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Judas, my brother: The story of the thirteenth disciple Unknown Binding – 1970
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Top customer reviews
In all my years of reading/researching Literature I have never come across one real literary appreciation of JUDAS MY BROTHER. Why?
This novel deserves to be on the list for many reasons- it does what historical novels are supposed to do ( tell a good story, with interesting characters, in authentic settings) and it actually makes you think about a great number of things- for example, the complexities of human nature, the purpose (or lack of purpose) in life, the process of History, the nature of religion/spirituality, and the way in which real events can so easily be transformed into mythology. Apart from all that, it is a brilliant read. I myself have been re-reading it endlessly since the early Seventies, when I first came across it. It instantly became one of my favourite historical novels.
The book is a very believable attempt to recreate the period in which Yeshua (Jesus) lived, and the effect he had on those who encountered him. It is more than a biblical novel, it is a fiction,yes, but it tries to imagine the reality of what really happened in those times. I strongly urge you to get hold of this book somehow; read it, live with it, think about it.
Yes, it could be considered by some (those who have very fixed/rigid views/opinions/beliefs) as provocative, controversial and blasphemous- but it's not....I honestly think it is one of the most realistic and moving portrayals of Jesus in western literature. It is equal to THE LAST TEMPTATION, a much more famous novel.
Yeshua is not the main figure in the story (this is Nathan, who tells the story), but the whole novel revolves around the influence and meaning of the man from Nazareth, and the way in which he affects peoples lives.
Good historical fiction needs fascinating characters,a true sense of the times being described, and a narrative that keeps you reading- JUDAS MY BROTHER does all of this (and more......)
This novel is a complete departure from his norm, and is an extremely well researched and presented account of the life of Jesus (Yeshua), from the aspect of a Jew from a wealthy family whose life becomes inextricably entangled with him because of a chance physical resemblance. The Roman and Jewish background is very detailed, with a wonderful author's list of sources and notes which shows the incredible amount of knowledge of the subject and the times and area in which it took place.
I have read and reread this book more times than I can remember, and it still holds a prominent place on my shelf after almost 50 years.
The possible logical explanations of the "miracles", and views on the characters of the disciples, Pilate, and his wife, Claudia Procula add spice to a wonderful dish which some may find not to their taste if their Christian beliefs are profound, but for the inquiring mind will be utterly captivated by the beauty of the narrative and Frank Yerby's sheer class as a master storyteller.