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Clif's Book World

Adventures from reading books captured within short reviews.


Resurrection - The subtitle on the cover says, "A Lost Past, A Hidden Gospel, A Monumental Discovery." This introduction places the reader into the correct frame of mind to expect a story that takes itself seriously. This novel purports to be about a discovery that can change human history.

The novel Resurrection provides the reader with a primer on the subject of finding, translation, trading and selling of early Christian manuscripts. The novel is written around the historical events surrounding the finding of the Nag Hammadi manuscripts in Egypt in December 1945. However, the events in this story take place in 1947. As the story progresses the reader is dragged through a melodrama of relationship entanglements worthy of a soap opera before the book brings its plot to a conclusion.

The Nag Hammadi texts are copies of manuscripts originally written by Gnostics of the 2nd Century A.D. It's my observation that "new age" adherents of today think they see kindred spirits among the 2nd Century Gnostics. Therefore, readers who agree with the following three statements are likely to enjoy this novel:
(1) Jesus was an advocate of a decentralized social and spiritual movement for seeking universal truth and the attainment of the highest individual human potential.
(2) This message from Jesus was suppressed, outlawed and changed by early orthodox Christian church leaders (who were all men) because they wanted to be in control of the new religion.
(3) The truth was finally uncovered when the Nag Hammadi codices were found in Egypt in 1945. (But access to them was restricted for 30 more years.)

I'm trying to decide whether to tag the book Resurrection as a historical novel or a murder mystery. Its interweaving of a fictional plot with actual historical events is what makes the book most interesting. However, the fictional plot makes it more of a murder mystery. Probably a better tag is "Da Vinci Code knockoff," except that this book has a plot that makes more sense than The Da Vinci Code. However, this book falls short in the 'thriller' aspect when compared to The Da Vinci Code. I recommend reading the nonfiction account of the finding of the Nag Hammadi texts to fully appreciate this novel. http://www.nag-hammadi.com/history.html

The following is the review of the book by PageADay Book Lover's Calendar. I have inserted it here because it is a more concise description of the book than my above review:
Gemma Bastian goes to Egypt, near Nag Hammadi, to investigate the mysterious death of her archaeologist father, and becomes entangled in his studies: the role of women in early Christianity and translations of apocryphal gospels of Philip, Thomas, and Mary Magdalen. A cast of interesting characters who deal in antiquities and these provocative texts, as well as two brothers who become romantically involved with her, and great period details make this a fun addition to the ever-growing Da Vinci Code knockoffs.