Monday, January 08, 2007
Right, that's it. The rehabilitation of Jeffrey Archer has gone too far. My last post on 'Lord' Archer mentioned his two new television shows. Fair enough, I thought, the man has to eat. But yesterday I was emailed a press release so absurd that it has taken me some hours to convince myself it is not some kind of joke. In March, it seems, a book called The Gospel According to Judas is to be published. This is a fiction that purports to be written by Judas Iscariot's son, Benjamin. It is, in fact, written by Professor Francis J. Moloney - a very distinguished theologian and one time adviser to the Pope - and - wait for it, wait for it - Jeffrey Archer. I quote: 'Both authors worked on the project intensively for nine months. Lord Archer was steered throughout by Professor Moloney and has included nothing with which the Professor disagreed; both acknowledge that 80 per cent of the storytelling is Jeffrey Archer's, and 80 per cent of the scholarship is Professor Moloney's.' Does that mean 20 per cent of the scholarship is Jeffrey's? Desmond Tutu has said the book is 'riveting and plausible' and Archbishop Lord Carey said he liked it 'very much indeed' before tapping his pipe out on the grate and walking stiffly from the room in a state of some embarrassment. And to think, for a while, up there in Scotland, everything seemed to make some kind of sense.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:22 am