'Bragg's strengths as a novelist yield an account that is personal and imaginative, full of excitement and energy...I have never read an account of the Bible quite so compelling'.
What gives this book its particular power, beyond Bragg's own reputation as a broadcaster, novelist and one of our foremost public intellectuals, is that he separates the importance of the King James Bible from the role of Christianity itself. Bragg tells the history of the King James with the vigour and pace of a storyteller rather than the dry precision of an academic.
I am inclined to accept his final word: that the KJB's impact "has been immeasurable and it is not over yet".
'Bragg takes a well known tale and tells it with easy eloquence'.
'vivid and accessible'.
'As popular history, this is great stuff'.
Bragg is 'our most trusted intellectual interpreter'.
Bragg's tribute is of value because he has an aptitude for storytelling. He is breezily readable where other studies can feel dense and recondite. His turn of phrase is dramatic. Bragg's prose reverberates with scriptural certainty. Mostly this is an affectionate book.
'Naturally Bragg pays eloquent homage to the literary grandeur of the scriptures that shaped his own outlook. But this heartfelt and far-reaching tribute makes its special mark in tracing the links between the KJB and the revolutions in science, politics and society'.
The two main strands of Bragg's career - intellectual mediator and bestselling popular novelist - are perfectly fused in THE BOOK OF BOOKS. It's an energetic work with enormous intellectual range that manages to turn the history of the King James Bible into a pacey adventure story.