The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ Summary and Reviews

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

by Philip Pullman

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2010
    256 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

This is a story. In this ingenious and spell-binding 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 reader questions that will continue to resonate long after the final page is turned. For, above all, this book is about how stories become stories.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Though he wears his scholarship lightly as befits a master storyteller, there is no doubt in my mind that Pullman has a complete grasp of the intricacies of the quest for the historical Jesus. Like Schweitzer, he thinks Jesus was an immeasurably great man who died to bring in a better world, the difference being that Schweitzer believed Jesus died trying to force God's hand, whereas for Pullman Jesus realised in the garden of Gethsemane that there was probably no God, so any bettering of the human condition is now up to us." - The Guardian (UK)

"I cannot imagine the ironical Jesus taking umbrage at anything in this account of His life. Pullman has done the story a service by reminding us of its extraordinary power to provoke and disturb." - The Telegraph (UK)

"It would be ridiculous (and largely meaningless) to claim that this is the 'improved' version of Jesus’s life. However, Pullman’s retelling of the central story in western civilisation provides a brilliant new interpretation that is also a thought-provoking reflection on the process of how stories come into existence and accrue their meanings." - The Times (UK)

"A wonderfully fresh reworking of the Gospel stories [concerned with] extricating what is ethically beautiful and of permanent value in Jesus’s teachings from the religious institutions that fallibly mediate and self-servingly distort them ... Pullman’s imaginative and highly thought-provoking innovation ... is told with a self-effacing, yet incisive limpidity. ... [The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ is] a work of genuine discretion - deeply involved and involving, but with a great instinct for what to leave tacit." - The Independent

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Author Information

Philip Pullman Author Biography

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on October 19, 1946 to Audrey and Alfred Pullman. The early part of his childhood was spent traveling from base to base as his father, and later stepfather, were part of the Royal Air Force (RAF). At age seven, following the death of his father, Philip and his younger brother Francis moved back to Britain to live with their grandfather in Norfolk, an Anglican clergyman. Their mother moved to London to find work.

When Pullman was eight, a stepfather - another RAF pilot - entered the Pullman family and once again the family moved from base to base. For a time, they settled in Australia. In Australia, he first discovered the wonders of comic books, a force that would later influence both his writing and illustrating of future stories. The family moved ...

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Name Pronunciation
Philip Pullman: As it looks: pull-man

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