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The Gospel According to Jesus Christ  By  cover art

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ

By: Giovanni Pontiero - translator,José Saramago
Narrated by: Robert Blumenfeld
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Publisher's Summary

A wry, fictional account of the life of Christ by Nobel laureate Jose Saramago.

A brilliant skeptic, Jose Saramago envisions the life of Jesus Christ and the story of his Passion as things of this earth: A child crying, the caress of a woman half asleep, the bleat of a goat, a prayer uttered in the grayish morning light. His idea of the Holy Family reflects the real complexities of any family, and, as only Saramago can, he imagines them with tinges of vision, dream, and omen.

The result is a deft psychological portrait that moves between poetry and irony, spirituality and irreverence of a savior who is at once the Son of God and a young man. In this provocative, tender novel, the subject of wide critical discussion and wonder, Saramago questions the meaning of God, the foundations of the Church, and human existence itself.

©1994 Jose Saramago (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Fiction that engages the mind as much as the spirit as, in eloquently supple prose, it seeks to understand faith." ( Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about The Gospel According to Jesus Christ

Average Customer Ratings
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A dry, wry retelling of the story of Jesus Christ

What did you love best about The Gospel According to Jesus Christ?

This book has been among my favourite José Saramago novel for several years now. Saramago is never better than when he's talking about the minutiae of existence: the little uncertainties, jealousies, delights and lies which animate human lives. Saramago sees Jesus' story through this lens, deconstructing how the angelic visitations, the Massacre of the Innocents, and Jesus' quest as a child trying to understand his place in the world would play out in the real world.

Have you listened to any of Robert Blumenfeld’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not, but his dry, quiet reading works brilliantly with the tone of the novel and with Saramago's matter-of-fact, meditative writing style. While adding pathos and merriment at all the right bits, the weight of his voice never lets me forget the weight of inevitability riding on Jesus' back as the novel finds its way to his death.

5 people found this helpful

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Narration Robbed my Listening Experience

Is there anything you would change about this book?

No! The story and reasearch was excellently developed! I would change the NARRATOR! His overly sarcastic tone did not compare to the rich depth of historical reality in the written words! I enjoyed the reading more.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Loved the Historical details in Saramago's imagination.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Robert Blumenfeld?

Simon Vance would have done a great job!

Was The Gospel According to Jesus Christ worth the listening time?

Could bot get beyond the narrator...will keep trying...but I really did not like this narrator's interpretation.

5 people found this helpful

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blasphemous story

hared it. not a biblical representation. Christ was a sinless man but certsinly not written that way.

4 people found this helpful

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What was that?

Really? Really? Really? What was that stupidity? Are you kidding me? Really? Really? Really?

2 people found this helpful

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best book ever written

blessed me to find jose S. this is my second book after Cain which left deep impression on me. I was not expecting much from this one. how wrong I was.

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Quite interesting

The narrator is steady to the point you wished for more emotion at times. That’s why I don’t give full marks but it was still a solid reading. Women do not make it out well in this story. Both Mary’s lead a tragic existence, both doomed to love the sad figure of Jesus. The humanization of Christ is palpable and it hurts. Not as a religious figure, but a tragic character pulled along on strings that he can’t see until the end. The institution of Christianity does not escape Saramago’s just criticism. The body count for all religions are too vast to completely understand.

1 person found this helpful

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A really great book

An intriguing book that I found increasingly relatable and worthwhile to get through generally. I highly recommend it.

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not well done

it appears that the author didn't read the gospels, just told the story as heard while sleeping in his Sunday School class.

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Review in progress ...

Compassionate, wickedly insightful and utterly hilarious. "Verily I say unto you, the treachery of women knows no limits, especially when they feign innocence." As a woman, I feel Saramago loved and understood women very well. 💞 I'm 1/3rd through my listen, so will return to conclude this review.

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somewhat witty but also boring

There are many fragments of this book that are insightful while others are comical but I found most of it filled with nonsense. God is absurd and cruel, led by reasons that escape my mortal mind. Jesus is just a pawn in Gods plan to take over the world, a lamb unable to avoid slaughter, and Satan is just a passing character without much involvement in the plot (not sure there is a plot to be involved in though). However, I listened to it to the end and even hoped it would become interesting after the discussion between Jesus, God (and Satan) on the misty lake, in chapter 22 (my favorite part). The narrator made me think of Rowan Atkinson’s “Amazing Jesus” and gave me the impression that this is all satire.