The Jesus Man by Christos Tsiolkas

by
June 1999, no. 211

The Jesus Man by Christos Tsiolkas

Vintage, $19.95 pb, 403 pp

The Jesus Man by Christos Tsiolkas

by
June 1999, no. 211

As I turned the last pages of Christos Tsiolkas’ new novel The Jesus Man, the news broke of the killings at Columbine High School. I had just noted that the novel reminded me of some feminist art from the 1970s in which a woman exhibited a series of used Modess, and that The Jesus Man was the literary and male equivalent – a series of used condoms. The Jesus Man will always exist between these two images for me. Tsiolkas makes a genuine effort to explore adolescent male sexuality and its connection to pornography and violence and how these relate to contemporary media and technologies, important issues certainly.

However, it seems to me to be riddled with unresolved adolescent guilt at his own masturbatory fantasies; doesn’t come to terms with the awful and confronting reality that human desire is perverse, disturbed, even psychotic; there is, finally, no acceptance of the truth of this desolate, lonely, arousing, intense, ghastly thoroughly human place we’ve got to get to know if we want to know ourselves.

Kathleen Mary Fallon reviews 'The Jesus Man' by Christos Tsiolkas

The Jesus Man

by Christos Tsiolkas

Vintage, $19.95 pb, 403 pp

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