Christ, Man!

I have a mate – just the one, as you’d expect – Dunk is his name. From time to time Dunk pitches book ideas to me. Normally they’re shit. However, one day, Dunk said to me: “Hey Al,” (which was weird because our conversation was already underway and he didn’t need to get my attention), “Why don’t you write a book about Jesus, but with him and his followers all being stoners?”

And I thought it wasn’t such a bad idea. Obviously I had to develop it a lot; Dunk’s a fucking idiot and his suggestions are half-baked at best, but I liked the alternative gospel idea and you can’t beat a good drug angle. So I took it a little further – into the realms of Jesus and his pals not just taking, but dealing drugs. And that led me into gangster territory.

The end result, put simply, is the Gospels meets Goodfellas. It’s actually more Sopranos than Goodfellas but where’s the alliteration in that? You can get it on Amazon.

It’s a comedy, there’s no doubting that, but as with Accidental Hitman (which a few of you liked) as the plot kicks in it moves into darker areas.

I hope you… well let’s be honest… I hope you buy it, but what I was going to say was I hope you enjoy it. It was fun to write but was also a complete nightmare. I have tried to be as ‘faithful’ to the gospels as possible but I confess that I took a huge amount of poetic license throughout, both so I could tell a good, funny story and also because the gospels don’t all sing from the same hymn sheet (pun intended).

Tempting as it was to write in ancient Hebrew. I opted instead for a modern vernacular. Believe it or not I did exercise discipline in terms of the vocabulary. For example, I found myself using the line “Jesus had his trademark air of calm” before realising that the first-person narrator wouldn’t have known what a trademark was. Okay, I know Jesus wouldn’t have said “You’re such a fucker” either, but there was some method to it. Honest.

Fair play to you if you are, but I’m not religious. I have always been intrigued by the Bible though, especially the impact it continues to have on people’s lives so many years after it was conceived. People often say how the Old Testament contains all the ‘crazy’ stuff and that the New Testament is all peace and love – but that’s not completely true. The New Testament is pretty extreme in places and Jesus was a something of a stickler and he didn’t seem to have liked his disciples much. It’s been fascinating reading it and trying to ease it all into a compelling narrative. I am in debt to E.P. Sanders for his marvellous book, The Historical Figure of Jesus, a copy of which has kept me company throughout this process and is now very dog-eared indeed. I thought about writing to him to thank him but he’s a serious scholar and would probably tell me not to sully his reputation with my puerile nonsense. I highly recommend his book, it’s a fascinating portrayal of the snippets of evidence of Jesus’ existence set against the political and religious climate at the time and his depiction in the Good Book.

7 thoughts on “Christ, Man!

  1. I may not have read this if you hadn’t been in carriage 1 of 12 last month. Having put down ‘100 years of Solitude’ I read this and did laugh, or at the least smirked appropriately (although would laughing out loud be a way to get more space on a train?)

    1. Hi Jane, “carriage 1 of 12” nice terminology! Thank you for reading – I’m sure it must have been quite a come-down from the standard of literature you normally consume. I hope the journeys aren’t too dreary and things are going well for you. Thanks again!

  2. I enjoyed the read – so actually, thank you! Standards, hmm does that include Robert Rankin? I have ‘left the train’ (as it is darkly referred to by the regular commuters) and embarked on a life with less travel (but regrettably much less reading time).

  3. Robert Rankin is gold standard! I haven’t read any of his for a while but I’m a big fan. Something of a departure from 100 Years of Solitude though… Well done on escaping the commute, are you in Lewes now or did you go somewhere else? I was going to ask but opted not to for reasons of discretion – not that your employers would have read the comments on this sparsely-visited website!

  4. I love Rankin’s stuff! And Pratchett….

    I got a job offer from a larger company – so am currently driving to sunny Lancing every day -week two starting tomorrow. (I could insert a smiley at this point – but don’t want to upset any purist tendencies you may have in that regard.)

  5. That must be a delight compared with the London commute 🙂 😉 Smile away! It sounds like you’re suggesting I’m an old grouch bridling against any of that yoof stuff. I don’t think I even know anymore…

  6. OK – smiling then! 🙂 🙂 (and I really wouldn’t dream of suggesting that- not intended certainly). Gentle driving has its plus points I must say – but less reading, more Radio 4, rudely interspersed with traffic reports. Jury still out!

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