Monday, April 21, 2008

The Robe

Having seen the movie of The Robe numerous times and reading a script adaptation, it seemed high time to read the book. I loved it.

It's a story about the centurion who oversaw the crucifixion of Christ, and who won His robe while gambling. The robe, after driving him mad for several months, ends up bringing him back to Palestine. Touring the area around the Sea of Galilee, he hears many stories of the strange doings of Jesus. The journey culminates beautifully in his conversion to Christianity. The story goes on, but I have no wish to spoil the ending.

Oddly enough (especially odd if you know me) the romance in this story was one of my least favorite elements. The part I loved was in Israel. The centurion, Marcellus, begins as something of a sceptic and manages to find "realistic" explanations of the first couple of miracles of which he is told. But then he hears the story of Lydia. His change of mind and heart is exquisitely handled, and the outsiders point of view through which the reader hears of Jesus creates a story well worth reading.

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