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Behold the Man
ISBN 0881843695 / 9780881843699 / 0-88184-369-5
Publisher Carroll & Graf Pub
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A slim novel of theology and time travel, Behold the Man was expanded from the 1966 novella version which won a Nebula Award. Non-hero Karl Glogauer has a traumatic history of bullying and abuse as a Jewish refugee child in 1950s Britain. When grown, he rides a strange time machine to the Roman-ruled Judaea of AD 28 and finds himself hailed as a magus by John the Baptist and the Essene sect ...
How should he use the power? Did he really have a mission? Could he alter history and be responsible for aiding the Jews to throw out the Romans?
In his own time Glogauer is a failed lover, a questing but forever unsatisfied mystic, a repeated faker of suicide attempts. In first-century Judaea these shortcomings are echoed in terrible ironies, and his destiny emerges as inevitable from the moment he visits a certain carpenter's workshop to find the misshapen idiot boy called Jesus.
Karl Glogauer had discovered the reality he had been seeking. That was not to say he did not still have doubts.
Perhaps it might have been possible to alter history, but the grim old drama plays out as it was foreordained--or at least, close enough for historians to hammer into the prophesied shape. "The chroniclers would rearrange it". Whether history has been remade as tragedy or farce is for readers to decide. This is Moorcock's sharpest, most successful novel of pure SF; it's the 22nd selection in Millennium's very strong SF Masterworks library. --David Langford [via]