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Book Review: Live From Golgotha

My first Gore Vidal book…and I’m not disappointed.

Well, that was a crappy weekend. I can’t believe that I’m gonna say this but…(as of now) I’m probably never going to go to a three day hippie music festival ever again. I have one lined up for the end of this month, but I haven’t decided if I’m going to go. It’s such a shame to, pretty good line up. Any-who…The highlight of last weekend, inbetween walking miles of  patrol with blisters on my feet, woo lectures (which I attended many, blog about that later), conscious vibes and so so music, the nerd in me isolated myself from all the naked ladies and the fashionistas to…read a book.

.Gore Vidal, the mentor of the very powerful Christopher “Our Hero” Hitchens, the grandfather of the New Atheists and prolific author, has superbly and sarcastically given his readers a reinterpretation on the construction of the New Testament.  This is the first Vidal book that I have read and I was not disappointed, not in the least. Live From Golgotha, even though it was written in 1992, is sooooo for the New Atheists, for Team Atheist.

It’s a little bit complicated so bear with me…The Hacker is erasing all records of Christianity in modern times. St. Timothy living in first century Palestine, who I believe represents the first gospel writer Mark (I could be wrong about this one) has been recruited by network executives from the future to plant a prefabbed, rewritten gospel to save Christianity from the Hacker. If the plan doesn’t succeed, then the version of Christianity as we know it in modern times will disappear forever.

The network executives that travel back in time in the form of holograms are also going to film, live, the Crucifixion. This is where all the fun begins. We have holograms, time travel, biblical history rewritten v. biblical history (i.e. the road to Damascus v. the Damascus highway), some scenes of “…and he held my ankles above my head, the way that I do women…I was topped by Nero.” There are Judas type double crossings, guest appearances by Robert De Niro, Shirley McLain and woo author and hottie, Marianne Williamson (A Return To Love).

The most important thingy that I got from the book, whether intended or not, is that the bible is totally made up and constructed by people. The whole book revolves around the construction of a gospel. In reality that is how the gospels and the bible came to be. The stories from the bible are something borrowed and something stolen from previous cultures. There are no original stories in the bible. A part that I thought was very funny was that St. Timothy was to write this gospel, with lots of outside influence, then hide it in the mop room to be intentionally found later. It reminded me about the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The book made me think of things in modern day reality concerning the bible like…how come the gospels of Marry Magdalene and Judas were not included in the 28 books of the bible (because people, men, chose what was to be in the bible and not), where is the gospel of “Q” the most important gospel, the one that influenced all the other gospels and the obvious power struggles that naturally happen when constructing such a book. The bible, in the book and in reality, was and is a very powerful political tool. Careful thought went into it’s construction as well as intent.

pg 167. ” I haven’t finished this account and yet it is even now-in the future-being criticized, and presumably read. No matter what may go wrong with this text, I still have the carefully hidden Gospel According to Saint Mark, which is quite enough to restore the Sacred Story should too many kibitzers infiltrate and distort my text. It seems that every time one of them pays me a call, I begin to write odd things that I am certain I do not remember or if I do remember would never have written down, like Priscilla’s giving me head, or my being topped by Nero.”

That pretty much sums up the book. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. In fact, I do believe that I will be going thru my Vidal stage right now. Soooooo interesting.

Awesome peeps. Thanks for all the support and the kind words. I really really appreciate it.

Heart Kriss

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