Author Topic: HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion  (Read 515 times)

Sandra Craft

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HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion
« on: December 16, 2017, 07:19:19 AM »
I've just received the book and have only read a few pages but am already enjoying.  However, I know Bruno is already well underway and suspect Davin is as well, so best be prepared.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

xSilverPhinx

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Re: HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2017, 02:30:20 PM »
I will follow this thread with interest. :popcorn:
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


Davin

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Re: HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2017, 02:23:19 PM »
I finished it a while ago. I don't have much of a review. It is a much better Jesus story than what is in the bible. It was funny, sad, and depressing. There were not many happy parts.

The writing was good, but the many three to five page long paragraphs bothered me. If the writing hadn't been good I would have burned the book after the first 10%. Then the back and forth between people without attribution or new paragraphs and sometimes not even new sentences also almost made me burn the book on top of it. Maybe I just got a bad translation.

I think the story of Jesus was made about as good as it could be before it's no longer a story about Jesus.

That's all I have to say about it.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Sandra Craft

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Re: HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 04:00:38 AM »
The writing was good, but the many three to five page long paragraphs bothered me. If the writing hadn't been good I would have burned the book after the first 10%. Then the back and forth between people without attribution or new paragraphs and sometimes not even new sentences also almost made me burn the book on top of it. Maybe I just got a bad translation.

I'm only about 1/8 thru right now, and I've pretty much adjusted to that but then I read The Color Purple without all the problems so many other people had with how it was written.  Maybe I have a high tolerance for quirky writing styles.

I am enjoying the writing a great deal, and can see how Saramago won a Nobel for literature.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

Magdalena

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Re: HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 09:40:13 PM »
I will follow this thread with interest. :popcorn:
Me too. :popcorn:


One for, Davin and BooksCatsEtc:)

AngelOfDeath

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Re: HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 06:18:20 AM »
I read a description of it somewhere.    Seems rather silly, but I'll be curious when y'all review it.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 07:35:52 AM by AngelOfDeath »

Papasito Bruno

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Re: HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 01:41:47 PM »
The writing was good, but the many three to five page long paragraphs bothered me. If the writing hadn't been good I would have burned the book after the first 10%. Then the back and forth between people without attribution or new paragraphs and sometimes not even new sentences also almost made me burn the book on top of it. Maybe I just got a bad translation.

I'm only about 1/8 thru right now, and I've pretty much adjusted to that but then I read The Color Purple without all the problems so many other people had with how it was written.  Maybe I have a high tolerance for quirky writing styles.

I am enjoying the writing a great deal, and can see how Saramago won a Nobel for literature.

I'm about a 1/4 of the way thru as I've been extremely busy with work, whether at the office or home so I haven't had much time to read as I would like.
Last night I tried to read and go through about 3 pages before the "Z Monster" showed up and yanked on my eyelids.

I am enjoying it so far, quite a bit actually, but his writing style does take a bit of adjustment when reading. All of his books that I've read so far are written in the same style, with the long, unbroken paragraphs.
The first book of his I read had me thinking the same as you Davin, that possibly there was something lost in the translation, but that is his style in all of his books.

Jon Michaud who is a novelist and the head librarian at The Center for Fiction described it as such when reviewing the book “Death with Interruptions”
Quote
Some of the more significant writing of the past thirty years has taken delight in the long, lawless sentence—think of Thomas Bernhard, Bohumil Hrabal, W. G. Sebald, Roberto Bolaño—but no one sounds quite like Saramago. He has an ability to seem wise and ignorant at the same time, as if he were not really narrating the stories he narrates. Often, he uses what could be called unidentified free indirect style—his fictions sound as if they were being told not by an author but by, say, a group of wise and somewhat garrulous old men, sitting down by the harbor in Lisbon, having a smoke, one of whom is the writer himself. This community is fond of truisms, proverbs, clichés. “It is said that one cannot have everything in life,” the narrator of “Death with Interruptions” tells us, and he adds, “That’s how life is, what it gives with one hand one day, it takes away with the other.

We have visitors arriving for the holidays on Friday, and I'm not sure how much time I'll have to read in the ensuing week, but hopefully I can put aside enough time to finish this book.

(I'm supposed to be off on Friday, though I'll have to work some throughout the day as needed, but I am thinking of visiting an old tea shop I used to frequent years ago and get lost in the book while treating myself to some lovely tea)
I'm truly sorry, but I can't keep explaining this simple thing to you over and over again hoping that you'll finally understand something so simple and obvious.
I'm not the "Dumb-Ass Whisperer".

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Sandra Craft

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Re: HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 08:25:24 PM »
(I'm supposed to be off on Friday, though I'll have to work some throughout the day as needed, but I am thinking of visiting an old tea shop I used to frequent years ago and get lost in the book while treating myself to some lovely tea)

Sounds enchanting.  I used to do that with a tea shop that was a few blocks down the street from me, but sadly it closed about 3 or 4 years ago.  The proprietor moved out to Truth or Consequences, NM, and started another tea shop and sometimes I seriously consider moving to the desert myself.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

xSilverPhinx

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Re: HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 09:44:05 PM »
About the long unbroken paragraphs, I don't think there is a reason why the translator would have changed that in their version, it's most likely like that in the Portuguese original as well.   

Next time I go to a bookstore I'll look for an untranslated copy to confirm this. :smilenod:
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


Sandra Craft

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Re: HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 11:54:11 PM »
Just finished The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, and I greatly enjoyed it.  I'll probably read more of Saramago. 

While still very much a tale of woo, it's a more sensibly told tale of woo which made it more interesting for me.  Fairy tales and myths are interesting on their own but they also tend to be much of a sameness -- if you've read 4 or 5, you've pretty much read them all.  In my experience, at least, only reality has true variety.

But to get back on track, I did enjoy the writing.  While the style was quirky, I found it intelligent, imaginative and witty, sometimes downright funny.  For instance, I'd thought this bit, part of a conversation between Mary and an angel about Jesus' conception, one of the funniest things I'd read in awhile:

"Your first mistake, Mary, is to think I came here only to discuss some sexual episode in the Lord's past."

until I came across this as part of the same conversation:

"To which demon are you referring.  To the shepherd my son accompanied for four years and whose flock he tended for no good reason.  Oh, that shepherd.  Do you know him.  We went to school together."

This is also a good example of the writing style Davin commented on.

The demon shepherd under question turns out to be Satan who, for the purposes of guiding Jesus' instruction from the ages of 13 to 18 or so (the timeline often seemed fuzzy to me), went by the name of Pastor.  He hung out with a large herd of wild sheep and goats, making no money off them but using the sheared wool and cheese made from their milk to trade for whatever he and Jesus needed.  He turned up later in the story as well and had an interesting relationship with God.  Needless to say Pastor is my favorite character in the story.

By the way, God's purpose: 
As the bible suggests, he is not the only god around but wants to be because he wants the power that comes from being the only one.  Since he can't steal worshipers from other gods directly due to some kind of divine gentlemen's agreement, he decides to use a human to indirectly steal all the additional worshipers he wants.  He's aware this can't be done in a single human's lifetime and figures that the best way to make a juggernaut out of a new religious movement is to martyr its founder.  Make a victim of him (and other of the new religion's leaders ) in the most horrible way and the followers will become hysterically devoted enough to ensure the movement become global.  Hey presto, in a few centuries God has most of the followers and the power.


I am now curious to read an account of Jesus' life completely stripped of woo and given only natural explanations.  There are so many ways that could go.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

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Re: HAf Book Club: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ discussion
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2018, 07:32:58 PM »
I'm going to have to get a copy. :grin:
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.