Tuesday, April 30, 2013

[REVIEW] The Liars' Gospel

The Liars' Gospel
Naomi Alderman

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Well, what can I say? I've been a sucker for stories about religious figures for most of my life, and really looked forward to reading this. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down - I read it in less than 24 hours.

It's the story of Yehoshuah (Jesus), retold through four people who met him: Maryam (Mary), Iehuda (Judas), Caiphas and Bar-Avo (Barabbas). While it may not ring entirely true to biblical literalists, from a historical standpoint it does make a lot of sense and is largely based on historical sources.

Naomi Alderman writes in a "no excuse" kind of way - brutal and realistic (the opening scene is terrific proof of that), with lots of detail that brings the story to life. There is one thing about her writing that takes away from the experience for me, though -  the use of "cock" and various forms of "fuck" - it feels as if the word is only there for shock value, to disgust the reader. I simply found it to be out of place in a text where the rest of the language was so...beautiful. Even descriptions of things such as offerings were beautifully worded, so why use the word "fuck"? I may be a prude (ahem), but I just didn't feel as if that word belonged in there. 

Apart from that, though, it was a good story which I recommend to those who enjoy a good, action-packed book taken from history.

4 bookshelves out of 5

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