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Philip Pullman tells his story with a simplicity of writing style that is at first a little surprising, although the later eloquence in some of the dialogue (one late passage in particular) did move me nearly to tears.
I have no particular view on the historical realism of Jesus, although I do not believe he had such a brother as is described here. As far as I'm aware Philip Pullman isn't asserting that he did, this book is pure fiction and should be approached as such.
It retells familiar tales and it's interesting to see how he works them in to his narrative of brotherly lives lived in tandem and historical 'correction.'
It actually takes a surprisingly balanced view on the legacy of Jesus and the role of faith. I hope it challenges the perceptions of others as it did mine, and even if it does not its merits in literary style and emotionally involving characters will hoperfully prove engaging.
The narrator goes from a straightforward reading to empassioned as the tale goes on, and my initial wariness of the author reading his own work was quickly overcome.
In short, I recommend it unreservedly.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
A clever reworking of the bible story. It is bound to offend the most ardent of Christians, but is equally as plausibe as an explanation of the bible story. As with all of Philip Pullman's work, it is thought provoking. Enjoy and think; Enjoy and throw away; or do not read. Do not take too seriously.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful