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Yeshu: A Novel for the Open-Hearted by…
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Yeshu: A Novel for the Open-Hearted

by Charles David Kleymeyer

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This is a lovely book. It is written in simple language but the concepts are as eloquent and beautiful as the high ideals behind it. I feel like Yeshu does what Anne Rice attempted to do with her Christ the Lord books. Kleymeyer does it better than Rice does, as I found the Christ the Lord books to be stuffy and rather dull.

Yeshu is readable and relatable. Perhaps there are those with deep seated convictions about the inerrancy of the Bible and who will be too steeped in their own interpretation of the story of Christ to be open to this reading of the New Testamant. There are certainly supernatural elements at work within the story (lots of visions and dreams foretelling the future) but much Christian superstition is swept away in favor of a more inclusive message of love. Love for others, love for nature.

“I am God. You are God, too,” he said. “And we are God.”

Though it's framed around the Christ-myth it is a story that is accessible to everyone (including this atheist) because it's really a story about humanism.

I take your hand, you take mine; we walk forward together. Treat others as you would have them treat you; serve your neighbors as you would your family. Build up your community by discovering and sharing your gifts – we are all responsible for one another. Rage is a blister to be lanced and healed with acts of love.

A healthy dose of respect for the earth is also appealing.

A community is a boat, and everyone in it a lifeline. Take from the earth only what you need, leaving the seeds and the roots imbedded and the soil richer than before. Day in, day out, always make time to laugh, dream, show love, seek God.

This book reminded me most of Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. It's an obvious comparison as Siddhartha is the telling of the story of the Buddha.

My biggest problem with this book was the length. I don't mind large books but Yeshu, even as tender as the writing was, had the tendency to drag. At nearly six hundred pages it starts to become tedious. I think a good editor could have cut half of the book and still told a compelling and full story about the life of Christ.

Other than that, the characters are well developed and (of course) likable. I particularly enjoyed John and James (The Thunder Brothers).

Pick it up, try it out. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
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