Title: Logos: a novel of Christianity's origin
Author: John Neeleman
Publisher: Homebound Publications
Logos is a bildungsroman about the anonymous author of the original Gospel, set amid the kaleidoscopic mingling of ancient cultures.
In A.D. 66, Jacob is one of Jerusalem's privileged Greco-Roman Jews. When Roman soldiers murder his parents and his beloved sister disappears in a pogrom led by the Roman procurator, he joins Israel's rebellion against Rome. The rebellion he helps to foment leads to more tragedy - personal and, ultimately, cosmic: Jacob's wife and son perish in Rome's siege of Jerusalem, and the Romans destroy Jerusalem and the Temple, and finally extinguish Israel at Masada. Jacob wanders, and in Rome, he joins other dissidents - plotting vengeance not by arms, but by the power of an idea.
Paul of Tarsus, Josephus, the keepers of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the historical Jesus himself each play a role in Jacob's tumultuous fortunes, but the women who have loved him compel the transforming and subversive climax.
Just out of curiosity, I started reading this book the day before Easter and I was quite curious about its content: not only due to the paschal feasts in which I was envolved (and the similar ones I found on the book), but also because I had never read a religious book, not even a fictional one, before.
In Logos, we find the story of Jacob, a Jew who struggles with a lot of personal problems and, at the same time, joins the Israel's rebellion that wants to save the city of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple from the Romans. However, it all ends destroyed and he finds himself lost. Along the reading, we discover his unexpected destiny.
This book is not an easy book: the writing is heavy, mostly when we read the descriptions of the wars, the worship rituals and sacrifices and sometimes the sexual episodes. The first part of the book was the hardest for me: now and then I lost my attention on it. Nevertheless, there are also many descriptions of the places where Jacob was: all of them reminded me of those movies that we see on TV on Easter day. Also, the story has its own romantic vein, which was very agreeable.
The end of the book was unexpected for me and I liked the origin of this new religion: Christianity. In the end, I understood the relation between the whole Jacob's life and the story told on his writings, The Gospel. This gave me a better idea of this book.
I must say it was a really tough reading, but I enjoyed very much.