A wry, fictional account of the life of Christ by Nobel laureate Jose Saramago.
A brilliant skeptic, Jose Saramago envisions the life of Jesus Christ and the story of his Passion as things of this earth: A child crying, the caress of a woman half asleep, the bleat of a goat, a prayer uttered in the grayish morning light. His idea of the Holy Family reflects the real complexities of any family, and, as only Saramago can, he imagines them with tinges of vision, dream, and omen.
The result is a deft psychological portrait that moves between poetry and irony, spirituality and irreverence of a savior who is at once the Son of God and a young man. In this provocative, tender novel, the subject of wide critical discussion and wonder, Saramago questions the meaning of God, the foundations of the Church, and human existence itself.
"Fiction that engages the mind as much as the spirit as, in eloquently supple prose, it seeks to understand faith." (Kirkus Reviews)
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- Teresa Rhoades
A dry, wry retelling of the story of Jesus Christ
This book has been among my favourite José Saramago novel for several years now. Saramago is never better than when he's talking about the minutiae of existence: the little uncertainties, jealousies, delights and lies which animate human lives. Saramago sees Jesus' story through this lens, deconstructing how the angelic visitations, the Massacre of the Innocents, and Jesus' quest as a child trying to understand his place in the world would play out in the real world.
I have not, but his dry, quiet reading works brilliantly with the tone of the novel and with Saramago's matter-of-fact, meditative writing style. While adding pathos and merriment at all the right bits, the weight of his voice never lets me forget the weight of inevitability riding on Jesus' back as the novel finds its way to his death.