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The Final Testament of the Holy Bible (2011)

by James Frey

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English (7)  French (1)  All (8)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Haunting till the end. ( )
  Chiththarthan | Dec 29, 2015 |
I'm not a religious man by any means.

Growing up, my parents never involved me with any part of their religion. I was the kind of kid that had to attend church on Christmas and possibly Easter. Actually, organized religion sort of frightens me and I'm not really quite sure why. I think it has something to do with the religious fanatics that populate our world. Perhaps it's the fact that some wars are started or heavily involved due to religious beliefs; that or it's used as a motivational factor. I've often felt that the world would be a better place if we could all just do away with it altogether. I'm not saying that people who have religious beliefs are idiots - I just haven't really been exposed to the good side of it. So, you can appreciate why I was a little weary when I heard that this was to be the subject of Frey's next project. However, I remained hopeful.

When I read Frey's first foray into straight up fiction with 2008's [b:Bright Shiny Morning|2179832|Bright Shiny Morning|James Frey|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255791970s/2179832.jpg|3341228], I was less than impressed with the results. I don't know what exactly rubbed me the wrong way - maybe my expectations were impossibly high after how much I loved his two-part autobiography; or maybe it just wasn't that great. Either way, even though I was anticipating his 4th release, I was approaching it with some sense of doubt.

Ben is a lonely alcoholic living in a small apartment in the Bronx. Even though his overly religious family and religious advisers had him pegged for greatness given the circumstances of his birth, Ben rejected it and remained confused the majority of his life. However, after a workplace accident nearly ends his life, Ben comes out a changed man. He suffers from extensive seizures in which during the instances, he believes he communicates with God. As the novel progresses, Ben becomes more and more influential in the lives he enters; almost establishing a cult or sorts. Told through the people he encounters, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible asks the question: "How would Christ be received if he graced us with His presence 2011 years later?" Evidently, fairly well.

I loved this book more than anything I've read this year so far. It firmly established my faith with Frey - that, if anything, Bright Shiny Morning was just a one-off, mediocre offering. His prose, while similar in all of his 4 releases (short sentences, no quotation marks, heavy on emotion), is one of my favorites to read. No one that I've read (at least not as of yet) can convey emotion so well when needed. Whether its through acts of love or hate, he makes me feel something for each character - each and every time.

As far as the religious material goes, I never feel like Frey had to club me over the head with it. He's said in interviews that he doesn't really know what his stance is on the whole idea of organized religion but you have to think he's writing this material from a familiar place; it feels far too passionate not to be. ( )
1 vote branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
I have no problem at all with the idea of this book - the Second Coming of Jesus Christ into the modern day world of New York. The book gets its low rating because the story does not make enough of its potential and was ultimately repetitive and at times just boring. God's message that love is the answer (not organised religion) is similar to the message "be nice" which is the only Commandment that matters according to the Messiah in "Second Coming" by John Niven - another recent book taking the return of the Messiah into the modern day world as its starting premise. Neither book really delivers and both end in a waffly, fizzing out kind of way - maybe I should give the 'returned Messiah' books a rest for awhile! ( )
  PennyAnne | Aug 15, 2012 |
Wow. ( )
  ramblingivy | Jun 11, 2012 |
This is a story about the second-coming of the messiah (or first-coming for the Jewish characters in the book). The wide variety of characters and the bible-style layout of the book, not the mention the whole "what if" factor give this story a huge amount of potential. Unfortunately, James Frey appears to have put more effort into trying to offend Christians and Jews than he put into actually telling the story. Despite having a lot of potential it ultimately falls flat and and is actually quite repetitive and boring in parts.

This book gets 1.5 stars for having an interesting premise.

Note: the low score isn't because some people will no doubt be offended by the story; the low score is because the story is crap. ( )
  slim_rusty | Dec 28, 2011 |
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Il reviendra

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Il avait rien de spécial.
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Written from the perspective of his family, friends, and followers, in the same way the story of Jesus Christ was told in the New Testament, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible is the story of Ben Zion Avrohom, also known as Ben Jones, also known as the Messiah, also known as the Lord God.… (more)

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