Set in Anatolia in the 1920s under Turkish rule, Christ Recrucified tells the story of Manolios, a shepherd, chosen to play the part of Christ in the village’s Passion Play. With the arrival of a group of refugees whose village has been destroyed by the Turks, the lives of those chosen to take part in the play come to parallel Christ’s passion. Kazantzakis’s prose vividly creates the village and the lives of its inhabitants – it truly is a masterpiece.
Originally published in 1948 with the first English edition in 1954, Christ Recrucified is still in print. Detailed discussion of the novel can be found here and here but both do contain spoilers.
4 thoughts on “One Minute Book Review – Christ Recrucified by Nikos Kazantzakis”
Sounds interesting. I’ve only read Zorba and seen Scorcese’s adaptation of The Last Temptation. Always mystified by those Christians who protested the film. They all loved Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, which was mainly voyeuristic gawking at the bloody cross with little attention to the ideals of the man on it, but Scorsese’s film, a very poignant portrayal of what Jesus chose to give up, showing the incredible magnitude of the sacrifice … well, that they had to protest.
Christ Recrucified is well worth reading. I first read it in my late teens after seeing the 1957 French film adaptation. I re-read it a couple of years ago and it was better than I remembered. The Last Temptation is a marvellous book, far, far better than the film which I found pretty ho-hum (my review of the book – https://bit.ly/2P6iVaa). I have never understood the carry on about the film though, I imagine that it was something to do with the fact that Christ married, though I have read that a man could not be considered a full adult until he married in Jewish society at that time as is the case in many traditional societies. I thought Gibson’s film was dreadful with the Resurrection an anti-climax. The only thing that made the ordeal worthwhile was the Resurrection; it should have been the ‘mighty burst of light’ of the hymn – not too hard for a film-maker to manage.
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I don’t remember that much detail from the Gibson film. I remember thinking that the cinematography was great in the first 10-15 minutes, but that the film ran off the rails soon thereafter.
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