He’s ba-aaaaaaaaaack. And this time he’s actually writing fiction.
James Frey is moving on from his drugs and booze-soaked memoirs to write the third book of the Bible, in which his version of Jesus will perform gay marriages.
Talking to online magazine The Rumpus.net, Frey said he had just finished an outline for the book, and was about to start writing it. “It’s the third book of the Bible, called The Final Testament of the Holy Bible,” he told interviewer and fellow author Stephen Elliott. “My idea of what the Messiah would be like if he were walking the streets of New York today. What would he believe? What would he preach? How would he live? With who?”
Frey’s latest choice of subject matter sees him following in the footsteps of Jeffrey Archer, who last year penned The Gospel According to Judas, which told the story of Jesus through the eyes of Judas. Earlier this year The Crimson Petal and the White author Michel Faber published The Fire Gospel, in which a scholar discovers a fifth gospel in a bombed Iraqi musuem which reveals that Jesus’s last words were “please, somebody, please finish me”.
Frey said his version would see Jesus living with a prostitute. “It doesn’t matter how or who you love. I don’t believe the messiah would condemn gay men and women,” he said. Judas, meanwhile, would be the “same as he was two thousand years ago”, a “selfish man who thinks of himself before the good of humanity, who values money more than love”.
In other words, not someone a considerable number of his followers would even recognize. If I were giving Frey advice, I’d just offer this. Have your Jesus run for office. Say a congressional or Senate seat. I’ve often wondered if Jesus — running on basically the same platform he had in the New Testament — would stand a chance of getting elected today.
Normally, I wouldn’t offer an idea like that to another writer, because it’s something I’d like to tackle myself. But these days it takes me a week to write a substantive blog post, provided that it’s still relevant a week (or more) after I start. That’s because, however important writing my be to me (it’s as necessary as breathing, but I spend most of my time holding my breath), the reality of my life is that everything else seems to come first. So, I’m not even going to kid myself that I’d be able to write a novel at this point. Not unless I figure out how to survive without sleep.
I don’t think Frey will give Gore Vidal’s Live from Golgotha a run for its money, but it still might be a worthwhile read.