Author Interrupted reviews Logos, by John Neeleman

Today on the blog, I am delighted to welcome Novel Publicity’s Tour for Logos.  John Neeleman’s book is absolutely worth it, so let me introduce you to the book, and the tour.
9781938846267-frontcover

Review of Logos

Read to the end of the blog for ways to win and more about the book.  First though….

I’m a pretty eclectic reader.  I mean, one day I’ll be in the middle of a zombie book, the next, I’m devouring literary fiction.

I DEVOURED Logos.  It was such a good book.
First – I don’t view this as a Christian book – it’s a theological book, in some ways, but in others, even though it’s fiction, there’s still a definitively strong storyline that isn’t overpowered by the themes.
I’ve enjoyed the time I spent with the book, to be honest – I really enjoy other people’s takes on mythos of all kinds and this was an ambitious, sweeping novel that took me along for a great ride.  It has a good perspective on many things, and is a very brave book – it’s not often people tackle the birth of a religion in quite this way and it felt both intimate and broad sweeping all at the same time.

I really adored Joseph.  He really felt like the character I connected with, and his story naturally answered the questions I began asking myself as I read.  I felt his struggle and his rebellion, even though he is touched by some of serious importance in the religion that he finally becomes immersed in.
The book posited that he created the gospel, and so, we follow this man as he experiences life as it changes around him, at the birth of Christianity, and his feelings and fears as we go.  He suffers great losses, and learns a great deal, and it felt very…not satisfying, but maybe gratifying to feel that he had some sort of closure at the end of it all.
I did feel that maybe it shouldn’t have been labelled as the creation of the gospel, until I finished the book – the overall feeling from the book was that Jacob, who is an average man with the same traits as most people, and certainly not a super human/ larger than life character, but still navigates the world of both status quo and change, and possibly falls into the position of narrating these things.  Because of that, I felt he was a strong character.

There was very little I didn’t like – I did occasionally feel the weight of all the research he must have done and though I did really enjoy it, there were patches of the of the book I found slightly tougher going at points. I did also feel quite weary for Joseph by the end of it all – he lost everything and I don’t think he fully found either redemption or acceptance of any of it, but he was a changed character by the end.  It was a satisfying arc too, if sometimes a bit harrowing.
Good books challenge us to look inside of ourselves – and that’s what this one did.  I reconsidered a few things I thought about religious texts in general and felt quite comforted at points, and challenged at others – it’s that deft change in some of the way we engage with the piece that marks John as a writer to watch. It’s an amazing debut novel and extremely worthy of it’s strong four stars.

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About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of LOGOS! Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official LOGOS tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: While novels and cinema have repeatedly sought after the historical Jesus, until now none have explored what may be a more tantalizing mystery—the Christian story’s anonymous creator. Logos is a literary bildungsroman about the man who will become the anonymous author of the original Gospel, set amid the kaleidoscopic mingling of ancient cultures. Logos is a gripping tale of adventure, a moving love story, and a novel of ideas. None of this should be regarded as out of place or incompatible in a novel about Christianity’s origin. Dissent, anarchism, and revolution—and incipient Christianity was no less these things than the Bolshevik, the French or the American revolutions—inevitably have involved ideas, adventure, and romance.
In A.D. 66, Jacob is an educated and privileged Greco-Roman Jew, a Temple priest in Jerusalem, and a leader of Israel’s rebellion against Rome. When Roman soldiers murder his parents and his beloved sister disappears in a pogrom led by the Roman procurator, personal tragedy impels Jacob to seek blood and vengeance. The rebellion he helps to foment leads to more tragedy, personal and ultimately cosmic: his wife and son perish in the Romans’ siege of Jerusalem, and the Roman army destroys Jerusalem and the Temple, and finally extinguishes Israel at Masada. Jacob is expelled from his homeland, and he wanders by land and sea, bereft of all, until he arrives in Rome. He is still rebellious, and in Rome he joins other dissidents, but now plotting ironic vengeance, not by arms, but by the power of an idea.
Paul of Tarsus, Josephus, the keepers of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and even Yeshua, the historical Jesus himself, play a role in Jacob’s tumultuous and mysterious fortunes. But it is the women who have loved him who help him to appreciate violence’s dire cycle.Get LOGOS through Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: John Neeleman spends his days working as a trial lawyer in tall buildings in downtown Seattle. He lives in Seattle with his wife and children. He also represents death row inmates pro bono in Louisiana and Texas. As a novelist, his editorial model is historical fiction in a largely realistic mode, though there are hallucinatory passages that reflect Neeleman’s concern with philosophical and spiritual matters, in part a residue of his religious upbringing. He was raised as a seventh generation Mormon, and rebelled, but never outgrew his interest in metaphysical concerns.
Connect with John on his publisher’s website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..

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