Search Site
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.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

by Philip Pullman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,716979,164 (3.32)78
This is a story.In this ingenious and spellbinding retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman revisits the most influential story ever told. Charged with mystery, compassion and enormous power, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ throws fresh light on who Jesus was and asks the listener questions that will continue to reverberate long after the final word is spoken. For above all, this audiobook is about how stories become stories.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Last Testament by Sam Bourne (tesskrose)
  2. 00
    The Liars' Gospel 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.

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 78 mentions

English (93)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (97)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
I'm not certain what I expected going into this, but I didn't find it. We know the author is an atheist, and not a fan of the Christian Church, so I was curious as to what this novel would focus on.

The book reads well, a bit like a children's version of the New Testament, and presents the subject as a simple story, removing many (but not all) religious references. I believe the aim may have been to present Jesus as a man, and separate his life from his divinity. Knowing the basic story, I was confused by several changes made by Pullman, and later reference to the handmaid of History reminded me of history classes.

Whilst this book was interesting, I don't personally feel as if I gained a new perspective or insight. ( )
  calenmarwen | May 29, 2023 |
Pullman retells the story of Jesus's birth, life, and crucifiction with a twist. Jesus had a twin named Christ who followed him around and recorded his deeds--but did so with enhancements at the request of a mysterious figure who argues that it is necessary for the church that will grow up after Jesus's death. Christ can see through the problems with this, and Pullman provides a scathing indictment of the church's future crimes against humanity, but Christ has too much ego to prevent his becoming a pawn in the mysterious figure's game. You'll see what is coming, and it is one explanation for the resurrection and the subsequent path of Christianity, but I wonder who this book is supposed to please. Jesus himself, despite the purity of his beliefs, is not always an admirable character. Certainly this book isn't going to please religious readers. Nor, I fear, is it going to please non-religious readers such as myself. Pullman's idea is clever, but not that profound, and certainly not that entertaining. This book is a curiosity at best. ( )
  datrappert | May 2, 2023 |
I wanted to enjoy this book and give it a decent rating, but unfortunately I cannot. The story was repetitive, boring and (incredibly) predictable. Unfortunately, I feel like this book was a bit of a waste of my time. A lot of it was already familiar, there weren't enough changes/amendments/additions from the "original" source material to grab my attention and keep me interested.

On the bright side though, it was still infinitely better than "Maestra" by L. S. Hilton.... I don't even know If that should be called a book, for in doing so, it tarnishes all other literature that is classified as a "book".

Maestra was utter garbage, this book at least tried to accomplish something with a bit. of class and style. ( )
  Pilgriminal | Nov 12, 2022 |
Pullman typically writes children's stories (The Golden Compass, part of the Dark Materials series), ah, but this novel is for adults! Sweet. He writes about how Jesus Christ was REALLY twins, Jesus and Christ. Jesus was a very humble man who did very good things, Christ was a propagandist who wanted Jesus to exploit all of the good things to create followers and become famous. The story is written in a very fun, engaging way. the afterwards Pullman explains who he believes that religious fanatics took a good, humble man and created a very large story.
( )
  maitrigita | Oct 2, 2022 |
Good story, underwhelming delivery. This might be because it's written in the sort of manner one expects Bible translations aimed at children to be written. So it "feels" consistent with what you've heard before if you had any sort of Christian/nominally Christian upbringing but for an adult reader there's not much challenging here (unless you are strongly religious, which I'm not). Also it's pretty short and feels almost like a treatment for a screenplay rather than a novel. ( )
  ElegantMechanic | May 28, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (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 (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pullman, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Svendsen, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zöfel, AdelheidÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

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
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

This is a story.In this ingenious and spellbinding retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman revisits the most influential story ever told. Charged with mystery, compassion and enormous power, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ throws fresh light on who Jesus was and asks the listener questions that will continue to reverberate long after the final word is spoken. For above all, this audiobook is about how stories become stories.

No library descriptions found.

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.
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.32)
1 11
1.5 5
2 61
2.5 18
3 127
3.5 47
4 119
4.5 13
5 40

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

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


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 188,875,381 books! | Top bar: Always visible