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Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible Paperback – February 23, 2010
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“A bloody good book. . . . Very funny. . . . Priceless for those of all traditions who see value in posing unanswerable questions to each other, and to God himself.” (The Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“Highly entertaining.” (The Jerusalem Post)
“Like the Bible itself, Good Book contains multitudes—it is by turns thought-provoking, funny, enlightening and moving. In short, David Plotz’s book easily lives up to its name. Trust me, Thou shalt enjoy.” (A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically)
“Thanks to David Plotz’s amazing book, I will never have to read The Bible. When can he do this for Madame Bovary?” (Andy Borowitz, author of The Borowitz Report)
“Plotz is a genius writer. He can mine Genesis for new insights—and play the book of Job for laughs. He’s the perfect companion for a romp through the Bible: charmingly confessional, a deeply penetrating reader, and at complete ease relating ancient (often obscure) narratives to our modern condition.” (Franklin Foer, author of How Soccer Explains the World)
Top Customer Reviews
I also got the impression I'd enjoy an afternoon talking over these things with Plotz and, while neither of us would probably convince the other, neither of us would go away angry.
I wish he'd tackle the New Testament just because I'm curious to see what he'd say.
Amusing, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, "The Good Book" succeeds because its tone straddles the line between irreverent and awestruck. Plotz as a lay reader is wandering in a strange land full of eccentric people and incomprehensible rules. From Samson and Delilah, he takes away these lessons: "1. Women are deceptive and heartless." And
"2. Men are too stupid and sex-crazed to realize this."
The story of Abraham and Isaac brings him--as it does everybody with a beating heart--to his knees: "As a father, I find this nearly impossible to read. Abraham does not try to distance himself from Isaac, to separate himself from the child he must kill. Isaac remains 'my son,' 'my son'.Read more ›
Calling Him "Our Father" is as difficult for David Plotz as it is for me.
Mr. Plotz's forthright telling of the most well known Bible stories, and some of the least known as well, makes for a rich banquet to feed the mind. He ends his recounting of the Bible with Second Chronicles because the New Testament is not part of his canon, but provides an understandable and short version of most of the OT's chapters. It's not a comparision reading - no gloomy predictions about the future taken from the Bible's many instances of doom - and it's not a holy reading. It is simply a quick retelling, in his own words and with personal asides, of the books of the Old Testament.
Plotz used not only his own Hebrew Bible but also a King James version and a Revised Standard version so at times he points out the differences in how a story is told. This is a pretty good idea because those of us who were brought up with the idea that every word of the Bible was written by God can be pretty dogmatic about the language. Plotz also states at the end that he is no nearer to God now than he was before going on this journey. But he says that the Bible opened him up to being in a verbal, if somewhat argumentative, relationship with the Lord.
It is a book I would recommend to any reader for its humor and honesty. Read the Bible, too. Plotz recommends that, too.
This is a wonderful book, thoughtful and insightful, yet light and easy to read. It examines the inconsistencies, paradoxes and illogicalities of the Old Testament, as well as pointing out the beauty and the grace of its writing. I enjoyed it so much, I bought two copies, one to give as a gift to a friend.
My only quibble is with the wording of the title. It should read "...Every Single Word of the Old Testament," rather than ..."every Single Word of the Bible," since the author takes refuge in his Jewish roots and confines his analysis to the first 39 books of the Bible. That's a pity, because I think his approach would have much to offer us in our understanding of the rest of "The Good Book."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read the Old Testament and have always known that "God" would kill someone for no reason just because "he" was pissed off. This book tells it like it is. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Lail
I really like the honesty of feelings and comprehension of this book. It scared me and gave me a lot to think about how I interpret how I understand The Bible. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Chanel Wapner
lovely commentary on bible - done with love and humor. makes it more fun to read the old testament.Published 9 months ago by D. T. jones
Lame, over-rated, and not worth the money. It's not funny or perceptive. It's a juvenile take on many parts of the Bible. Hardly worth the money!! I'm returning it today.Published 12 months ago by corgipup