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Behold the Man [Paperback]

Michael Moorcock
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1978
In the title story readers are introduced to Karl Glogauer, time traveller and messiah. In "Breakfast in the Ruins", Karl is the central character once again, in the setting of Derry and Toms's roof garden. "Constant Fire", set between the other stories, continues the quest through time.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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From Library Journal

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Moorcock's Nebula Award-winning novel, Mojo is reissuing the book in a special illustrated edition that incorporates the author's corrections. Moorcock also provides a new afterword. All that in a hardcover for $12.95 makes this a bargain.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Born in London in 1939, Michael Moorcock is the legendary editor of the influential NEW WORLDS magazine and a prolific and award-winning writer with more than 80 works of fiction and non-fiction to his name. He is the creator of Elric, Hawkmoon, Jerry Cornelius and Colonel Pyat, amongst many other memorable characters. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History in the Making Dec 4 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Imagine being a time-traveller who goes back in time to meet Jesus of Nazareth. How would you react? For Karl Glogauer, this is just what happens. But it turns out things aren't what Karl expected. The simple carpenter's son is exactly that - simple. A grinning, salivating imbecile, who can only say his own name with a moronic giggle.
This is one of the funniest books about time travel I have read. It's about disillusionment, finding yourself, trying to work out who you are, and making amends. Karl Glogauer is a man full of social failings. A victim who is mixed up, confused and uncertain. The problem is he hates himself, and can't accept the good things other people see in him.
Before I had heard of this book I had my own theory that Jesus might have been a time traveller from the future, say the 28th century. He would have had all sorts of advanced technology to make it look like he was performing miracles, such as a pair of hover boots to make it look like he was walking on water. Or genetically modifying five loaves and two fishes to feed thousands. His claim to be the son of God would have been the ultimate hoax.
The time traveller in "Behold the Man" is from the 20th century and takes on the role of Jesus rather reluctantly. He utters prophecies that are uncannily accurate (he's read it all in a book), and he "heals" those whose afflictions are purely psychosomatic. All the quotations in the bible are based on Karl's actions. The things Karl does will be interpreted down the centuries, affecting the lives of millions.
This is a wonderfully iconoclastic work, full of mocking wit. I finished reading it the same day I bought it, it's not a very long book. It really makes you think about destiny and what we're all about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEHOLD, the MAN on every level June 26 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It has been called many things, but most often it is called BLASPHEMOUS and HERETICAL. I say "Yes, but only incidentally." On the surface BEHOLD THE MAN is another time-travel story. Beneath that surface this book is a coral reef of ideas and issues pertaining to that elusive creature, MAN. MAN's need for history to determine his purpose and the ablility to tailor history to his own needs. MAN's need to Love and to be Loved. MAN's scientific advances vs. MAN's religious foundations. As grand in scope as these concepts are, they are only the beginning. This is one of the greatest books of all time and a must read for any serious student of human nature.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Michael Moorcock's science fiction novel "Behold The Man" has been in release for over 20 years, and I still find it to be one of the most shocking books I have ever read. If anyone ever decides to make a film of this novel, the controversy will make the flap over "Last Temptation of Christ" look like an argument over what dish to bring to the PTA meeting. "Behold The Man" tells the story of Karl Glogauer, a man striving to find his religious identity. Intermittent flashbacks explain many of his internal conflicts as a Christian, e.g his childhood molestation by a clergyman. The opportunity to use a time machine presents itself, and Glogauer decides to travel back to meet Jesus Christ and his contemporaries. Over a period of time, he meets the characters who populated the New Testament, but they are nowhere near the people portrayed in the Bible. Many of the depictions are incredibly shocking in their utter blasphemy; I found myself gasping at every plot twist. To give away any of the details of this story would be an injustice, so I will just say that you will never look at your Bible the same way after reading this book. Moorcock won numerous awards for this novel, and I place it high on my list of favorite stories. For those who have never read Michael Moorcock, this would make a great introduction to his very eclectic body of work
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The blurb on the back cover of the Carrol & Graf edition is off the mark: BEHOLD THE MAN is hardly "an hilarious fantasy-adventure", nor is it a "highly entertaining satire on modern man's tendancy to over-indulge in self enquiry". Forget all that hyphenated nonsense, because the book is made of much headier stuff. What Michael Moorcock wrote is allegory, and as such he lets loose some potent imagery. The contrast between the Gospels and what the time-traveler discovers may disturb some readers. But BEHOLD THE MAN is a PILGRIM'S PROGRESS for our neurotic age, and the redemption that awaits the self-pitying Karl Glogauer is as moving as any more conventional conversion. The final paragraph beautifully sums up the unsolvable conflict between science and religious faith. Incidentally, the means Glogauer employs to fly back through time is briefly described, but the explanation is surprisingly convincing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Path is the Man, The Man makes his own Road June 30 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Althought I must confess it stroke me at first as
being a unrespectful and derivative book, further
analysis and complete reading has changed my
opinion totally.
There is an underlying spiritual message in it, how our actions CAN become greater than our expectations, if we are willing to believe things can be better.
Glogauer is everyman, troubled by inner demons and yet, capable of the ultimate heroism.
Moorcock is a writer of the Man and his willingness to see beyond what is written in Destiny's Book, he is inspired and inspiring.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Behold a Fine Story
I read this book back when I was in High School (I believe between 1982 and 1983) and remember it to be both excellent in concept yet shocking. Read more
Published on June 24 2004 by J. Barr
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christian who found it to be a great book
I first read this book when it came out in novella form before being expanded into a novel. I could have gotten all disturbed and found it blasphemous, but why? Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by J. Cross
5.0 out of 5 stars Seen Mel Gibson's "THE PASSION?" Now Read This....
I read this 30 years ago and was shocked by it-- I was young and impressionable and had had a conventional Christian upbringing. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Chris Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Through the lens of now
Ridiculous! Time-travel back to the time of Christ; the traveller knows the period well, accidentally becomes the legend. Impossible! Who would believe it? Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2002 by Galen D. Kaufman
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a masterpiece
Okay, the author had initially a good idea. He sends Glogauer, the protagonist, to the time when Jesus is about to make his appearance. Read more
Published on July 1 2000 by Albert Ali Salah
5.0 out of 5 stars BOLD AND ORIGINAL
Moorcock pulls no punches in this story about time travel back to the time of christ. If you're a very religious christian AND close minded (NOT that I'm saying the terms go... Read more
Published on Nov. 7 1997
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
As a Jew of limited practice with a sister who converted to evangelical Christianity, I first read this book (short story, really) as a bootleg Xerox in an attempt to understand... Read more
Published on April 28 1997
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