Yikes, it’s been a while. I was busy with some work deadlines and then I was busy reading. There are at least 4 books that I need to review!
The first book that comes to mind is one that I was surprised to find that I liked, namely, Man of Nazareth by Anthony Burgess. It’s not even in print anymore, but you could visit a library or get a used copy from Amazon. If the author’s name sounds familiar, you probably recognize his most popular work, A Clockwork Orange.
As an aside, I recently looked up Anthony Burgess on iBooks to see if I could find an electronic version of his books and the selection was pitiful. It’s so tragic because he is a wonderful author. I’ve read “A Clockwork Orange” and his Enderby series. If you don’t know anything about him, you should google something about Anthony Burgess’ life. He was an amazing man, very intelligent with a gift for linguistics. I find myself reaching for a dictionary when reading his books.
What separates Anthony Burgess from other authors is that he doesn’t have one “voice.” With most authors, they develop a “voice” and you hear that voice through all of the books they write. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think it’s much harder to have different voices for different books. If I didn’t ahead of time who the author was, I probably wouldn’t have been able to guess that “Man of Nazareth” and “A Clockwork Orange” were by the same person.
“Man of Nazareth,” as you may have guessed, is about the life of Jesus. I’ve read the New Testament a few times so I already knew the story, but the way Burgess tells it makes Jesus and the apostles seem more sympathetic, although sympathetic seems to be a vastly underrated term to describe Jesus. It’s hard to explain. Perhaps my feelings are best summed up by saying that I knew how the story would end, but I didn’t want the ending to happen because I cared.
If you’re not religious or if you’re not Christian, it doesn’t matter. You should still read the book because it was fascinating and well written.
Incidentally, there was a television miniseries in the 1970s created based on this book. The series was called, “Jesus of Nazareth.” I haven’t seen it so I don’t know if it’s any good or how closely it follows the book.