Title: Behold the Man. Author: Michael Moorcock. Genre: Science Fiction. Publisher: Gollancz Publication Date: New Edition 11 Nov (First. can’t really call me a spoiler if the merchandise is already spoiled. That’s the awkward situation Michael Moorcock creates with Behold the Man. Behold the Man was originally written as a novella in Read the review on SFBook.
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A synopsis of the book even in its most basic and vague form is a spoiler so let me tip toe around the plot in my review.
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The blasphemies are as “elegant” and “subtly intellectual” as the main character having sex with Mary, while a mentally ill, drooling Jesus sits there looking at them! Technology is not a prominent aspect. The book is a thoughtful exploration of his activities and his thoughts and his interactions with the people around him.
Moorcock, indeed, makes much use of the initials “JC”, and not entirely coincidentally these are also the initials of Jesus Christ, the subject of his Nebula award-winning novella Behold the Man, which tells the story of Karl Glogauer, a time-traveller who takes bheold the role of Christ.
This story begins with Karl’s arrival in the Holy Land of AD 28, where his time machine, a womb-like, fluid-filled sphere, cracks open a Behold the Man originally appeared as a novella in a issue of New Worlds; later, Moorcock produced an expanded version which is the one I read. Karl Glogauer is a disaffected modern professional casting about for meaning in a series of half-hearted relationships, a dead-end job, and a micheal struggle. Jungian jumps into Time Machine to prove girl wrong about Jebus.
Karl, however, is so deeply committed to the idea of a real, historical Jesus that, at this point, he himself begins to step into the role, gathering followers, repeating what parables he can recall, and using psychological tricks to simulate miracles.
Behold the Man
In the end, Behold the Man is a quality novella that looks at the Christ story and its universal relationship to the self and the psyche. Behold the Man tells two stories. It is quite incredible to believe that such a huge religion could be based on sketchy facts re-written over the centuries. It is about identity and finding meaning in life, which may not always be a good thing. In his series The Dancers at the End of Timea similar time machine is used, which reveals that if a time traveller dies in the past, he is violently thrust back to the future, thus explaining Glogauer’s reappearance.
Karl’s world takes a dramatic turn though when he finds himself at the forefront of the birth of Christianity – literally the time of the supposed saviour.
Behold the Man, a book by Michael Moorcock | Book review
His next book, a history of love songs, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Notify me of new posts via email. Some of the best ideas are those that cause contention and thee book is no exception.
Karl Glogauer 2 books. Robert Heinlein at A. I will admit though that many Christians might take exception to the idea of the role he plays in the novel.
Paperbackpages. If you are a Christian I wanted you to be aware of the content. Let me say first, that I am “usually” a Michael Moorcock fan. Without fear, religion can’t survive.
This ain’t just theology, but a time travel story. Open Preview See a Problem? I should probably start out with a spoiler alert.
But give Moorcock credit for chutzpah. Moorcock writes in strong prose that drives his narrative full michadl ahead ideologically, so hard in fact, three years after writing the novella he published a novel-length rendering. Again, my kind of sci-fi, big concepts both of darkness and of light, complex resonance that hangs around your mind long after you set it down and a yarn good enough for both chuckles, tears and striking the “Thinking Man” pose after reading.
At this point Glogauer determines that he must preserve mann historical view of Christ — gathering followers, repeating parables and eventually dying on the cross.