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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
Audiobook3 hours

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

Written by Philip Pullman

Narrated by Philip Pullman

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

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.

Release dateMay 20, 2010
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman (b. 1946) is one of the world’s most acclaimed children’s authors, his bold, brilliant books having set new parameters for what children’s writing can say and do. He is best known for the His Dark Materials trilogy, installments of which have won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. In 2003, the trilogy came third in the BBC’s Big Read competition to find the nation’s favorite book, and in 2005 he was awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for children’s literature. In 2007, Northern Lights became a major Hollywood film, The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. Pullman has published nearly twenty books, and when he’s not writing he likes to play the piano (badly), draw, and make things out of wood.

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Reviews for The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    This beautiful alternate version of the story of Jesus Christ reads like a lost Gospel - one that no orthodoxy would have ever allowed to see the light of day. Rarely has such a gentle book been so challenging. Much, much better than an aggresively anti-religious polemic.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    I liked the idea of the original Jesus, with his very personal message, and the more institutional Christ being brothers. Also, the fact that Christ from the start tries to mold what Jesus says and does to fit his grand design, is quite inventive.

    Pullman's take on the the New Testament is pretty personal, but overall, the persona of Jesus becomes a lot more consistent.

    It looks as if Pullman tried to emulate typical biblical writing, but sometimes this results in a bit of a style clash, especially in the scenes that Pullman envisions as having gone totally different compared to the official version in the Bible (i.e. Christ's version).

    The basic idea, that Jesus wasn't a goody-two-shoes and intended his faith to be a very personal and spiritual affair, is something that I can only agree with.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Fascinating retelling of the Greatest Story Ever Told - sketched with a light touch, a little wickedness, and an unexpected amount of respect. Intriguing, challenging, and very satisfying.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    Did you mean: The Grand Inquisitor by Fyodor Dostoyevsky?

    Well, it's very similar to the other stories (and some rather heavy quoting from the Gnostic Gospels), but you might as well steal from the best.

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    I loved the trilogy "His dark materials" except for the fact that I thought the idea of killing off God was very underplayed and very anticlimactic. The being that Lyra kills off isn't even God but someone masquerading as God - a very weak, ineffectual substitute. There is no infinity or direct power involved in what she does. She truly does kill off an idea rather than anything else. God is more remarkable for his absence than his presence.In such a dramatic story, I felt that this aspect was skirted around and handled on tip toes with disappointing results. I therefore wanted to see whether Pullman addressed the topic more effectively in "Good man Jesus..." And he does. Interestingly, it is immediately obvious that the absence of God is once again the theme; only this time the absence is active, forceful and tragic. The whole "Why hast thou forsaken me" line takes on heartbreaking significance.But what I love about this book is that it isn't really about a "scoundrel" at all. The whole story is very sympathetically and movingly portrayed. Jesus is at times powerful and reverent, at times apparently lonely, angry and even unloving. But apart from his dramatic monologue towards the end, he is seen nearly entirely through the eyes of others, so it is hard to really feel identification with him. Christ is a different matter. And the true tragedy of the book is that he is no scoundrel. He is a man full of faith and devotion, to God and to his brother. It is he who believes in a God for all people, not just the Jewish people. And he truly believes, at least in the beginning, that truth is greater than history, and can be made to "irradiate history". He believes, unlike Jesus, that human frailty must be accepted and that people must be helped to be the best they can be, through carefully ministered loving order, rather than set up to fail to achieve perfection, unaided.It is the absence of God that betrays both Jesus and Christ. The church, like the crucifixion, is necessary only because it is the best possible substitute (or so Christ believes) for a genuine divine presence in people's everyday lives. The loneliness, the good intentions and the love, of both Christ and his brother Jesus, are portrayed in a way that is at once believable, sympathetic and powerful. I am delighted to finally see what I felt was missing from "His dark materials" and am very glad I took the time to read further.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    Eh. Nothing compared to The Golden Compass.