the story of Jesus in this explosive addition to Canongate's Myths series --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sean Higgins on 5 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
The writing was very simple, in a brief Hemmingway or Cormack Macarthy style. The book has been padded to appear more substantial but it is a fascinating read for Christisan and non-christians.
When my Vicar said to the congregation after reading the nativity passages that we believe because we have faith i really felt come on, it's the fact that we believe without question that everyone else thinks we are fools.

This book examines an alternative, not as a way of debunking Christs teachings but of examining how man and the Church that followed can examine things how they have a vested interest in adding fat to the thin story and how clearly there appears other motives at hand that turned the teachings of Christ into the church that we know today. In the STORY, Jesus is a good man, who we know christ to be and who in every way should be followed as a teacher and Prophet, but the Christ we have now is divine because he has to be in order for us to continue our belief.

I do not believe in the divinity and i do not go to church anymore. I believe in Jesus, his teachings and the fallability of man.

I was saddened when Jesus was portrayed as a man even though this is what i believe. Because it is like how you confront a bully and make them humble, you are saddened that you have had to break a person and you pity them. But i am lifted by the fact that the teachings alone are truthful, even if they have become distorted with time or by time. Because i like philosophy, i like the power of the human spirit but i also like the power of the church as a collective force for good. When it behaves, as Pullman hypothesises here, as a force of selfinterest, power and politics then i also despair.

And Blasphemy is not when you question the word it is when you curse god. If god, jesus, mohammed wanted us to be blind followers without question you have to question whether you want that type of god.
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615 of 647 people found the following review helpful By L C James on 9 April 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm disappointed that so many people here have got stuck arguing about whether this is `blasphemous' or not. I'm a Christian and I think this is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. Pullman, whatever his own beliefs, knows his bible (Including the apocrypha) extremely well and has written what I think is an extremely clever story. Many people know how the story ultimately ends; with the death of Jesus on the cross and claims of his resurrection, but along the way Pullman retells some of the most profound stories of our Christian life in an enlightening, and I would even say, a revelatory, way.

The book is a quick read, with short chapters detailing particular bible events. But readers should not think that a quick read makes it a "light" read. There is much to ponder in the writing. The book invokes questions about how history and story are interlinked as well as considering the difficulty of discerning truth from history. That truth can be discovered in story is self evident in the reading of this story.

I don't think this is an anti-Christian book; although it is, very definitely, an anti-church book; but Christianity and the church are two different things. Pullman's description, spoken through the mouth of Jesus in this book, of what the church is and what the church should be, is one of the most finely tuned expose of where we (Christians) have gone wrong.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Martin on 15 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
Easy to read as well as thought-provoking. Just as 'The Life of Brian' was not an attack on Jesus but a parody of the way some have chosen to follow him, this story likewise gives a positive and realistic view of the man Jesus. Using the fictional alter-ego and twin Christ, Pullman represents his view of where the Christian church has missed the point. The message that Jesus is sharing (such as that of the sermon of the mount) seems accurate and real. The miracles are not so much explained as downplayed by both Jesus and Christ leaving it to the reader to decide whether they were in fact miraculous or just seen that way. The idea that an fully structured global church was a concept from the start (by Christ) and in fact refuted by Jesus (here a slant on the temptation of Jesus after the 40 days is revealing) is putting the cart before the horse perhaps but allows the story to be told during the timeframe of Jesus's life. Just as in the Python movie this story should give pause for thought to Christians and understanding to non-Christians. Following Jesus should be seen as a dignified and noble way of life but doing what a church says blindly without thought should be challenged.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Olly Buxton on 3 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
I've read a number of retellings of the central Christian story recently: C K Stead wrote a fascinating and surprisingly faithful (irony intended) secular retelling from the eyes of Judas Hiscariot; I was fortunate enough to attend a performance of the famous, once-in-a-decade Oberammergau Passion Play in Bavaria, and now I've stumbled over the famously atheist Philip Pullman's take - which involves a fair bit more licence than Stead's but is otherwise of a similar demystifying disposition: rationalising miracles into ordinary materialistic phenomena, and rebasing Jesus from mystic to idealistic, but nonetheless political, historical figure.

Pullman's licence is to pull Jesus Christ apart into two figures: Jesus (an idealist if naive populist) and Christ, his twin, a more introverted, but more intelligent, dark inversion.

Curiously, the Passion Play - which is entirely reverend to orthodox Christian doctrine in a way that Stead's and Pullman's works are not - also de-emphasises the spiritual in favour of the political machinations of the Sanhedrin and the political dimension of Christ's mission. All three, in some way, accordingly miss what's so special and clever about the passion. But we live in rational times - or so we like our chroniclers to tell us.

All three also bring the character of Judas into sharp relief: Stead and Oberammergau by his prominence, Pullman by his notable absence.
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