I didn't expect to find this particularly holding reading --and I found it so. I had thought that books of the last decade revitalizing the story of the Gospels through one medium or another, -- The Nazarene, The Robe, The Apostle, etc. had drawn from already familiar material full measure of interpretation. And now comes a fresh approach in the story of Jesus' brother, James. James comes to life -- somehow a tragic figure in his own bitterness of misunderstanding. The story goes back to a boyhood companionship in Nazareth -- to building together towards ""the drama"", preservation of the God of Israel. But as they grew older, James saw the means through strict observation of the law as a Pharisee, a scholar, a purist; Jesus, through doing good for man. A symbolic picture of the tragedy of Christianity, when the spirit is lost in the letter of the observance of the law.... At times the book strains too hard to be modern -- such things as ""Uncle Jesus"" struck a false note. But on the whole, the author has succeeded in retreating the place and the times, and the Gospel characters live again.