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The Final Testament of the Holy Bible (2011)

by James Frey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
20112137,667 (3.4)1
James Frey isn't like other writers. He's been called a liar. A cheat. A con man. He's been called a saviour. A revolutionary. A genius. He's been sued by readers. Dropped by publishers because of his controversies. Berated by TV talk-show hosts and condemned by the media. He's been exiled from America, and driven into hiding. He's also a bestselling phenomenon. Published in 38 languages, and beloved by readers around the world. What scares people about Frey is that he plays with truth; that fine line between fact and fiction. Now he has written his greatest work, his most revolutionary, his most controversial. The Final Testament of the Holy Bible. What would you do if you discovered the Messiah were alive today? Living in New York. Sleeping with men. Impregnating young women. Euthanizing the dying, and healing the sick. Defying the government, and condemning the holy. What would you do if you met him? And he changed your life. Would you believe? Would you? The Final Testament of the Holy Bible . It will change you. Hurt you. Scare you. Make you think differently. Live differently. Enrage you. Offend you. Open your eyes to the world in which we live. We've waited 2,000 years for the Messiah to arrive. We've waited 2,000 years for this book to be written. He was here. The Final Testament of the Holy Bible is the story of his life.… (more)
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English (11)  French (1)  All languages (12)
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Lo spunto del romanzo è follemente ambizioso, riportare il figlio di Dio in vita e piazzarlo al centro della civiltà occidentale contemporanea non è uno scherzo. Il rischio di scivolare nel banale e nel ridicolo involontario è altissimo e Frey ci casca in pieno, purtroppo per lui, ma soprattuto per me che ho sborsato una cifra non da poco per comprare il libro (dannazione!).
L'architettura narrativa dell'opera non è male, in ogni capitolo un personaggio diverso si fa carico di raccontare in prima persona il proprio rapporto con il nuovo messia, tuttavia nonostante una scrittura esperta e accattivante la sostanza del romanzo è poca cosa.

Il messaggio di Ben Zion, espresso piú con le azioni che a parole, è una sorta di pan-erotismo fricchettone di sapore sessantottino talmente semplicistico e superficiale da risultare quasi reazionario: fate l'amore e non la guerra perché il sesso è il modo migliore di avvicinarsi a Dio. Insomma spassatevela come piú vi piace, senza calpestarvi i piedi a vicenda e vedrete che tutto andrà bene. Niente di nuovo sotto il sole dunque, nessun messaggio rivoluzionario, non a caso l'esempio di Ben ha come conseguenza più evidente la nascita di una specie di una nuova comune hippy in cui la gente di giorno canta, mangia e si sollazza e la notte guarda le stelle e si accoppia (come fanno a mantenersi lo sa solo Dio...).
Copulo ergo sum, per farla breve, e se per disgrazia una donna resta incinta non è un problema, una capatina alla più vicina clinica abortiva e la questione è risolta.

Ma il male e la sofferenza del mondo da dove vengono? Tutta colpa del governo e dei preti, risponde con placido e noncurante qualunquismo il Figlio di Dio. Per non parlare delle plateali contraddizioni in cui cade quando afferma che Dio non esiste (ma allora non si spiega lui chi diavolo sia e come faccia a sapere quello che sa) mentre poi sostiene di essere stato mandato da Dio per far sapere a tutti che Dio non si cura degli uomini, il che fa pensare, al contrario, che Dio esista davvero e si comporti come quell'idiota che, rinchiuso dentro casa, risponde "Non c'è nessuno!" quando qualcuno bussa alla porta.

Tremendo. Una bufala colossale. Rivoglio indietro i miei soldi!

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Precedente: [b:QED - Fenomenologia della dimostrazione|6050344|QED - Fenomenologia della dimostrazione|Gabriele Lolli|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1327485872l/6050344._SY75_.jpg|6225990]
Successivo: [b:Togliamo il disturbo|10865907|Togliamo il disturbo|Paola Mastrocola|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1301073807l/10865907._SY75_.jpg|15781098] ( )
  Demistocle | May 19, 2023 |
I bought this book a few years ago based on the cover (yeah, I am a sucker for a good cover) and the fact that the synopsis sounded interesting. I had no idea who James Frey was or that this book came out with some degree of buzz around it. On the odd occasion I have picked this up in the past I have put it down again because the first chapter is pretty strange. I have to admit that once I drew this out of the TBR jar my heart sank a bit. I hoped that I would enjoy this and get through it quickly because I have another library book that I wanted to get to ASAP.

I really don't know where to start with this book so I will just come out and say that I didn't enjoy it. I can't say that I found it offensive in the way that I find Bret Easton Ellis offensive but I imagine that many people will find it offensive. It seems like Frey set out to come up with a messiah figure that would be as shocking as possible and in my opinion it doesn't work. People like me who enjoy 'dark' writing won't find the character of Ben Zion shocking and those who have deep religious convictions will just be turned off and not read this book. Same sex relationships just are not shocking anymore. As a rule I give a book 100 pages and if I hate it at that point, it gets abandoned. I got to 100 pages pretty quickly so I decided to give it another 50-60 pages. Because I found it easy and quick to read I pressed on until the end. This sums the book up for me. I didn't hate it but I didn't enjoy it either, I think 'Meh!' describes how I feel about it.

The chapters are written from the point of view of the characters who were part of Ben Zion's story. There are twelve characters who tell us their story and I assume this is done as a mirror of the 12 apostles. None of the characters are well developed and in fact, they are horrible stereotypes. For example, Mariaangeles is a single mother who is down on her luck so she starts stripping to make money. In the space of a few paragraphs she starts selling her body and turns to drugs. Ohh and she names her daughter Mercedes :roll:. She is 'saved' by being kissed and having sex with Ben Zion who has sex with anyone and everyone, I'm only surprised that Frey didn't have him having sex with his sister as well. The black characters all have anger issues and the deeply Christian/Catholic characters all are secretly homosexual. The prose is also shockingly bad in places. I cannot recall any descriptive writing, everything is laid out in black and white and this is why it is a quick read.

The stupid thing about this book is that I get the message, Frey's conviction is that all religions are evil, worshippers stupid, governments corrupt, people greedy and we are killing the planet. I am no fan of the government, we do live in a consumer society and we are killing the planet. I am not a religious person but I do not believe that everything to do with religion is evil and I certainly do not believe that religious followers are stupid. Frey is as extremist in his atheist doctrine as those who he is staunchly against and that is something that I just can't get along with. As I often do, I read some of the goodreads reviews once I had finished and I get the impression that people love or hate this book. However, most surprising to me was the fact that some people said this book changed their life and they started to look at things differently. Maybe I am being really unkind but I can't help but think "Really!, You have never thought about this kind of thing before?". I can't fathom not being skeptical of the consumer society we live in or being suspicious of our governments.

Don't bother. ( )
  Brian. | Jul 25, 2021 |
I liked the initial idea of this book, but mixing physical love-making with unconditional love didn't really work for me. I cringed my way through most of it if I'm honest. ( )
  StevenJohnTait | Jul 29, 2019 |
I expected better, I liked the idea of the book and the way it was conveyed from Ben Zion's POV. All the other characters were under-developed and might as well have had the same back story. It was quite boring to read unless the speaker was extremely close to Ben. ( )
  startwithgivens | Mar 21, 2018 |
Haunting till the end. ( )
  Chiththarthan | Dec 29, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Il reviendra

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Il avait rien de spécial.
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James Frey isn't like other writers. He's been called a liar. A cheat. A con man. He's been called a saviour. A revolutionary. A genius. He's been sued by readers. Dropped by publishers because of his controversies. Berated by TV talk-show hosts and condemned by the media. He's been exiled from America, and driven into hiding. He's also a bestselling phenomenon. Published in 38 languages, and beloved by readers around the world. What scares people about Frey is that he plays with truth; that fine line between fact and fiction. Now he has written his greatest work, his most revolutionary, his most controversial. The Final Testament of the Holy Bible. What would you do if you discovered the Messiah were alive today? Living in New York. Sleeping with men. Impregnating young women. Euthanizing the dying, and healing the sick. Defying the government, and condemning the holy. What would you do if you met him? And he changed your life. Would you believe? Would you? The Final Testament of the Holy Bible . It will change you. Hurt you. Scare you. Make you think differently. Live differently. Enrage you. Offend you. Open your eyes to the world in which we live. We've waited 2,000 years for the Messiah to arrive. We've waited 2,000 years for this book to be written. He was here. The Final Testament of the Holy Bible is the story of his life.

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