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Resurrection Hardcover – July 20, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A temperate entry in the rapidly overheating Da Vinci Code sweepstakes, Malarkey's second novel (following An Obvious Enchantment) illuminates the spiritual yearnings underlying and bolstering that boffo megaseller's more sensationalistic elements. Set in Egypt just after WWII, the novel fictionalizes the discovery of the Gnostic gospels, early Christian writings whose explosive intimations—that a growing nonauthoritarian sect was suppressed as Christianity was incorporated into the Roman empire—have been expertly explored by the great scholar Elaine Pagels. Malarkey, a founding editor of Tin House, is clearly enamored of these writings, but she makes a hash of the intrigue around their discovery. A faulty sense of period (a character at one point anachronistically calls for "security") and characters and situations straight from romance fiction ("This is the most beautiful part of the horse, and, I think, some women") mix uneasily with fairly sophisticated Bible readings, as young Brit Gemma Bastian follows her archeologist father to Cairo and gets mixed up with the household of his friend David Lazar—and David's sons. Such criticisms would be quibbles if Resurrection possessed the pulpy energy of Da Vinci, but it doesn't. Budding Gnostics and Essenes would be better off going straight to Pagels. (Aug.)
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From Booklist

Like The Da Vinci Code, Marlakey's novel professes to find the hidden meaning of Christianity buried behind deceptive orthodoxies. But here the secret comes from the ancient gnostic Gospels recovered from Nag Hammadi, Egypt, shortly after World War II. The sleuth who uncovers the Gospels, Gemma Basian, comes to Egypt to bury the remains of her archaeologist father, who has died in Cairo under suspicious circumstances._As Gemma investigates her father's death, she finds herself increasingly drawn into the mysteries that drew him to the land of Isis. The gnostic Gospels he finally discovers before his death reveal to him--and then to Gemma--everything he had been looking for: individual salvation without a church, sexual ecstasy rather than celibacy, Egyptian magic rather than Hebrew morality. The gnostic Gospels also accord women a much larger role than the New Testament, identifying Mary Magdalene as Jesus' lover and as the apostle first vouchsafed a vision of the Resurrection. The recovered words of gnostic scripture thus reconnect Gemma with her murdered father--and embolden her in challenging a society long darkened by ecclesiastical conspiracy. Although some readers may enjoy Malarkey's novel simply as a literary thriller, many will find themselves wrestling with theological conundrums. In fact, controversy will surely surround this novel, as readers who hail it as a daring expose clash with those who see it as a slander against their faith. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books (July 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159448919X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594489198
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,415,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. D. Crist on July 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a story about greed, ambition, misogyny, and human nature. Set against the confusing clarity of war, this story takes place between the end of WWII and the beginning of the Arab-Israeli Conflict in 1948. British nurse, Gemma Bastian receives two letters from her Egyptologist father. One letter is full of exciting news of riches and the promise of a new home in Egypt, far away from war-torn London, while the other is addressed to both Gemma and a man she has never met. Shortly after receiving those letters she finds out that her father has died under mysterious circumstances. Gemma travels to Egypt to figure out what happened to her father and why mysterious and threatening men seem to be very interested in his findings.

The main plot in the story has to do with the controversial papyri, known as the Gnostic Gospels, found in Egypt, that are believed to be the lost gospels from apostles of Jesus Christ, including the gospels of Mary Magdalene. This is a fictionalized account of how they disappeared and why they remained hidden for nearly 30 years after their discovery. Resurrection purports that the bible is a case of the winners writing history and eliminating ideas that they did not agree with, namely the role of women and the church in religion. Resurrection is a thought provoking page turner that makes you question the nature of organized religion.

Anyone who was interested in the questions raised in the Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, but disappointed by the story, will love Resurrection. This book is what The Da Vinci Code could have been if you took out all of the excessive cross-Europe chases and biblical dynasties. There are no secretive, evil religious organizations. No creepy albino monks lurking about after the main characters.
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Format: Hardcover
Review of Tucker Malarkey's Resurrection

Malarkey does three things well:

1) She makes clear that the task of each of us is to create the meaning of our lives.

2) She illustrates with the proposition that recent new gospels modify our view of the Christian faith experience.

3) She does this in a convergence of three traditions:

a) The Anglican writers C.S.Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, Tolkien and Charles Williams.

b) The recent genre represented by Dan Brown's DaVinci Code.

c) Factual writers like John McPhee who bring us into Place and Person so convincingly that we cannot distinguish fact and fiction, nor does it matter.

We need Tucker Malarkey's book at the moment to take us on the journey of better experiencing each other and cherishing each other more.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book, not only for what I learned, but for how it made me want to know more. It is an amazing and redemptive story -- and worth reading for the writing and the love story alone.

It was almost eery, after reading this novel which explores the complex and capricious way that history is written, to read David Marshall's review attacking Malarkey's facts. The fact is, these "facts" are largely a matter of opinion. There are many Christian schools and many Christian scholars with many points of view. I've read enough of them to know there is no definitive story. Faith is personal and Mr. Marshall, with his protests, shows this clearly enough. How can he simply dismiss Elaine Pagels as "one of the greatest sources of disinformation about early Christianity on the planet?" Like Bishop Iranaeus, he really does protest too much.
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Format: Hardcover
I read a lot- for work, leisure and education. The challenge for me is finding a book that is well written AND interesting. It's frequently one or the other. This book was the best of both worlds. This book really is literature and it made me want to turn the page. The bonus is that I found it to be truly thought provoking. It's a book I would recommend to a friend, and it's a perfect one for a book group.
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This book gleans from a lot of books we have already read. We know about the Sacred Feminine, we have heard about the Gnostics, that bring more insight to the events during Jesus' time, and His inner circle's charge to continue His teaching, etc. What Malarkey has done was to combine in a great story all of this points.
A young lady goes to Egypt after WWII to see about her father's mysterious death - she finds her father was studying the females' role in religions and that he found and translated part of The Gospel of Thomas, and Phillip, etc. The conflict of who would kill to possess these ancient scripts is exciting. The romance(s) between Gemma and half-brothers Michael and Anthony brings enlightenment of the toil of war. It was during the Council of Nicea that the Bible as we know it was formed, and the 'lesser' Gospels were dropped. The old worship was of Jesus being the Son of God, following Jesus' TEACHINGS and how He told us to live, with ourselves, and our fellow man. The Council of Nicea seems to have created a fixed religion with ritual. Women's roles were dramatically lessened.
As for the role of women in the early church - Women had equal power in the early church - there were of course the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdeline, and there were annointed Deaconesses who had equal power to convey the word and work of Jesus - this book tried to show through the ancient texts found the old Church's equality between woman and man.
This book starts a little slow, but you get caught up in it, and you'll be glad for it because you will be thinking about the ideas for a while after.
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