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The Liars' Gospel

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Granta Best Young British Novelist

'A visceral retelling of the events surrounding the life of Jesus' Hilary Mantel, Guardian, Books of the Year

'He was a traitor, a rabble-leader, a rebel, a liar and a pretender to the throne. We have tried to forget him here.'

Now, a year after Yehoshuah's death, four people tell their stories. His mother flashes between grief and rage while trouble brews between her village and the occupying soldiers. Iehuda, who was once Yehoshuah's friend, recalls how he came to lose his faith and find a place among the Romans. Caiaphas, the High Priest at the great Temple in Jerusalem, tries to hold the peace between Rome and Judea. Bar-Avo, a rebel, strives to bring that peace tumbling down.

Viscerally powerful in its depictions of the realities of the period: massacres and riots, animal sacrifice and human betrayal, The Liars' Gospel finds echoes of the present in the past. It was a time of political power-play and brutal tyranny and occupation. Young men and women took to the streets to protest. Dictators put them down with iron force. Rumours spread from mouth to mouth. Rebels attacked the greatest Empire the world has ever known. The Empire gathered its forces to make those rebels pay.

And in the midst of all of that, one inconsequential preacher died. And either something miraculous happened, or someone lied.

Praise for The Liars' Gospel:

'Ambitious, genius' Tom Holland, Guardian

'Remarkable . . . paints the sweep of history through the sharp pain of human love and loss' Observer

'Succeeds magnificently, superb, brilliant. A provocative and mesmerizing novel' New Statesman

Naomi Alderman grew up in the Orthodox Jewish community in northwest London. Her first novel, Disobedience, was published in 10 languages and won the Orange Award for New Writers and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year prize. Like her second novel, The Lessons, it was broadcast as Radio 4's Book at Bedtime. She is a frequent radio broadcaster and a regular contributor to the Guardian and Prospect. She lives in London.

From Publishers Weekly

11 March 2013 – In her third novel, English author Alderman whose debut Disobedience won the 2006 Orange Prize for New Writers imagines an alternative history of Jesus from the perspective of those close to him who knew him as Yehoshuah, the wandering Jewish preacher. Yehoshuah's mother recalls an inquisitive boy who became "a traitor, a rabble-leader, a rebel, a liar and a pretender to the throne," and his disciple Iehuda, initially impressed by Yehoshuah's teachings and miraculous ability to heal the sick, ultimately loses faith and betrays him. In Jerusalem, the High Priest Caiaphas struggles to maintain peace between the Romans and the Jews while the Jewish rebel Bar-Avo incites war against the Roman conquerors. Alderman vibrant descriptions of life in Judea, from the animal sacrifices at the temple in Jerusalem to the bloody battles against Roman rule, richly illustrate a time of tyranny and suffering, as well as a people in desperate need of faith. Through haunting prose Alderman immerses the reader into the lives of these characters, and by endowing legendary personae with human vulnerabilities and passions, she transforms an ancient story into her own engaging meditation on power, oppression, and belief.
The Liars' Gospel
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  • €5.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: 30 August 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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