The Testament of Mary ( ebook ) Author Colm Tóibín – Book, DOC or Kindle ePUB free

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Provocative haunting and indelible Colm Tóibín’s portrait of Mary presents her as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity In the ancient town of Ephesus Mary lives alone years after her son's crucifixion She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel her keepers who provide her. Because the world is a place of silence the sky at night when the birds have gone is a vast silent place No words will make the slightest difference to the sky at night A few years after the events of that nightmarish week Mary is visited by two men who wish to write about everything that happened Mary doesn t want to talk to them or to anyone They can t understand How could they possibly understand what it is to watch your only child dying in unthinkable agony while his tormentors are either watching idly or casting dice for His clothes nearby How could they understand the resilience she had to unearth in order not to rush and tear the eyes of the murderers with Her bare hands But they aren t interested in what She thinks or how She feels they just want their opinions verified Mary starts speaking to us instead going back to the last few months before the death of Her child before the world changed forever Except She doesn t care the son is dead Needlessly absurdly terrifyingly It is the world the people that took Him away How can a mother forgive even if she understands even if she knows T ib n creates a masterpiece around the thoughts and the moving characterization of one of the most beloved religious figures for millions of peopleI didn t expect anything less from one of the greatest of our times The writing is phenomenal The descriptive passages resemble the Biblical tone of the New Testament and the dialogue has a period feeling especially when Pilate addresses the crows On a lighter note before things get unbearably heavy and dark I feel the need to add that Pilate s interaction with the mob brought to my mind the excellent Andrew Lloyd Webber Tim Rice Rock Opera Jesus Christ Superstar Trial Before Pilate 39 Lashes is one of the finest moments in the show both the music and the libretto are outstanding Mary s words and thoughts are extremely carefully chosen and expressed and they retain a contemporary universal feeling You can hear a kind of solemnity fierceness and at the same time a deep sense that everything is in vain Mary herself is fierce independent determined Full of a burning rage that turns endless sadness into wrath for the impossible injustice In my opinion sometimes she s also in denial because She knows all fears will prove true in the end There are men shouting in the night The way T ib n unfolds the story and develops events we all know extremely well is fascinating The dark foreboding hints of the horror that is to follow are everywhere and the scenery is very powerful Silence darkness incorporeal voices in the middle of the night An intense feeling of isolation surrounds Mary and Jesus even though He s followed by a multitude of people foreshadowing that loss and torment are horrifyingly lonely experiences It is uite clear that Mary feels threatened by friends and enemies alike The writer inserts a very interesting mysterious figure called the Strangler He seems to follow them everywhere He commits no crime but he stands there as a symbol of danger and death I imagined him as a metaphor for Satan Now there are many moments when T ib n lets the story come into its own He mixes up some of the events of the New Testament For instance the Wedding at Cana takes place before the Raising of Lazarus but unless one is a die hard purist in which case they ll abandon the novel before they turn the third page it makes no difference at all Now the Raising of Lazarus is always a moment of reference in any production of the life of Jesus and T ib n creates an extraordinary seuence I found his characterization of Lazarus extremely powerful and moving Lazarus is said to be the one who never smiled again due to the horrors he had witnessed during his four days in the Otherworld and T ib n remains true to this tradition He also has Mary contemplating on the gods of the past implying that there may have been peace if the slight possibility of the coexistence of all religions had become reality If it weren t for the humans the fanatics who use religion as a pretext for relentless violence to justify their own unbearable narrow mindedness We still see this every day Countries are governed by such people no need to name names right He is to be crucified The tension is masterfully built during the final moments As we view the incidents exclusively through Mary s eyes we sense the impending doom as she is the last to know about the arrest of Jesus At the hour of need T ib n writes about loneliness Cowards slip away denying any aid or consolation Never trust relatives I always say They are the first to shut the door on your faceEvery talented writer is an excellent psychologist in my opinion Here he succeeds in projecting the psychology of the brainless crowd who lust for blood The violence of the mob the moment when every human being becomes ferocious than any animal Except that animals have a sense of justice The crowds have nothing They know nothing and are led blindly This has been our world s History since the beginning of time He was the boy I had given birth to and he was defenseless now than he had been then The moment when Pilate presents Jesus to the mob was one of the most terrifying in the novel T ib n doesn t choose to make use of cheap details or gore that would contaminate the emotional weight of the scene It is the terror of an incomprehensible justice that is enough The feeling of seeing a mother watching her child beaten and humiliated walking to an unjust terrifying death forced to carry the instrument of his execution The scene of the Crucifixion is swiftly dealt with T ib n doesn t need to resort to shocking theatrics Blood and gore are for idiotsHow did this fail to win the Man Booker Prize in 2013 is beyond me I haven t read The Luminaries I intend to do so soon but I am than certain that it can t stand next to T ib n s talent This is a story of unbearable loss injustice and survival through a thick silence of pain and death It is a terrifying yet tender masterpiece and in my opinion his best work For it is the greatest responsibility to reimagine Mary s most tragic moments and bring forth such an excellent result If nothing else this is the story of a woman who experienced the most severe blow a parent can accept It is not a matter of this faith or that but a story of the heart and the soul One must be made of stone to remain indifferent I can tell you now when you say that he redeemed the world I will say that it was not worth it It was not worth it My reviews can also be found on

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The Testament of Mary

T of others This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile loving silent long suffering obedient worshipful mother of Christ becomes in Toibin’s searing evocation a tragic heroine with the relentless elouence of Electra or Medea or Antigone This tour de force of imagination and language is a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transform. 35 stars rounded up for the audio version of The Testament of Mary as narrated by Meryl Streep This is Mary s story as she tells it Her thoughts opinions and self doubt all laid bare in a most intimate fashion on the page There are no words wasted in the telling of this narrative which results in a book that is very short but incredibly tightly written Listening to this book is a very powerful experience exactly what one would expect from the wonderful Ms Streep She manages to imbue even the most mundane seeming sentences with real emotion Some parts of the book were really interesting to me and I d LOVE to get a cuppa or maybe split a bottle of wine with the Mary of this book She s not portrayed in the typical ever peaceful and serene way we usually see her shown This Mary is not a true believer she s not ever patient she has a somewhat snarky side to her I do love me some snark and she loses her temper on occasionAt the end of the day though this was a bit on the boring side for me I appreciated the beauty as I was listening and I m glad I did listen but I was freuently reminded of my unuestionable status as a heathen There were some parts of the story that I m sure went way way over my head simply because I m not familiar enough with the stories from the BibleSpecial thanks to Brian for his excellent review that put this book on my radar

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With food and shelter and visit her regularly She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was “worth it;” nor that the “group of misfits he gathered around him men who could not look a woman in the eye” were holy disciples Mary judges herself ruthlessly she did not stay at the foot of the Cross until her son died she fled to save herself and is eually harsh on her judgmen. I read The Testament of Mary before dawn on this Easter Sunday A coincidence but not altogether without significance It is an Easter Sunday direct dialed from heaven every color in the dyed egg basket is reflected in spring s delicate light from the cornflower blue sky to the coral pink sunrise to the daffodils in scene stealing yellow It is a day to believe in Resurrection and rebirth Yet I am not a Believer in the Christian sense That Jesus was a real man I have no doubt That he was a chosen being born to a virgin and endowed with super natural powers I cannot accept In that I share heart and mind with his mother Mary as envisioned by Colm T ib n These 81 pages are grim and transcendent they are a mother s reckoning with herself a full acceptance of grief and guilt Years after watching as her son was crucified on a cross in front of a jeering mob Mary shares the experience of being the mother of a demagogueMary is witness to the cheerful vulnerable child who develops into an arrogant impassioned man She presents his miracles as she observed them not discounting them entirely but offering enough doubt that we uestion not her loyalty but the sanity of those who remain convinced Ultimately however the greatest theme to her recollections is the uestion Was it worth it And the mother can only respond No Mary fled to Ephesus after her son s death in fear for her life There she finds greater peace with the ancient gods than with her own Judaism or the new faith bound to her son s life death and the legend of his resurrection But she is haunted by two men who appear in her home to interrogate her They are her captors and her protectors disciples of the Christ not present at his death T ib n explains in this Guardian podcast that one of the men is John which is confusing to this reader as John is one of the principal witnesses of the crucifixion the other impossible in historical terms but right in its literary context is the officious and vaguely threatening Paul These men urge and pressure Mary to relive that horrible last day so they can record and share the gospels they are writing Mary reveals her testament as a mother hollowed by the guilt of what she witnessed but could not prevent In an interview on NPR s Fresh Air last year the author rejected the notion that Irish writers are natural storytellers that they are imbued with an instinctive affiinty for words T ib n stated that he writes the silence the space between the words Nowhere in his work has this been evident than in The Testament of Mary This is not a work of religion nor of faith or doubt this is a book about a mother a theme present in many of T ib n s works and the empty space left at the death of a child Mary never once speaks her son s name The unnamed dead represents the black empty space T ib n explores In the same podcast the author also discussed what it cost him emotionally to envision the crucifixion of Christ to set himself in that place of excruciating physical pain It is rendered with terrible beauty told in the voice of a mother who feels every moment of her son s agony Mary is a symbol of peace and serenity and disturbing devotion Colm T ib n offers a brave and agonizing dimension she is rarely granted that of a tortured and lonely mother living alone with her grief Whatever your beliefs I hope you will allow Mary as T ib n does an even greater dimension one of a mother s humanity and grace


10 thoughts on “The Testament of Mary

  1. says:

    Image source hereGentle stoical visceral pain leaches from every page into my fingers till my very blood is charged with it The agony of wounds and guilt yes but the balm of forgiveness too I hope“ I did not think that the cursed shadow of what had happened would ever lift It pumped darkness It was a heaviness in me tha

  2. says:

    My grandfather was a preacherI remember him as a kind man who liked to work in his garden but he was also a “fire and bri

  3. says:

    ‘’Because the world is a place of silence the sky at night when the birds have gone is a vast silent place No words will make the slightest difference to the sky at night’’A few years after the events of that nightmarish week

  4. says:

    I read The Testament of Mary before dawn on this Easter Sunday A coincidence but not altogether without significance It is an Easter Sunday direct dialed from heaven every color in the dyed egg basket is reflecte

  5. says:

    “The Testament of Mary” is a book I was aware of but had no burning desire to read When it was picked for my book club I read it and I am glad that I did The idea for the story is great Putting aside the faith based aspect of the Christ story what would a mother think of her son in the circumstances that surrounded the last three year of Jesus’ life? I believe that Colm Toibin has done a good job at taking a story that is kn

  6. says:

    OK I'll start with the jokes A laconic Jewish mother? Let me tell you if they would have nailed me to a cross when I was about 30 years old my mom would have had way than 20K words to say about it And this book? It's the only part of the New Testament with the exception of Revelation that I've ever read The Old Testament? I've read that bac

  7. says:

    35 stars rounded up for the audio version of The Testament of Mary as narrated by Meryl Streep This is Mary's story as she tells it Her thoughts opinions and self doubt all laid bare in a most intimate fashion on the page There are no words wasted in the telling of this narrative which results in a book that is very short but incredibly tightly written Listening to this book is a very powerful experience exactly what one would expect fro

  8. says:

    This is such a lovely book A very dear friend of mine is a bit obsessed with Tóibín madly in love with his writing and really doesn’t think he could ever put a foot wrong And reading this it is hard not to agree I found myself reading large parts of this aloud unable to resist hearing the words – I virtually finished it in one sitting

  9. says:

    In this short piece Tóibín offers readers an insightful look into the life of Jesus Christ from the perspective of his mother The story becomes a monologue delivered by Mary that weaves throughout the life of her son though she will never use his name Mary offers memories from the evolving life of Jesus adding editorial commentary when it suits her best Choosing to see the disciples as a collection of vagran

  10. says:

    Meryl Streep reads Mary of NazarethMy god this is gorgeous If you read this book you MUST use the audio version It's a monologue Streep brings Mary to life as a bitter realistic mother This novel was just beautiful on its tragic honesty giving the reader brutal insight into Mary's thoughts and opinions about the misfits