First the disclaimer- I am NOT a believer. I am not an agnostic. I am a flat out atheist. Now that is out of the way. This is an incredible book and should be read by anyone who wants or needs to understand the positive side of Christianity and religion itself. Burgess takes this tale oft told and gives it, not a new spin, but a refreshing perspective. He keeps the tone light and the story going- he doesn't linger on any one aspect one can travel from Nazareth to Jerusalem to Rome all on one page- not a word wasted. The central thesis is pretty clearly laid out on the last few pages and I won't ruin it here but I will say that the light tone supports this thesis. Really this is just a beautiful book- find a copy and enjoy whether you are a believer or not.
This book came out 20 years before Melvin Gibson's cinematic spectacle, this in-depth literary examination of the life and death of Jesus -- and, as is the case with all book-vs-film portrayals, the book wins. For you snuff fans, Man of Nazareth is every bit as gory as Melvin's film, going into painful detail about the Roman method of execution in those days. And, its flashbacks are more powerful and thoughtful, for those seeking expansion of the biblical accounts. Problem is, this is a mere book -- it's not a Melvin Gibson movie. That's why it won't achieve anything near the circulation this new film will enjoy. More's the pity.