Acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Tosca Lee brilliantly adapts the life of Judas Iscariot into a dazzling work of fiction - humanizing the man whose very name is synonymous with betrayal.
Based on extensive research into the life and times of Judas Iscariot, this triumph of fiction storytelling by the author of Havah: The Story of Eve revisits one of biblical history’s most maligned figures and brings the world he inhabited vividly to life.
In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One - the promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, he joins the Nazarene’s followers, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life. But soon Judas’ vision of a nation free from Rome is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who will not bow to social or religious convention - who seems, in the end, to even turn against his own people. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.
Iscariot is the story of Judas, from his tumultuous childhood to his emergence as the man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus that forces us to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the most famous - and infamous - religious icons in history.
One of the reviewers had stated that this book didn't feel real and that the disciples didn't feel real and couldn't see how they went on to start a church because they didn't have enough faith. I feel the exact opposite, yes this book does show the disciples as human beings who struggled with faith as much as we do in this present age, but to me this added to the believability of this book. We have each read the gospels and we know the story and therefore we think we would have acted differently had we lived, walked, talked with and seen Jesus ourselves...however this book shows how real people without a glimpse into the future would act. More importantly I felt the character of Judas was very real. Through this story I felt his doubts, his longing for a Messiah, for someone to fight for him and for his people, to bring down the Romans with a crushing blow, to bring down the hypocrites in the temple...and his dissapointment when that did not happen. Tosca Lee does an extraordinary job in this story and it moved me to tears because it made me look at myself and all my doubts and I saw the Judas in me. It made me see that I too could have been Judas. The ending was good too but I was hoping for something a bit different, but that is the writer in me seeing a thousand different possibilities. Overall, I loved this book and look forward for more stories from this author...oh, and I highly recommend this one! It is definatly one of Tosca's best so far!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I was so engrossed with this story. I normally avoid period pieces, as well as anything with biblical leanings however Tosca Lee is so gifted that this novel could take place at any time and in any place. The language was effortless. The story was so compelling, even the most familiar stories from the bible took on a new life for me. It renewed my interest and my faith. This is a must-read. This is a beautifully written work that engages from start to finish. There are wonderful moments of incredible warmth and deep sadness as it speeds along to what most can admit is the tragic conclusion of the ultimate story of love and betrayal.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
ENJOYED! Started out slow but later could not wait to get to the end, even though I knew the ending. The author portrayed the disciplines as simple as the average person.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Awesome book well written. Brings out many life changing questions. Must read for all.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I've read various versions of the "Judas Story" but this is the best researched and beautifully written one that I've ever come across.
It took me back to Judas as a child. I could relate to his dreams of being accepted and loved. The rule of the Romans is shown through a child's eyes and then through the adult's. But it isn't just about rebellion. This book shows a man with a man's dreams and ambitions. It is about friendships that Judas forms and where they lead. He both loves and is frustrated with his family and their problems. He is a man with the wish to "fit" somewhere.
The author took me on a history lesson that felt more like a trip in time. For the first time I really felt I understood the values and customs of the early Bible stories. I've read the Bible my whole life and am a devoted Christian but didn't find anything to offend me in this book,
It is more of a Jewish history than a Christian one.
In this book I learnt the atmosphere around the time of Jesus with the different fractions. Some Jews were trying to live with Rome. Some trying to rebel. Some were hoping for a miracle and to have the whole situation changed in a instant. A lot like today.
Not that this book is a history text book. It is filled with tension, drama and fun. I felt I knew all the characters personally and was upset to let them go when the story was over.
Mostly it shows there is no black and white answers. No good or bad. Just choices that are made and what it is to live with the consequences.
Judas is shown as a human with human failings and even if the intention was right, the outcome can still go wrong.
I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in historical fiction. It uses some of the Bible stories as a backdrop but doesn't preach. Nor does it say that Jesus was the Son of God or not. It is the story of the man Judas, not Jesus. So don't be put off if you aren't a Christian.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
I love this amazing story of love and forgiveness. I see myself... all of us in this story.
Where does Iscariot rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
One of the best audio books I have listened to. Did not want to stop.
What did you like best about this story?
I love how Tosca Lee brought this historical figure alive.
Which character – as performed by Jason Culp – was your favorite?
By far, Judas, because he was struggling with many things we all struggle with. Made me look at him in a whole new light. Not that his choices were OK, but how he HAD choices and made the wrong one in the end.
If you could take any character from Iscariot out to dinner, who would it be and why?
It would for sure be Jesus! In the flesh.
What would have made Iscariot better?
If it was a paper book (At least I could have stopped my coffee table from wobbling.)
Has Iscariot turned you off from other books in this genre?
It's like Lord of the Rings from Gollum's perspective, but not as interesting.
It's over emotionised intraspective repetative rubbish. She's taken the Jesus story and made it dull. She chews and chews at themes that make you wonder what Buddha is doing. It lacks the passion of a Christian perspective or the eye for detail of the skeptic. This just leaves it tepid.
Would you be willing to try another one of Jason Culp’s performances?
Yes. The narrator did a good job. It's not him, it's the content.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Stopped 3/4 of the way through.
Any additional comments?
Lets face it, Christian or not, the Jesus story is compelling.
Ms Lee however goes on and on. I get it. Judas was a good fellow, selected by destiny to perform a necessary function in allowing Jesus to fulfill his mission, and his bad press is a lack on understanding of the big picture.
That being the case in this novel Tosca Lee writes like a woman pretending to be a man.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful