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Granta Best Young British Novelist
Naomi Alderman's The Liars' Gospel makes the oldest story - the story of Jesus - entirely new.
'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:
'A visceral retelling of the events surrounding the life of Jesus' Hilary Mantel, Guardian Books of the Year
'Remarkable. Alderman is a supremely talented writer', Joanne Harris
'A glittering style, a compulsive pleasure', Metro
'Witty, dark and compelling', Charlotte Mendelson
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.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
A glittering style, a compulsive pleasure (Metro)
Exciting, entertaining and enthralling read - this is story telling of the very highest order. It's certainly one of my books of the year. (Bookbag)
The dark wit that characterised her previous novels, Disobedience and The Lessons, runs through this book as an undercurrent, but The Liars' Gospel shows the hand of a mature novelist, a daring and accomplished work on a broad canvas. She is as much at home describing the sorrow of a mother as the cut and thrust of theological debate, as convincing on the weariness of a man forced into moral compromise as the rush of blood in a teenage boy caught up in his first riot. She paints the sweep of history through the sharp pain of human love and loss, and it is a remarkable achievement. (Stephanie Merritt The Observer)
Remarkable. Alderman is a supremely talented writer (Joanne Harris)
A series of thoughtful, humane sketches that seek to earnestly put the meat of character on the bones of the bible... An evocative, secular exploration of the New Testaments' sprawling horizons (Metro)
Witty, dark and compelling (Charlotte Mendelson)
Marvellously told and wonderfully done (Maeve Kennedy)
Such intensity ... a big book about history and violence, you can feel the blood running off the page. It is also a very personal and human book (Dreda Say Mitchell)
First piece I've read that puts you completely into the Jewish history. A fascinating new look (Cahal Dallat)
Gripping and visceral (Arifa Akbar The Independent)
Naomi Alderman is the author of four novels. In 2006 she won the Orange Award for New Writers and in 2007 she was named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, as well as being selected as one of Waterstones' 25 Writers for the Future. All of her novels have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime. In 2013 she was selected for the prestigious Granta Best of Young British Writers. She lives in London.
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