This terrific, vital novel was written by Kazantzakis, author of the more famous Zorba the Greek, to share the story of a man who struggled and won.  It seems to have been intended to reassure us that whatever we might struggle with in this life, including and perhaps particularly our own appetites and contradictions, it is possible to triumph. Kazantzakis suggests this is a universal tale, despite the fact it appears to concern one particular religion.

I liked this description in the prologue of striving and succeeding:

‘… his victory over the blossoming snares of the earth…’

In case the title doesn’t give it away, the man is Jesus, but you don’t need to be Christian to be transported to this vibrant biblical world, and enjoy the powerful and surprising characterisations of some familiar characters.  No Sunday School sanitised imagery here.

 

Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation, trans. P.A. Bien (London: Faber and Faber, 1983), Prologue, p. 8

Photo credit: Aaron Burden at unsplash.com

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