Requires further argument and explication to convince the reader.

Ecce Homo: Jesus the Man

An alternative reading of various New Testament stories about Jesus.

Through a close reading of New Testament Scripture, debut author Nicolo espouses a revolutionary interpretation of various passages regarding Jesus’ interactions with others. The author suggests that several passages mask scenes of conflict through the language of healing and teaching. In Nicolo’s reading, Jesus is an itinerate preacher who runs for his life, gets into intense physical altercations, and survives multiple ambushes and angry mobs. For example, in the story about the miraculous catch of fish, Jesus gets into a boat not to better address the crowd but in order to flee a hostile mob. The catch of fish is in fact made up of people wading out to attack him, caught up in a net. Elsewhere, the tale of a paralytic let down through a roof for healing is reinterpreted as a “Trojan horse” brought by a “commando unit” intent upon harming Jesus. Healings are reinterpreted as physical altercations, such as when Jesus heals a leper in the Gospel of Mark: “Jesus then fought back physically, not only to defend himself but also to subdue the man while telling him, ‘Be made clean.’ ” Nicolo brings forth an intriguing new analysis that may be based in some truth, since Jesus did in fact face many detractors throughout his ministry. Nicolo doesn’t provide a context for why these stories would be retold in such a different way. Unfortunately for the reader, he does not introduce his theory but instead jumps right into textual analysis. Similarly, there is no conclusion to explain his thesis. Given the substance of his argument, he leaves the reader with an impression that this interpretation is little more than a fanciful reading.

Requires further argument and explication to convince the reader.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2016

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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