Customer Review

19 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Neither a clever or beautiful story, 19 April 2010
This review is from: The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ (Myths) (Hardcover)
I read the book with a sinking heart. Unlike one of the reviews, I didn't find it either clever or beautiful. I found it a depressing lifeless story. A total distortion of the story told in the bible. Pullman clearly hates the church and that is about the only thing that shines through this story. It is sad that he felt the need to try and distort the bible to this extent. Unlike the bible, this has no message of hope or sense of the miraculous, it merely shows a world that is full of malice, of hatred and no sense of trust or of any real faith. The character of Jesus is badly drawn and the story gives no sense of what drives him to act as he does. The character of Christ is deluded and easily misled. All in all, this is a depressing read and has no sense of honesty in either the characters or the story telling. I would suggest that you read the bible and get the real story. I am saddened that the author sees fit to offend Christians with this "story".
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Apr 2010 15:24:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Apr 2010 15:29:41 BDT
You live (I must assume) in a fully democratic country whcih respects the rights of individuals to write and publish (within a given set of reasonable limits) opinions relating to an almost infinite set of matters and ideas. Of such, Abrahamic 'religion' (specifically but not exclusively) has served its tenure through history of being able to reject criticism with the fear of punishment and an endless state of torture and pain in a non-descript 'hell'.

Do you thus reserve the right to 'offend' to the religious status-quo of the pre and post reformation age of Europe, upon where heresy is punishable by the most extreme of punishments? You talk of Pullman's book offering nothing of the "hope or sense of the miraculous" that the bible offers, and I can thus only assume that you have never read the bible (or have at least, like so many, contextualised it to fit whatever spiel you deem fit to support/denounce). My advice is that if you read something that clearly causes friction with your own beliefs, you have a poor mind indeed that is incapable of viewing the state-of-play from the other end.

You (incorrectly) equate atheism (or even just the virtue of scepticism) to "a world that is full of malice, of hatred and no sense of trust or of any real faith", and yet I stand before you as a secular atheist that denounces that which you seem to assume I support.

Most relevent here is about Pullman's Chirst "[being] deluded and easily misled", and yet here you are arguing for that which you have seemingly have no hint of understanding, standing as you are on the pedestal of 'faith' which seems automatically to give you the right to denounce something as "offensive" and thus 'anti-Christian'. The free liberal and tolerant society you live in gives anyone the right to offend you, and if you do not like it, live in a theocracy or totalitarian country (they're effectively synonomous) where your views fit the governmental status quo and thus oppresses those who would not agree (much like Christian Europe in the post-Roman era to the beginnings of the enlightenment).

Kudos to you however that you engaged in the literature which seeks to open your mind and make you question that which you hold so dear and (again I assume but correct me if I am wrong) beleive unqestionably. You are unlike many in that respect (on both sides of the fence) that do not engage but rather 'cast-down' without insight to that which they take aim.

I found many flaws in Pullman's story but the fact that he is able to write with conviction (indirectly here but more so in the Dark Materials trilogy) is testament to the virtue of sceptical thinking and questioning the status quo. Over all I thought the book was a good attempt, but lacked some of the theoretical insight to the duel-characterisation of Jesus/Christ. I would go so far as to call it clever, but agree with you that is not really 'beautiful'.

Happy Camping

Posted on 21 Apr 2010 20:28:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Apr 2010 20:29:38 BDT
Timbo says:
Dear C. A. Standish-Leigh,

"I would suggest that you read the bible and get the real story".

By 'real story' you of course mean the officially sanctioned much-altered-and-distorted hagiography of utterly unknown origin and validity that is found in the Bible.

All four of it.

Posted on 26 Apr 2010 12:44:52 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Apr 2010 12:46:13 BDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 16 May 2010 01:27:54 BDT
"I would suggest that you read the bible and get the real story". I love the use of the word 'real'.

ah ah ah, you really cracked me up and made my day. Thank you!!!

Posted on 5 Jun 2010 11:57:48 BDT
Sean Higgins says:
I think the character of Jesus is perfectly drawn. He does not say that the miracles are nonesense, he just leaves them hanging their neither refuting or disputing. Pulman has every care for Jesus. It is man in general he holds a mirror up to. Jesus gave us these teachings which you hold to be true. But unless he is the son of god, is divine, created mirackles, died and rose you wont follow them.....exactly Pulmans point i feel.

Christ in the story also has good intentions, the mysterious stranger (i assume an allusion to Twain's story) has self interest. Just like the protection of Paedophiles has self interest, because without unwavering faith the Church falls. Please be a Christian, not a fool.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Feb 2014 12:38:44 GMT
"Its [sic]a subtle poison"

Freedom of speech often is, to certain types of people...
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