- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Simon and Schuster; 1 edition (March 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451683766
- ISBN-13: 978-1451683769
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 540 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #690,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Iscariot (HC): A Novel of Judas Hardcover – Feb 5 2013
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"The research and writing is impeccable and masterful." (Publishers Weekly)
"Intelligently imagined." (Kirkus Reviews)
"This brilliant, sympathetic reinterpretation of Judas will force readers to reexamine the man they thought they knew." (Library Journal)
“Tosca Lee continues to mature and deepen as a master story-teller. Iscariot is the best example of this to date. I can hardly wait for what is coming!” (William P. Young, New York Times bestselling author of The Shack)
“Written in a voice that is original, animated, and refreshing, Tosca Lee has forged a poignant tale of Judas, a character we only thought we knew. History and emotion entangle into an entertaining nugget, each page like a tasty treat.” (Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The King’s Deception)
“Tosca Lee’s take on the most notorious figure in history is at once highly imaginative and deeply moving. Weaving historical detail, human drama and spiritual insight, Iscariot will hold you all the way to its shattering conclusion.” (James Scott Bell, bestselling author of One More Lie)
“A startlingly dark and breathtaking novel. Iscariot is both visionary in scope and historically accurate down to the most minute detail—which is an astonishing feat. This is epic, masterful storytelling from one of the most gifted novelists writing today.” (Steven James, bestselling author of Placebo)
“Iscariot is one of those rare novels that makes you go deep and come out both crying and cheering at once. If you think you know Jesus or Judas, think again. Through meticulous detail and powerful prose, Tosca Lee brings the world a story that will reshape the hearts and minds of many. An absolute must-read.” (Ted Dekker, New York Times bestselling author)
"How Jesus’ suffering and ministry could disappoint or perplex is at the heart of Iscariot. It is entertaining fiction rooted in the story of Judas and Jesus. It will cause you to reflect and rethink what you know. It is well -done, solid fiction.” (Darrell L. Bock, Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary)
“To call the writing excellent is a severe understatement—phenomenal might come close, but even that is not quite strong enough. . . . It’s complex, inventive, beautiful, heart-wrenching, and a multitude of other positive adjectives all which speak of a well-written, inspiring novel.” (The Christian Manifesto)
About the Author
Tosca Lee is the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of The Progeny, Firstborn, Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker. She received her BA in English and International Relations from Smith College. A lifelong adventure traveler, Tosca makes her home in the Midwest with her husband and children. To learn more please visit: ToscaLee.com.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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Iscariot is one of those novels that satisfies on every level, offering the pleasure of a beautifully told story, combined with an entertaining plot and a character that is sure to shatter every preconceived notion you have ever had about Judas Iscariot. Tosca Lee writes with exquisite prose, with colorful, vivid descriptions that transport the reader deep into the heart of the story. I found myself living and breathing alongside Judas, soon experiencing a surprising heart of empathy as I met the Judas that Tosca Lee has constructed. But let me be clear that you aren't going to read anything here that shouts, "That's not what the Bible says!" Yes, this is fiction, and so the author did take some poetic license to flesh out who Judas may have been. But nothing she wrote rings false. Instead, with her usual careful research, Tosca Lee has unpacked the character of Judas and offered us what might have been, a truly plausible take on a person I've read about in the Bible over and over, but never considered as deeply as I have while reading this book. I found myself holding my breath as I raced through the pages, wishing for a different ending despite knowing how things must end. And yet the author did an amazing job at creating a conclusion that still surprised me, and one that left me deep in thought as I closed these pages. My faith has been stirred, and I know yours will be too as you read through this story.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and award it a full 5 out of 5 stars.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Author Tosca Lee takes the reader on a journey that drops us into first century world where Judas lived and she masterfully creates another perspective on this most vilified character in biblical history. Lee transforms Judas form obscure shadowy figure into a living, human being who is torn between fierce devotion and lingering doubt. Judas' inner torment about the master and teacher that he adored, the one he anticipated as the promised messiah to deliver the Jewish people from Roman oppression, became a palpable internal struggle the reader feels along with Judas.
Tosca Lee is a new author for me and I am certainly excited to have discovered an author who is meticulous in her research and a great storyteller. I plan to read more form this amazing author and highly recommend this stunning book.
The reason I cannot give it more stars is because of the portrayal of Judas and, at times, Jesus. I realize that there is not a lot of background material to work with, as the gospels do not provide a lot of detail. Still, it seems that the portrayal of Judas here is quite different than what I have always thought. While that is not, in itself, a bad thing (we can all be mistaken in our views), I still keep thinking that Scripture portrays a very different view of Judas. Lee attempts to tackle this in her afterward, but I fear that her explanation doesn't take the inspiration of Scripture seriously enough. She mentions the idea that Judas is portrayed more negatively the later the gospels were written. This, to me, sounds like a more higher critical way of thinking of the gospels which calls into question the inspiration of the gospel writers. Yes, history and theological teaching have portrayed Judas in a negative light, but perhaps that is accurate history.
I like the storytelling itself, but the portrayal just feels off to me. I will definitely keep this novel in mind as I read through the gospels next time, but ultimately the gospels themselves need to guide our understanding of the people in them.
The author does and excellent job of setting the scene into which Judas walked. There is no way to do a historically precise description of EXACTLY this man, the data just doesn't exist -but of who he could have been, what could his life have been like, given the times, Tosca Lee does very well.
More importantly, we all have an internal pressure to differentiate ourselves from those who do evil, and rarely more so than regarding Judas. But that was not the way of Jesus -those who were on the margins, who were broken, who had failed -some by their own doing- these were the ones Jesus made special effort to draw INTO his love, into his circle. This book both shows that in Jesus, as it fights to get us to open our heart to one who Jesus loved, one he called friend, one who's feet He washed, one to whom He gave the bread. This book invites us to see Judas through the eyes of Jesus, and call him back into the circle of God's love and care -or perhaps more accurately, it calls us to welcome and receive him back, as Jesus would.
All in all, a very well written book, filled with solid history about the times in which Jesus and Judas walked this earth, filled with love and passion as it is filled with gentleness. It often had me on the edge of tears.
Well worth the time.
In light of some other reviews, which take great offence at the fact that some parts of the book do not line up exactly with the gospel portrayals, they are right. If that is a deal breaker for you, save your time and money.
But then, the 4 Gospels do not always line up with themselves. The author took some liberties with the biblical text for sometimes dramatic reasons, sometimes to combine episodes to move the narrative along while getting more than one point across. She missed some points that were high on my own agenda. More significantly to some reviewers, the author sometimes made Jesus look as if He were on the brink of madness. A pious, reverent heart can well be excused for taking offence!
However, in attempting to show Jesus as Judas may have seen him, to see him through Judas' eyes, this vision may not have been wholly inaccurate. Judas vacillates between his deep love for Jesus, his fear, his passion for Israel, his desire for liberation from Rome, all seen through a very troublesome and traumatic past -with these same issues. All of this would have muddled Judas' vision, and for the author, been hard to paint using exactly and only the words in the Gospels.
Like these other reviewers, I also believe that the Bible is God-breathed, although not in the form that says He dictated every word. I would not base any doctrine on Iscariot -it does not rise to that level.
But here I return to my earlier review, above -Judas' experience of the Love of Jesus (even the speculation that of reconciliation) is EXACTLY in accord with what we see Jesus doing. It is not unreasonable to think about in a fictional work of art how that love for the marginalized and outcast may apply to the one who (in Christian eyes) is the ultimate outcast -Judas.
Overall, I give this one five stars for captivation and development of a difficult and often contrarian Biblical character.