In this witty, original and teasingly controversial account, some forty years after the death of Jesus, Judas finally tells the story as he remembers it. Looking back on his childhood and youth from an old age the gospel writers denied him, Judas recalls his friendship with Jesus; their schooling together; their families; the people who would go on to be disciples and followers; their journeys together and their dealings with the powers of Rome and the Temple.
His is a story of friendship and rivalry, of a time of uncertainty and enquiry, a testing of belief, endurance and loyalty.
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It was their dreamtime. The wider world beckoned from the white ships sailing past Rangitoto Island, but the dream was also here on the Takapuna shoreline of Auckland, where the artist Melior Farbro grew his vegetables and let Cecilia Skyways follow her own form of Zen Buddhism in his garden hut. Where Curl Skidmore, his brilliant young head full of novels waiting to be unravelled, could dream of God, Fame, Nirvana, Great Love, or maybe just sex. Where not even the harbourfront strike of 1951 could convince them that life wasn't about poetry and painting and potential.
Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
Two thousand years ago, while a young Jewish preacher from Nazareth was gathering followers among the people of Galilee, his sister swept floors and dreamed of learning to read.
In Leslie Cannold's story, it is the women of Nazareth who take centre stage: the rebellious, gifted Rachael, consigned by her sex to a life of drudgery; Bindy, the crone who teaches her the skills of the healer; Shona her sister, the victim of a harsh social code; and their mother Miriame, a woman seemingly unable to love.
When Rachael falls in love with her brother's dearest friend, the rebel Judah of Iscariot, it seems that at least one of the women of Nazareth may find happiness. Then a message comes from her brother in Jerusalem. And the events begin to unfold that will change not just Rachael's life, but the world-forever.
Dr Leslie Cannold is a an author, commentator, ethicist, researcher and social activist. Her non-fiction works include the award-winning The Abortion Myth and What, No Baby? She appears regularly in radio, television and print. Leslie is an adjunct Fellow at the School of Philosophy, Anthropology and Social Inquiry at the University of Melbourne, and senior lecturer at the Monash Institute of Health Services Research. She is President of Reproductive Choice Australia, a national coalition of pro-choice organisations that played a key role in removing the ban on the abortion drug RU486 in 2006, and of Pro Choice Victoria, which was instrumental in the decriminalisation of abortion in Victoria in 2008. She is also a Dying with Dignity ambassador for law reform. Leslie is the lead singer of the Melbourne-based rock cover band Speedy Fish.
'Passionate, eloquent and compelling, a terrific idea beautifully realised - I couldn't put it down.' Liz Byrski
'Cannold walks an interesting line between faith and history here, as she explores an alternative Virgin birth storyline (what happens to unmarried women in this society who fall pregnant means, inevitably, that they are keen to stress the intervention of a god).' Independent
'This retelling of the Jesus story will resonate with women of faith who wish to forge their own path and stay true to their values...This is a good pick for readers who enjoyed Anita Diamant's The Red Tent or Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers.' Library Journal
'Cannold offers a thought-provoking, heartfelt, and tragic but redemptive tale about the difficulties of discovering and defining one’s identity in a world that seeks unendingly to take that decision away.' Publishers Weekly
'There are dangers in attempting to fictionalise such a well-loved story as the life of Christ. First, the resulting account might offend. It might collapse into cliche. Or it might be filled with contemporary sensibilities, creating a world too familiar to our own. Though The Book of Rachael skirts each of these minefields, it is testament to the literary skills of Leslie Cannold that this debut novel avoids them.' Courier Mail
'The church has spent millenia writing women out of history. In the wonderful Book of Rachael, Leslie Cannold returns them to their rightful place at the centre of one of our most powerful stories.' Sophie Cunningham
A perennial favorite of readers worldwide, American Gods tells the story of ex-con Shadow Moon, who emerges from prison and is recruited to be bodyguard, driver, and errand boy for the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday. So begins a dark and strange road trip full of fantastical adventures and a host of eccentric characters. For, beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and Shadow is standing squarely in its path.
This annotated volume of the Author’s Preferred Text features analysis from Leslie S. Klinger. His trenchant commentary identifies gods and supernatural beings, elucidates key phrases, and shows how Gaiman built his award-winning novel, giving readers unparalleled insight into the story and into Gaiman’s creative process and authorial decisions. Carefully chosen illustrations complement and illuminate the narrative.