HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Last Temptation of Christ (1955)

by Nikos Kazantzakis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,719363,790 (4.01)1 / 106
Kazantzakis's classic novel, blacklisted by the Vatican, filmed by Scorsese, has been labelled heretical, blasphemous, and also a masterpiece. His Christ is an epic conception, wholly original. 'When Kazantzakis describes the raising of Lazarus, the early life of Mary Magdalene, the domestic lives of Martha and Mary, it is as if an old box of lantern slides had suddenly become a moving picture. The author has achieved a new and moving interpretation of a truly human Christ.' Times Literary Supplement… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

» See also 106 mentions

English (33)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
This book (translation) is about two thirds awesome with a middle that is either contradictory or requires an awareness of (Greek Orthodox?) Catholicism that is well above my head.

Based on the beginning and much of the end, I'd much rather take this book as a relevant gospel than the source materials. Jesus is a much more relatable character as someone who struggles with his destiny (which is very much what the author wanted to explore.)

It's once Jesus accepts his destiny that the book starts to get weird. There's a lot of mood whiplash between Jesus speaking violently and Jesus speaking of love. In the earlier moments Jesus subverts a lot of God's angry tone, but throughout the middle both are happening simultaneously, seemingly contradicting each other. This is to me where the book really shows its seams. I don't really understand or relate to Jesus in the middle, rather than being someone who fears for and struggles to comprehend his nature and fate, he does one thing and says another, with little justification.

The end becomes interesting again, but can't recover from that fatal flaw. The concept is amazing, and the idea of Jesus dreaming of a normal life during his Crucifixion is really compelling, but given how he seems to have eagerly accepted his role beforehand, it no longer makes sense. His feelings towards Magdalene, Mary, Martha and his Mother are unexplored, especially the death of the former and easy replacement with other wives, all evidently by God's hand.
His renunciation of the last temptation seems mostly from being guilt tripped by his disciple buddies having been screwed over, not by any higher ideals or motives.
It's possible there is a concept of Jesus I don't understand, being a post-Vatican II baby and not particularly devout or scholarly. The motivations of God and Jesus in the middle don't make any sense to me, despite the intention of the author.

--
Other things: I love the writing style, and the way the author paints the episodes and the people. The characters are engaging and very relatable. I enjoy the seeming fan-fiction nature of bit characters showing up in relation to others, and parables being hinted at in random asides.

I don't get why the author seems to pick on Thomas and Simon Peter; his use of Judas Iscariot is incredibly daring, but dare I say the inversion of usual respect granted to the disciples seems mostly a 'darker and edgier' device from my vantage-point.

--

All in all, I thought this book did a good job of connecting me to Jesus and his times, but the actions of God and a divine Jesus still were incredible unrelatable and cut through an otherwise compelling portrait like swiss cheese. ( )
  NaleagDeco | Dec 13, 2020 |
Εξ-αιρετικό!
Ίσως το καλύτερο fanfiction της Καινής Διαθήκης ( )
  NickosX | Sep 18, 2020 |
Interesting, readable and engaging as long as you don't mind how much god there is overflowing each page. In the forward Kazantzakis seemed sincere about his love for christ and christianity, which was interesting because the story gives me the impression of jesus having struggles with mental health instead of being an actual messiah. I don't know the original story well enough to determine whether its the bible or Kazantzakis that thinks so lowly of women. Its a good translation and makes me want to learn more about the history and divergence of religions. ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
A very fine rendition of the gospels as they might have been experienced. The Crucifiction isn't in this book, not the way the Pauline church would have it shown. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Aug 14, 2019 |
For the longest time, I was stuck at chapter three of this book, then I said to myself "William, don't you think you should finish off this book and get some closure on what happens?" I agreed since it seemed a good idea to get this off of my currently reading list.

Now this book covers the ministry of Jesus who is called Christ. Technically his name was Joshua, but I can forgive them using the Greek name since the book was originally printed in Greek. It starts out with Jesus being a simple carpenter, but one that is reviled by his people. As a God made manifest in flesh, it is difficult for him to understand what is wanted from him. God is ineffable, a strange force that tortures the young man in dreams and visions, but at the same time, God is pure love, an ecstatic feeling of Joy. Instead of the warlike streak of the Maccabees and other early prophets, Jesus believes in the loving aspect of God. Early on in the book, he is considered a traitor to his people. Indeed, he makes crosses for the Romans to Crucify zealots and other criminals. Divided between the worlds of God and Man, Jesus must choose what he is to become. His mother simply wants him to be a normal man and give her grandchildren. It seems that Jesus has other plans though.

Anyway, I understand more of the Geography of the land after I read Asimov's Guide to the Bible. The stuff about Judas Iscariot also helped out since I can understand the motive behind what he did. You know, the whole betrayal thing. I used to think Judas was just a jerk, then I thought that he was the key cog in the machinations of God. If Jesus was meant to die, wouldn't someone need to betray him? Doesn't that make Judas the bravest and most loyal disciple of the lot by fulfilling God's will? But I digress.

I thought the book was well done, and an interesting take on the Biblical Accounts of the Ministry of Jesus. I can also understand why people wouldn't like this book either. I suppose it is rather heretical to state that Jesus also had a body, and thus had desires and needs and bodily functions. At least it didn't open a can of worms by saying Jesus had siblings. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nikos Kazantzakisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bien, P. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bien, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bien, Peter A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kossin, SanfordCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
A cool heavenly breeze took possession of him.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Kazantzakis's classic novel, blacklisted by the Vatican, filmed by Scorsese, has been labelled heretical, blasphemous, and also a masterpiece. His Christ is an epic conception, wholly original. 'When Kazantzakis describes the raising of Lazarus, the early life of Mary Magdalene, the domestic lives of Martha and Mary, it is as if an old box of lantern slides had suddenly become a moving picture. The author has achieved a new and moving interpretation of a truly human Christ.' Times Literary Supplement

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Hailed as a masterpiece by critics worldwide, "The Last Temptation of Christ" is a monumental reinterpretation of the Gospels by one of the giants of modern literature. Nikos Kazantzakis, renowned author of "Zorba the Greek, " brilliantly fleshes out the story of Christ's Passion, giving it a dynamic spiritual freshness. Kazantzakis's Jesus is gloriously divine, yet earthy and human, as he travels among peasants and is tempted by their comfortable life. Provocatively illuminating ever dimension of the Gospels, "The Last Temptation of Christ" is an exhilarating modern classic.
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.01)
0.5 1
1 6
1.5
2 20
2.5 10
3 66
3.5 14
4 142
4.5 14
5 145

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 155,622,928 books! | Top bar: Always visible