Book review: Edward Falzon’s ‘Being Gay is Disgusting, or God Likes the Smell of Burning Fat’

Helen Taylor writes:

I have just finished reading this book with great glee.

Recently I spent a fair amount of time ploughing my way through the first five books of the Bible. This was not an enjoyable task, particularly in light of the many times it was necessary to stop and pick up my jaw from the ground.

Edward Falzon has now paraphrased these five books for us in modern idiom, and it is almost impossible to put down.

He has replaced archaic language with more modern forms. For instance, ‘abomination’ becomes ‘disgusting’ (hence the title) and a ‘beautiful woman’ becomes a ‘hottie’. Despite this, the stories and the gist remain the same, merely being exposed as farcical and hilarious, as well as gory and immensely cruel.

I especially loved Falzon’s plans which he has drawn to illustrate biblical instructions for various constructions, and the perfection of the footnotes on nearly every page.

The real joy lies in the fact that (apart from the footnotes) this book is not offering opinion or argument. It is just telling the Bible like it is. This book could be presented to any believer (many of whom have not read any other version in its entirety) and no objection at all could be made to the content. Cross-references are given to more traditional versions of the Bible in case anyone cannot believe what they are reading. The tone, however, with Falzon’s clever asides will I am sure raise temperatures and tempers significantly.

Having laughed my way through this book, Falzon’s afterword comes like a bucket of cold water, when he reminds us that these five books shape the faith and lives of so many people today.

How wonderful if all followers of Christianity and Judaism were to read Falzon’s book, or even a more conventional translation, and to discover exactly what it is they believe.

 

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