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The Final Testament of the Holy Bible Imitation Leather – April 22, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
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For two thousand years people have spent their lives waiting, praying, fighting, begging, and going to war for the Messiah. They continue to do so, every minute of every day, every day of every year. And yet, as far as we know, the Messiah has never come.
How would a man like Jesus be perceived if he appeared today? How would he live, what would he say, what would he preach and believe? How would society react to him, and what would they to do him? And though he may be the Messiah, he is not the man that has been prayed for over the course of the last two thousand years. He believes religion is a fraud, government is a sham, and that love should be a choice, regardless of gender. He is, as Christ was, everything that religious leaders and government officials fear, what they speak against, and what they destroy. He did not burn books, or picket doctor's offices, or spend his time in religious institutions. He simply preached a message. Love your fellow man.
Written from the perspective of his family, friends, and followers, in the same way the story of Jesus Christ was told in the New Testament, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible is the story of Ben Zion Avrohom, also known as Ben Jones, also known as the Messiah, also known as the Lord God.
In The Final Testament of the Holy Bible James Frey, America's most controversial bestselling writer, has written the most compelling and provocative work of his career.
Q: What inspired the controversial concept behind The Final Testament?
A: It’s something I’ve thought about for 15 years. What would it actually be like if the Messiah arrived, or if Christ returned? Who would that person be, how would they live, what would they believe in, how would we recognize them, and how would society react to them? I don’t claim to have the answers. I just wanted to tell a theoretical version of the story.
Q: You've opted to go with the Gagosian Gallery in New York rather than a traditional publisher. Why did you choose a small art gallery over a traditional publishing house?
A: Gagosian is the most prestigious gallery in the world. And they publish about 50 books a year--beautiful art books that transcend what a writer can do with a traditional publisher. I wanted to make a beautiful book, an object that people would be proud to own and display,something looked and felt like a real Bible, but more contemporary. I have always said that art influences me more than writing does so the idea of working with a gallery made sense to me.
Q: What artists inspired you while writing The Final Testament?
A: I looked at a ton of Renaissance religious art, like Michelangelo and Raphael, Carvaggio. Some of the sculpture Rodin made. Illuminated manuscripts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There is a much greater and more substantial body of religious art than there is religious literature.
Q: Could you talk about the design of the book? How involved were you in the process?
A: I was very involved in every step of it, in every decision related to it. I worked with a design firm in London called GTF. They make incredible books, and they were incredible to work with on this project. The goal was to make a beautiful, unique, collectible book.
Q: The Final Testament will be released as a limited-edition $50 printed book and a $150 autographed version, but you're self-publishing the ebook at $10. Do you see a future where the printed book is an expensive object intended for collectors while digital copies are for everyone else?
A: Absolutely. I think the future of publishing, or one version of it, is in physical books for collectors and serious fans and ebooks for mass distribution. I believe in that future and want to be a part of it as early as possible.
Top Customer Reviews
As a rule, I believe a book should be judged solely on it's own merits without reference to the person who wrote it. Yet the publishers fill the cover blurb with statements about Frey himself. He has, we are told himself been called a "saviour. A revolutionary, A genius" as well as "a liar. A cheat, A con man". To a British reader, the furore surrounding Frey seems a bit overblown but the fact remains that he comes with a lot of "baggage". Since the publishers concentrate on this, it is perhaps on, this occasion, worth considering the background to the book.
In the UK we don't place such faith in the supreme being and judge of all that is good. By that, of course, I mean Oprah! In 2003 Frey wrote an `autobiography'. It was very good. Oprah loved it. Then it was revealed that some of the `facts' were at least a little stretched. Oprah got mad. Publishers dropped Frey and he became something of a pariah, branded a liar and who knows what else. The fact that Frey is a gifted and interesting writer was worth nothing it seemed. That's the gist of the background.Read more ›
Well, it didn't quite pan out that way.
My anticipation was met with a colossal disappointment at the third-rate writing (absolutely uncharacteristic of Frey's, by the way,) embarrassingly indulgent themes, underdeveloped characters (another very odd thing coming from Frey) and overtly preachy agenda. I thought the idea behind the book was brilliant (i.e. love conquers all and organized religion is the source of all evil) but the execution was painfully lacking.
The story is about Ben Zion Avrohom, whom Frey goes to explain, is "also known as Ben Jones, also known as the Prophet, also known as the Son, also known as the Messiah, also known as the Lord God."
Throughout the book, "Ben Jones" reminded me a lot of Jim Jones of Jonestown. It was very disturbing. But I digress...
The book is divided into 16 small chapters, each of which is the story of Ben told from the perspective of a distinct character that meets Ben and is changed by him. There are 12 characters, analogues to the 12 apostles in the Bible, and one of them narrates three chapters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It would be a lie to say that God is not an important part of my life. I always find myself constantly questioning the existence of God, reflecting on the ramifications of both... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Growth Horyourbee
Very well written. I will be reading this again in the near future. Well thought out story and characters.Published 6 months ago by sms
James Frey is becoming one of my favorite modern writers. I read this book in two sittings and the characters stayed with me through the next few books I read- causing me some... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Christian
GrItty. Gripping. Well told tale of the human condition. Love hate fear ego insecurity and through it all hope and faith. Faith of a different sort.Published 10 months ago by Citizenmunky
Deeply moving. Rings true in my heart, and my wish is that it rang true in everyones heart. The tragedy here is that it does not. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Chris D.