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In the aftermath of the first war in Iraq, Theo Griepenkerl is visiting the looted museum of Mosul when a bomb explodes outside the building. As Theo seeks shelter, he stumbles across the discovery of a lifetime: nine papyrus scrolls that have lain hidden for 2,000 years. Theo believes that he has found the fifth gospel, and its significance is extraordinary. It offers a shocking new account of the last days of Christ, calling into question the conventional narrative of events. As Theo sets out to share his discovery with the world, he can scarcely imagine where his journey will take him, and the trials and dangers that lie ahead. The Fire Gospel is on one level a hugely entertaining tale. At its heart lies a profound and powerful message about the power of words to resonate across centuries. As an indictment of fundamentalism, it is as controversial and provocative as The Last Temptation of Christ.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781921351815
ISBN-10: 1921351810
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 17mm)
Pages: 214
Imprint: The Text Publishing Company
Publisher: Text Publishing Co
Publish Date: 29-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: Australia


US Kirkus Review » Faber (stories: Vanilla Bright Like Eminem, 2007, etc.) takes on Prometheus.In this revisionist romp, Faber reimagines the mortal who stole fire from the gods as Canadian linguist Theo Griepenkerl, who makes an amazing discovery when he's sent to Iraq to help preserve war-threatened historical artifacts. When a bomb destroys a museum, nine dusty scrolls are discovered in a sculpture. They are quickly recognized by Theo (who, of course, reads Aramaic) as a "gospel" written by Malchus, servant to high priest Caiaphas and an eyewitness observer of Christ's crucifixion. Returning to the West, Theo successfully markets his translation of Malchus's gospel, which states, among other unholy particulars, that the Son of God's actual last words were, "Please, somebody, please finish me." The scholar's subsequent adventures in the publishing world, juxtaposed with excerpts from the inflammatory gospel, include sexual bliss with an accommodating publisher's rep, a harrowing experience on a dumbed-down TV talk show, amusing parodies of "reader reviews" (complete with misspellings and typos) and an agonizing reading at a Manhattan bookstore. In an easily foreseen climactic twist, Theo's affront to the sensibilities of good Christian souls who perceive Satan in every sentence of dust-jacket hyperbole (plus some who've actually read the book) gets him kidnapped by a pill-popping white Muslim and a courtly Arab. Nothing else in the book matches its witty, impudent opening pages, as Faber pads like an insomniac housecat, stretching out every joke to the very edge of infinity."Please, somebody, please finish me"? So saith the potential reader, we prophesy. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Michel Faber

Michel Faber's startlingly original novel, Under the Skin (2000), which garnered accolades from around the world, was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award 2000 and nominated for the Dublin Impac Award, 2002. He has also won several short story awards including the Neil Gunn, Ian St James and Macallan. Some Rain Must Fall (1988), his first collection of stories, won a Scottish Arts Council award as well as the Saltire First Book of the Year Award, 1999. Faber's fiction is being translated into 21 languages. Born in Holland, brought up in Australia, he now lives in the Scottish Highlands.

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