The Good Man Jesus & the Scoundrel Christ - Philip Pullman Initially I wanted to give this little novel 2 stars, for I wasn’t overly impressed by it. I have to be fair though. My expectations were definitely far off target and outside the author’s intention.

I expected to read an ironic and sarcastic retelling of the New Testament, which of course, after reading it, I realized was not the case. Because of my unfulfilled expectations I liked this book (probably) less than I would have otherwise. Still, I have chosen to give this book 3 stars, because I really liked the whole pretense of “what if Mary had twins when Jesus was born”, but mostly because of the author’s powerful afterword; powerful to me at least.

The afterword is powerful to me because of how much Pullman’s atheistic journey mirror’s my own: I too remember being shaped by Christianity while growing up in what is (probably) the most Catholic country in Europe (Italy). I remember believing in God, Jesus and all the other words and tales to be found in the Bible and that God was unquestionably GOOD. But as I grew, I began to notice the real world around me. I had seen and learned so much about reality, that when I reached the age of the First Communion believing in any God, or religion, became completely impossible for me, and this conviction has been unwavering and unchanging until this day – if anything, it has only grown stronger.