Monday, January 08, 2007

Jeffrey and Judas

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.

11 comments:

  1. much fun to be had with potential joint writers.

    e.g. Naomi Campbell to write a book on spending and thrift with the economist Roger Bootle.

    or indeed Alistair Campbell and Ruth Kelly on the re-appearance of the 12th prophet.

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  2. Let he who has actually read Archer, cast the first stone. Much like sheeps' testicles, which I believe are considered a delicacy in some parts, I have not sampled the Mr Archer's work - and I don't intend to. Another gospel? Why not? Christians need more to choose from in the consumer age. And Judas is worth it!

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  3. Cornelius MadmanJanuary 08, 2007 4:26 pm

    As the token scribe I was invited (by my accountants, who had a table -- Ernst & Young, don't ask me why they were involved as I don't know) to the 1992 Whitbread Book Production Awards (or whatever it's called; prizes for book designers & the like). After-dinner speaker was friend Jeffrey. Started telling blue jokes (in mixed company), which went down like water-filled condoms. Proceeded to puff himself and his involvement in the madly successful London bid for the 1996 Olympics. More dodgy anecdotes, all of which focused on his wonderfulness. Finally the fucking bore shut up, but had left too little time for the prizewinners to do anything but collect their engraved crystal bric-a-bric. No time for them even to say a few words. Their well deserved, and probably their only, moment in the sun had been hijacked by that vainglorious little squit.

    They should have thrown him in Pentonville and thrown away the key. But I do congratulate him on making money out of fiction. Not an easy thing to do. Assuming he wrote all that cretinous shit, of course.

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  4. Oh, Jeffers. I thought of you, Bryan, when I saw this little gem the other day...

    Do I detect a sneaky allegorical undertone to this publication? I mean, let's face it, Judas fell in with the wrong crowd and some dirty money changed hands...we've all done that? Right?

    I'm just thankful Professor Moloney had a professional like Jeffrey on hand to help him out, you know, just to make sure he'd got his facts straight.

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  5. Did you hear the one about the nun and the donkey?

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  6. Okay I'm a bit confused (what's new?) about this. I seem to remember reading about a gnostic gospel which was reconstructed and made public last summer. Is Archer's new 'novel' based on this text then? How the hell did that happen?!?

    Hooley's spot on with this...

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  7. Nothing is new, Pixie, in Archerworld. It just goes on and on, an endless cycle.

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  8. Oh and I trust you are recovered from your acrostic hangover

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  9. the online pixieJanuary 09, 2007 2:56 pm

    On the bloody marys even as I type...

    Following some Paxman style impatient questionning of Jeffrey, I have elicited a blog post on his new book. He says he'll be very interested to hear any comments on the new project.

    I am considering an appropriate acrostic response.

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  10. from the archer blog comments:

    The Pixie said...
    Perhaps you could answer a few questions about the new book? Leaving to one side the questions of your fee (ho ho), could you give us further details?

    Are you able to comment on your involvement with the biblical scholarship? Generally speaking do you always write so quickly? (I'm amazed at the speed with which you've completed this project!)

    Assuming it sells well will you consider other biblical stories? Reading between the lines, do you identify a little with Judas? In that you've both been treated, some might argue, unfairly.

    Something else-one final, cheeky question-is this a work you'd class as fiction or non fiction? Thanks for your time,

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