James Frey’s Controversial New Book: THE FINAL TESTAMENT OF THE HOLY BIBLE

Author James Frey is once again stirring the pot, this time with a new book about a pot-smoking, alcoholic Messiah. As Frey tells the New York Post, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible is “a theoretical third volume of the Bible — there was the Old, there was the New, and this is the Final.” In the book, the Messiah lives in the Bronx projects. Here’s more from the Post:

His Messiah, Ben Jones, starts off as a lonely alcoholic bachelor living in a filthy apartment. He survives a horrific work accident, but strange things then happen that lead to him being recognized as the Messiah. Ben also smokes pot, has sex with a prostitute and makes out with men.

Ben tells followers that the Bible is “antiquated,” saying, “The Bible was written 2,000 years ago. The world is a different place now. Stories that had meaning then are meaningless now . . . those books are dead.”

Over at www.james-frey.com, Frey has this to say about the book:

“My goal was not to retell the story of Christ. That has been done, and done well. My goal was to create a new mythology. One that is relevant in a world with nuclear weapons, advanced physics, the internet, genetic testing and manipulation, one where we know homosexuality is not a decision. My goal was to create a mythology, to tell a story, to make a work of art that made sense in a world where we know things that people, and writers, 2000 years ago could never have known or imagined. Whether I was able to do it or not will be determined by readers, and by time, and by history.”

Frey will self-publish The Final Testament of the Holy Bible online. If readers want a physical copy of the book, art-gallery owner Larry Gagosian will print a mere 11,000 copies. The Final Testament of the Holy Bible will be released on April 22, which, not so coincidentally, is Good Friday.

Frey seems to think “the religious right will go crazy” over the book. I’m not so sure. The Final Testament of the Holy Bible sounds reminiscent of Philip Pullman’s The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, and I don’t remember a huge controversy over that book. What do you think?

Follow me on Twitter @kristendaemons

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