The Fire Gospel, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


When Theo Griepenkerl happens upon the fifth Gospel in a war-torn Iraqi museum, he can't believe his luck.

Driven by greed and a lust for fame, he capitalises on his find by publishing it.

His book is a sensation. But he can hardly imagine the incendiary consequences his discovery will have for Christians, Arabs, homicidal maniacs and Amazon customers alike. The Fire Gospel is a brilliant piece of storytelling, dazzlingly outrageous and utterly gripping.




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The Fire Gospel works as a novella; but surely it would also have worked as something meatier too. The story concerns an academic who, whilst visiting Iraq, stumbles across papyrus scrolls written by a man who was actually present at the crucifixion. The documents call into question the godly nature of Christ.Theo, the academic, secures a publishing deal for the scrolls, along with his account of how he found them - though this was included in his book to pad out the 30-odd pages of Aramaic and make something more publishable. We then follow, in a short series of tableaus, the events that Theo lives through as a consequence of his decision to publish.The questions Faber raises are enjoyably contemplated, such as what happens to the faithful when their faith is legitimately question, but I think I would have preferred something more all-encompassing - more of the order of 'Bonfire of the Vanities' for religion.

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