Extraordinary alternative first hand account of walking with Jesus| Posted April 27, 2013
I was lost for words when I finished this beautifully written novel. And I'm still struggling to find the best words to describe the power of this story.
But the incredible thing about this story is it's part biographical, part fiction and I'm left wondering how much of it was fiction.
Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, the one that Luke described "Satan entered" moments before he committed his betrayal. The gospels never tell us exactly what the discussion between Judas and the Chief Priests amounted to, but Ms Lee, having completed extensive research, provides an insight. And boy, was I shocked. I can't say any more without revealing too much, so will leave it there.
The novel is written in first person as we see, feel, hear and smell the key moments of Judas life. We meet a man who loves Jesus deeply, so much so, he struggles with the apparent 'lunacy' of so many of his Master's actions and statements. Ms Lee takes us into Judas' heart to catch a glimpse of what it would have been like following this man, and experiencing the rebuke and ridicule by so many including one's family.
We get to see Jesus' "wildness" first hand in the Temple; His tenderness in the healings of the leper and the paralytic. We experience the wonder and amazement of His walking on water, the feeding of the thousands as basket after basket just keep being filled. I would have loved to spend more time in the Bethany house of Mary, Martha and Lazarus with the disciples on their way to Jerusalem, especially as the gospels regale us with Judas' admonishment of Mary's extravagance in emptying the entire bottle of expensive perfume.
I found myself asking the same questions as Judas, struggling to reconcile an intense desire to surrender everything to Jesus whilst flee Him due to my own limited understanding of His sovereignty and fear of what would become of me as His follower.
The true wonder of this novel is I am left with a greater longing to draw closer to the one who was betrayed: Jesus. Congratulations Tosca Lee on a remarkable novel.
A character you've known forever that will newly break your heart| Posted April 23, 2013 I started reading Iscariot: A Novel of Judas, by Tosca Lee, very hesitantly to my dismay. I had just finished reading a book that was the first to surprise me with the ending in such a long time, that I was in a bit of a book-hangover. I've read Lee's previous works and I knew that I had to be all in when reading her novels, but I had waited for it's release for so long that I just couldn't wait anymore.
Iscariot is a bit of speculative spiritual fiction. I happen to like Lee's work so much because she stays completely true to what the Bible says and with lots of research attempts to read between the lines. I've heard and read the same stories over and over that sometimes they become monotonous; she challenges me to really think about what I'm reading...to consider what it would have been like to be that person, to live in that time, how the circumstances would have felt.
We start off reading about Judas's childhood. It broke my heart to read about the very realistic possible circumstances that formed the way Judas reacted to situations, the way he thought, the way he was raised, and the way he was effected by things. There was a certain sadness that I connected with. Little Judas broke my heart, and made me realize that we all are Judas. Most of us, if in his position probably would have made the same choice; many of us, I don't think would ever be brave enough to have been in his position at all.
The middle of the book felt more like a familiar friend, it's the part of the story we all know so well, this is where the lines are written a little bit closer together. It is where we have to keep reminding ourselves that Judas was the one Jesus called fried. It is where we have to remind ourselves how the story ends, and it made me feel sick to my stomach.
The end of the book I put off....for DAYS. I would read at a crawling pace and kept setting it down to do anything but accept how it was going to end. Sometimes we do things out of love that we really truly do with the best of intentions but they turn out not so good. Many times we are so close to a situation that we are overcome by the severity of it and we can't see the big picture, we are too overcome to hope. Is it possible that Judas thought he was doing what was best? Is it possible that any of us could have so easily been Judas? I think the answer is yes. think the end of Judas's story is quite sad, he had to have an intense love for Jesus to so whole-heartily follow Him. Did this love change? Was it fear, because that had to have been a pretty scary time? Was it supposed to be out of love, and that part is just burried? Tosca (I know I should say Lee, but it just feels too informal for her ok?) challenged me to consider Judas's story in an entirely knew way...even to the point of how he died.
I know that I have rambled on a lot here, but what it comes down to is that you really need to read this book. Let me warn you it will brake you. I finished it about two weeks ago and I still am trying to recover. I can't help but wonder how I would have been. I am left with so many questions, that in the same answer so many more. I mean seriously, someone else please read this so we can talk about it together?
style| Posted June 29, 2012
Tosca Lee in this book show you brillant talentous to writing. U read the book sometime ago, but now wuth your new book "Mirtal" i come back to read again. And each time i read - more love for her style!
good book| Posted June 28, 2012
iscariot is a weird name for a book but you will understand why it is named that as you read it. this was the first book by tosca lee that i read and i was immediately drawn in. a great first read by her if you haven't read her stuff.