The Fire Gospel, By Michel Faber

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The Independent Culture

In writing this playful noir thriller-cum- The Da Vinci Code pastiche, the versatile Faber shows he can pen an off-the-cuff satire, when needed.

Theo Griepenkerl, a downtrodden academic, is transformed into a literary mega star when he finds, and publishes, ancient scrolls written by Jesus' contemporary.

It is only when he is asked whether his book achieved "what you were hoping it would achieve?" we see his joyless journey as metaphor for an author's existential struggle for and (bathetic) arrival at literary success.