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John the Baptizer: A Novel por Brooks Hansen
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John the Baptizer: A Novel (edição 2009)

por Brooks Hansen (Autor)

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4611427,963 (3.88)4
Traditionally, John the Baptist is seen as little more than an opening act--"the voice crying in the wilderness"--in the great Christian drama. In presenting the epic of John's life, novelist Brooks Hansen draws on an extraordinary array of inspirations, from the works of Caravaggio, Bach, and Oscar Wilde to the histories of Josephus, the canonical gospels, the Gnostic gospels, and the sacred texts of those followers of John who never accepted Jesus as Messiah: the Mandeans.Gripping as literary historical fiction, and fascinating as a diligent exploration of ancient and modern sources, this book brings to eye-opening life the richly textured world--populated by the magnificently sordid, calculating, and reckless Herods, their families, and their courts--into which both John and Jesus were born. John the Baptizer is a captivating tapestry of power and dissent, ambition and self-sacrifice, worldly and otherworldly desire, faith, and doubt.… (mais)
Membro:ABarnhill
Título:John the Baptizer: A Novel
Autores:Brooks Hansen (Autor)
Informação:W. W. Norton & Company (2009), Edition: 1, 416 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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John the Baptizer por Brooks Hansen

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Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
I don't read a ton of historical fiction, but when I run across a good book in the genre I'm usually pretty happy. John the Baptizer was pretty entertaining and engrossing. It took me longer than usual to read because I kept wanting to look things up to either find out more about events or see if the book jibed with other accounts, plus I also dipped in and out of the bible a bit. It's very readable and Hansen did a good job bringing these people to life. ( )
  haloolah | Jul 2, 2010 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Good book. A bit long, but kept my attention for very long. Interesting and addictive. Author was captivating in telling the story. Th author has done the research and a very good job. ( )
  iheartbookgossip | Mar 12, 2010 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
I was intrigued by the book prior to reading it. While I learned a little about John, I felt too much of the focus was on Herod. I thought it was slow in parts, but, I probably would recommend it as a decent piece of historical fiction. I believe I will come back to the book a second time to see if I can sift through the slow parts. I feel like I missed something...especially since others I've talked to really enjoyed reading it. ( )
  verucas_chaos | Feb 28, 2010 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
This novel, based upon the person commonly known as John the Baptist, has much to offer. The book stays on track with the Biblical account, and never wanders too far from this, and yet it has not become a slave to the scriptures, either. The "plot" keeps moving forward at a good pace. The book doesn't ignore the issue of the Hebrew and Aramaic tongues, and gives enough to flavor the story, but not so much as to be cumbersome to those who aren't up to task of understanding a number of terms in their original tongue. Furthermore, the author makes excellent use of the culture and of a moderate knowledge of the rites that the priests were required to perform in the temple service, and other daily patterns of life in this era.

I opened the book expecting it to be "too orthodox" for my tastes, and to have a major Christian emphasis, as could be expected by books in this genre, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it takes a fairly neutral, balanced view of the mission of John in relation to that of Jesus of Nazareth.

The Epilogue and the Author's Note at the end of the book are invaluable in treating the subject of the Mandaeans (a sect of followers of John the Baptist, that are neither Christian nor Jew nor Muslim, and that continue to exist to this day, although their numbers are now diminishing.) This is done in a relatively fair manner. The author also raises excellent questions about how John saw his own mission, and the idea that he may not have seen himself as a forerunner to Jesus, examining the implications underlying the biblical story carefully, and going beyond what is traditionally accepted at the text's face value.

This story is simultaneously filling the role of fiction and history, but I think it successfully leans towards the history side, filling in the gaps in the well known Biblical story with educated insight gleaned both from Mandaean and Christian sources. Don't get me wrong though, the author invents characters to fill in the blanks, and puts dialogue in the mouths of characters. It is not a mere recapitulations of the facts given in the ancient texts, and does incorporate a great deal of creative license on the part of the author. But, because it leans so far to the historical side of things, it may actually fail to have a strong literary sense of plot, so I think this will be more interesting to people reading it from a religious or historical point of view, rather than someone just looking for an entertaining story.

The book is also nicely typeset, with several careful features such as the inclusion of some diagrams of some ancient semitic alphabet characters, poetry set line by line, and a nice series of maps and other reference material apart from the body of the text itself.

Well done. ( )
1 vote jeffd1830 | Feb 10, 2010 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
I enjoyed this book. I felt that the author struct the right balance between historical accuracy, religious beliefs, and just telling a good story. I enjoyed his descriptions of the Herodian Dynasty, and how the politics and religious moments of that time were so interconnected with each other.

The characters had a real quality about them, yet John was able to keep some of the magical mysticism that seems to always float about his character. Also the author allows the reader to keep asking questions about this remarkable time, without saying there is only one way to interpret this story.

If you like historical fiction you will like this book. If you like esoteric literature, you should like this book, and if you just want to read a great story that will make you think, you will like this book. ( )
  Ross.Farnsworth | Jan 29, 2010 |
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If I prove myself a student of Yabya-Yubana, his name will be forever written in my book; If I do not prove myself, then my name will be blotted from his. --Jesus to John, from the Mandaean Sidra d Yahya (Book of John)
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John had been in prison for six months when the guards came down for him that final time.
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Traditionally, John the Baptist is seen as little more than an opening act--"the voice crying in the wilderness"--in the great Christian drama. In presenting the epic of John's life, novelist Brooks Hansen draws on an extraordinary array of inspirations, from the works of Caravaggio, Bach, and Oscar Wilde to the histories of Josephus, the canonical gospels, the Gnostic gospels, and the sacred texts of those followers of John who never accepted Jesus as Messiah: the Mandeans.Gripping as literary historical fiction, and fascinating as a diligent exploration of ancient and modern sources, this book brings to eye-opening life the richly textured world--populated by the magnificently sordid, calculating, and reckless Herods, their families, and their courts--into which both John and Jesus were born. John the Baptizer is a captivating tapestry of power and dissent, ambition and self-sacrifice, worldly and otherworldly desire, faith, and doubt.

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