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Funny Boy Storycuts John Grisham. Fish Files Storycuts John Grisham. Fetching Raymond Storycuts John Grisham. Casino Storycuts John Grisham. Blood Drive Storycuts John Grisham. All it has left is spite, blasphemy—and profound sadness. In terms of content, the book is a by-the-numbers hatchet job written in sensitive, spare, and poetic diction for the delectation of UK and New York Chattering Classes and dipped in a bath of relentless, willful sadness and bitterness.

The basic premise is that it has been 20 years since the crucifixion, and Mary is one nasty hag, sounding for all the world like a nun in iron grey, short-cropped hair and sensible shoes who has seized the microphone in a We Are Church group process breakout session and is now on the third hour of an extended free association monologue, grousing bitterly about the patriarchy.


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She is kept under a sort of cultic, Scientology-esque house arrest while devotees, who inexplicably regard her as a figure of reverence instead of the sullen old crone she is, come to feed her and babble their Moonie encomiums of devotion. They, of course, resolutely declare that Jesus will return. She bitterly and stubbornly declares he will not, and the interview concludes with Mary pulling a knife on them and threatening to come in the night and murder them as they sleep.

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The Testament Novels

The dumbbell disciples are nothing moved by this altercation and go cheerily on their way in blissed-out idiocy. We are to believe that from all this, the cult of Mary—the beautiful saint and consolation of sinners—arose.

The Testament

And they say atheism requires no faith. She tells various stories familiar to us from the gospels, but covers them all with a sepulchral gloom. So, for instance, we get the story of the raising of Lazarus, but when Lazarus comes back to life, he howls in anguish at the curse of life restored and remains a sort of enfeebled invalid. She hates herself, the disciples, and the whole lie of the gospel. At the end of the book, pious Christian morons show up to repeat, like autistic savants, various passages of scripture or creedal formulations, or to yark at her about her virginal conception of Jesus another lie, we are assured.

The Testament Novels | Eric Van Lustbader

They are impervious to her fierce denials. We bid her farewell as she prays for death to the many-breasted goddess, with an ever-so-subtle lesbian undertone. The Blessed Virgin Mary known to us from, you know, the people who knew and loved her and spoke of her with great tenderness and love in the New Testament is nowhere in sight in this—one must be blunt—viciously dishonest little screed. What can we learn about Mary from this book? Absolutely nothing whatsoever.

Because, of course, the thing about Mary is that the thing is never about Mary. The structure of reality is this: Mary is inextricably bound up with her Son.

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What we say about her ultimately redounds to what we say about him. It was directed at Jesus. The Testament of Mary intuits this, just as the dragon does in Revelation He dresses the whole assassination attempt on the Risen Jesus in highly literate prose that, like the kiss of Judas, professes love, but delivers a profound wish for death to our Lord. Tolkien once remarked on the idea that the gospel was a sort of true fairy story:.

I would venture to say that approaching the Christian Story from this direction, it has long been my feeling a joyous feeling that God redeemed the corrupt making-creatures, men, in a way fitting to this aspect, as to others, of their strange nature. The Gospels contain a fairy story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories. But this story has entered History and the primary world; the desire and aspiration of sub-creation has been raised to the fulfillment of Creation.

The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story begins and ends in joy. For the Art of it has the supremely convincing tone of Primary Art, that is, of Creation. To reject it leads either to sadness or to wrath. It is, in its own way, as formulaic as and, truth to tell, is modeled on an Evangelical testimonial of the sinner who was on the path to hell, doing drugs and fornicating, till one day he hit rock bottom, found Jesus, and experienced liberation.