Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1952
Genre Historical Fiction
Origin US
Publisher Doubleday & Company
My Copy library copy
First Read July 02, 2010

The Silver Chalice

The story is interesting enough - our hero Basil is a young sculptor and silversmith, and is chosen by Luke (the apostle Luke!) to create a chalice to hold the cup Jesus used at the last supper. Amazingly, Costain writes for 540 pages without ever referring to it as the Holy Grail.

Basil must travel through the Mediterranean world to meet and sculpt the surviving apostles, and has adventures with Paul, Peter, Joseph of Arimathea, Emperor Nero, and Simon the Magician. I have a higher-than-average tolerance for this kind of thing, coming from a family of devout believers, and was alternately irritated and charmed by the earnestness of the writing. I think my grandparents might really love it, and I'm looking forward to seeing if my Grandpa has read it.

Noted on July 3, 2010

I picked up The Silver Chalice because I've been pleasantly surprised by others in the Loyola Classics line. I knew nothing about it, except that it was set in the first century and featured a Greek artist.

The first thing I noticed was a sort of earnestness, the kind you see in mid-century religious sword-and-sandals epic movies like 'The Ten Commandments.' Turns out I wasn't too far off - it was made into a movie just like that in 1954, featuring Paul Newman as our hero. You can watch it on YouTube!

Noted on July 3, 2010

Basil had difficulty in finding a response that would convey the truest clue to the state of his mind. "I believe in Jesus," he said. "I believe Him to be the Son of the one and only God. I believe He will return to this earth and I hope His coming will not be long delayed. But because I do not share the ecstasy which these beliefs have brought to others, I think there must be some higher point of conviction that I have not reached."

Quoted on July 3, 2010

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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