THE LITTLE BOOK OF SYLVANUS by David Kossoff

THE LITTLE BOOK OF SYLVANUS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author is a popular British storyteller specializing in Bible tales--a kind of Chautauquacircuit performer who has also appeared on the BBC, made records and written The Book of Witnesses (1972) and The Voices of Masada (1973), both of which reflected Kossoff's skill in creating character, situation and even scenery from easy colloquial dialogue. Here he follows with exactitude the New Testament stories of the early appearances of Jesus and the miraculous events after the crucifixion, using as narrator the character of the court civil servant, old Sylvanus, who appeared in The Book of Witnesses. Sylvanus is the cool, reasonable bridge which leads the reader to ancient wonders, self-styled as ""detached in attitude. . . Skilled at standing away a little. . . ."" Sylvanus goes about methodically interviewing a handful of ordinary citizens and then followers of Jesus who saw the flames and heard the rush of wind at Pentecost--the ones to whom Jesus appeared as a traveler along the road and later at an inn as their beloved friend and leader. And almost imperceptibly Sylvanus is drawn, if not to belief, at least to an unusual state of ""being hugely interested. . . [a] stimulating condition."" In this genre, where 99% of the output is sentimental claptrap, Kossoff offers warmth without banality, inspiration without preachments. Highly recommended for an orthodox Christian readership, notwithstanding the illustrations.

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 1975
Publisher: St. Martin's