"Paul: A Novel" Walter Wangerin Jr.

Book Cover

If this were a painting or a drawing instead of a book, I would classifyit as a caricature. The author draws a picture with words of Paul theApostle that over emphasizes his characteristics.

We get hints of the nature of Paul from the scripture--that he iszealous at whatever he did 'whether killing Christians before hisconversion, or winning people to Christ after his own conversion...thathe was prone to be argumentative' that he was demanding of others aswell as himself.

The author takes those hints of Paul's nature and greatly overemphasizesthem, making Paul seem rather grotesque. He does the same for the othercharacters in the book: Priscilla and Aquila, Peter, James, Timothy,Luke, etc.

The chapter format was interesting, however. The author titled each ofthe 99 short chapters with the character's name who was telling thatportion of Paul's story from their point of view. They were sometimesrelating a totally fictional account---sometimes quite looselyparaphrasing a portion of scripture. I found I enjoyed the chapterswritten from Paul's perspective most of all. He sounded intelligent,dedicated, loving--not at all like the caricature the author would havehim be.

I will most likely not read anything else by this author. This book, atleast, was not the type of romantic historical fiction I am fond of.

I did learn from 'Paul' though. The author did manage to give some logicand clarity to some of the ambiguous portions of Paul's writings inscripture.

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