This novel by the author of I, Claudius, Wife to Mr. Milton, etc., is not a religious book, though its theme is the life of the founder of one of the great religious faiths. Mr. Graves writes with an expert hand, and his erudition is undeniable. He "debunks" the Christian tradition with startling research into comparative mythology; the lore of all the ancient pagan cults is sifted to offer a new solution of the Nativity problem and to thoroughly discredit details of the life of Jesus which are central to the Christian faith. This is not reading for the easily shocked; it defintely presents Jesus as a sage and a post, if not divine. It moves, as does all Mr. Graves' writing, at a brilliant fast pace, and with a tremendous style.