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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ…

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

by Philip Pullman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Myths (16)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,351848,586 (3.35)73
  1. 00
    The Last Testament by Sam Bourne (tesskrose)
  2. 00
    The Liars' Gospel: A Novel by Naomi Alderman (WoodsieGirl)
  3. 00
    Jezebel by Eleanor De Jong (tesskrose)
  4. 00
    Delilah by Eleanor De Jong (tesskrose)
  5. 00
    My Name Was Judas by C. K. Stead (Voise15)
    Voise15: Humanising of the Gospel stories through the eyes of Judas
  6. 01
    According to Mary Magdalene by Marianne Fredriksson (PatMock)
    PatMock: Retelling of gospel stories from viewpoint of Mary Magdalene
  7. 01
    Joshua: A Parable for Today by Joseph F. Girzone (nigelmcbain)
    nigelmcbain: Both of these works re-use the material of the Gospel narratives to refocus on what the essential message of Yeshua bar Yussif's message was.

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» See also 73 mentions

English (81)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
Simplistic and lazy subversion. ( )
  book.nug | Feb 28, 2019 |
A very interesting take on the nature of story, as told through a moderately subtle shift in the retelling of the stor(ies) of Jesus. Read this for its metanarrative, not for its illumination of the Biblical characters. ( )
  patl | Feb 18, 2019 |
A few pointers:

Some of the examples are typical: first its Mary as having the child by a village lad (*fnarr fnarr*), so none of that god stuff, so Jesus is not the son of god so Redemption and Salvation have no meaning, he's just a bloke. ...hmmm do I see the very basis of Christianity being attacked here? Second, he presents a false dichotomy, between the simple moralist of Galilee - nothing divine, nothing special, there are plenty of moralists and always will be; and the Man Who Wants a Mighty Church to rule everything. This of course is a wild perversion of christian doctrine, the church is a means, not an end, only in Pullman's caricatures is the Magisterium a ruthless theocracy with power as its sole objective. Pullman offers its 'choices' on one hand just a nice bloke and on the other just a ruthless conqueror. This is not what the bible nor Christianity state, he is effectively misrepresenting the situation. The usual question then applies, if in order to abuse it he has to misrepresent the story of Christ, including Christmas, does it mean that if he had to deal with what it did say, he would have no answer? So utterly regardless of one's views on God, Pullman's work is yet another weary anti-christian tract of the millions churned out over the centuries.

I gave up on Pullman's ability to stand up as a credible writer when I finished the Northern Lights trilogy. With apologies to anyone who hasn't read them, his encroaching anti-religious message overwhelmed the narrative and effectively killed the book. "Golden Compass": Great story, fascinating characters in a bizarre and wonderful fantasy setting; "Subtle Knife": Great concept, the story arc of the characters continues to evolve but bringing the real world into the equation helps the story evolve. Slightly marred by the seemingly pointless addition of an expert biologist character for no obvious reason other than to crowbar in some Darwinian philosophy and "SCIENCE!!"; "Amber Spyglass": Story falls apart in favour of long non-narrative passages about the evolution of 'elephants with wheels' and some petty jibes about God, all wrapped up with a spot of underage sex in a field. At that point I genuinely wondered if he'd had some sort of mental episode between the writing of Books 2 and 3. Yes, Philip, we understand that you don't like organised religion, but there's no need to lay it on with a trowel. He slaughtered 'His Dark Materials' by the end of the series for the same reason - a great story ruined by spoonfeeding, in the same way that C.S. Lewis's worst Narnia book was 'The Last Battle' because the always-present God-bothering subtext strangled any pretence of story. Having someone shout in your ear with a megaphone is always unpleasant, whether the shouter be atheist or religious.

Bottom-line: I think it more likely that Christians, faced with Pullman's ill-thought-through tedium, will grimace, knowing perfectly well that Ernest Renan did this sort of thing far more effectively, and with greater intellectual substance, in the 19th century, and that there is little praiseworthy or noteworthy in Pullman's reheated seconds. I wonder whether Pullman knows about Renan's work... ( )
3 vote antao | Sep 14, 2018 |
A great alternative version to a well told story.

For complete review please click on the link below:

https://onerightword.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/the-good-man-jesus-and-scoundrel-chr... ( )
  ashkrishwrites | Aug 29, 2018 |
To be painfully honest, I was actually expecting more from this book. While the premise, that Mary bore twins rather than a single figure Jesus Christ, is interesting, the book itself falls rather flat. Pullman plays with the biblical account of the life of Jesus, and through it, brings forth a variety of philosophical questions.

I think my main trouble with this book is the manner in which it is written. Pullman simultaneously weaves a tale in biblical style while also adding his own particular flare to it - the result is a rather clumsy sounding narrative that regretfully changes in odd ways from chapter to chapter.. the voice of the story is never quite pinpointed.

All in all, this was not a painful book to read, but it nearly was. I respect what he attempted with it, and found Jesus' monologue in the garden quite good in particular, but not enough for it to warrant a three star rating.

( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
Det är skickligt, fast stundtals undrar jag varför jag ska läsa Pullman och inte originalet. Byta ut de övernaturliga passagerna mot rationalistiska kan jag göra själv. Men låt oss stanna vid det som är specifikt för Pullmans version.
"The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ" was commissioned by its publisher, Canongate, as part of a series in which the world's great myths "are retold in a contemporary and memorable way." This one comes up decidedly short of the mark.
A very bold and deliberately outrageous fable, then, rehearsing Pullman's familiar and passionate fury at corrupt religious systems of control – but also introducing something quite different, a voice of genuine spiritual authority. Because that is what Pullman's Jesus undoubtedly is.
I said earlier that Pullman was a Protestant atheist. Even so, he may well have been annoyed at the welcome given to his book by the clerical establishment in the person of the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, who has described the “Jesus” character as “a voice of genuine spiritual authority” and the book itself as “mostly Pullman at his very impressive best, limpid and economical.”


this latest attempt to secularize Messianism is a disappointment to those of us who can never forgive the emperor Constantine, not just for making Christianity a state dogma, but for making humanity hostage to the boring village quarrels and Bronze Age fables that were drawn from what remains the world’s most benighted region.
Which brings us to Pullman's new work, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, which is, to put it mildly, a very strange book. Superficially a novel, it is Pullman's attempt to graft his belief system onto the life of Jesus, to mutate Christianity into a kind of Pullmanism. Give Pullman high marks for moxie: How many writers would dare to try to rewrite—no, to repair—the most famous, most sacred story ever written?

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pullman, PhilipAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pullman, PhilipNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svendsen, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is the story of Jesus and his brother Christ, of how they were born, of how they lived and of how one of them died.
Jesus praying: "Lord, if I thought you were listening, I'd pray for this above all: that any church set up in your name should remain poor, and powerless, and modest. That it should wield no authority except that of love. That it should never cast anyone out. That it should own no property and make no laws. That it should not condemn but only forgive..." p. 199.
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Book description
A reworking of the Gospel narratives describing the birth of twins, one called Jesus and the other nicknamed Christ and how Christ ultimately betrays Jesus in an attempt to preserve his essential message.
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Pullman reimagines the life of Jesus in this fiercely subversive retelling of the most influential story ever told.

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Average: (3.35)
1 9
1.5 5
2 52
2.5 14
3 99
3.5 43
4 111
4.5 11
5 35

Canongate Books

4 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 1847678254, 1847678270, 1847680186, 0857860070

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921656190, 1921758090

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