The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

You can also read Philip Pullman’s introduction to the first Myths boxset on this site.

This is a story. In this ingenious and spell-binding retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman revisits the most influential story ever told. Charged with mystery, compassion and enormous power, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ throws fresh light on who Jesus was and asks the reader questions that will continue to resonate long after the final page is turned. For, above all, this book is about how stories become stories.

This book is available in hardback with two different covers, audiobook editions and an enhanced ebook.

Find out more on

Philip PullmanPhilip Pullman was born in Norwich, England in 1946 and grew up in Zimbabwe and Wales. He worked as a teacher for many years and his first children’s novel, Count Karlstein, came out in 1982. The Ruby in the Smoke, the first of the Sally Lockhart quartet of Victorian thrillers, was published in 1985. He has won many awards, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children’s Book Award, the Smarties Prize, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and a CBE. His acclaimed trilogy, His Dark Materials, has been published in 39 languages, and was the subject of a hugely successful adaptation at the National Theatre in 2003-4 and 2004-5. Once Upon a Time in the North was published in April 2008. Philip Pullman lives in Oxford with his wife, and has two sons.

Photo by Wolf Marloh.

  1. J T Helman (March 29, 2010 at 11:20 pm) :

    Surely not? After all the discussion requesting hardback editions of the series being met with a response of demand-justified paperback only editions, we now have the same book being offered in hardback with two different covers! Justified by demand? Am I right to be incredulous?

  2. Andrea on behalf of Canongate Books (March 30, 2010 at 10:00 am) :

    Each book is assessed individually and a decision is then taken on its publishing. There is no hard and fast rule for the binding of the Myths books as we believe they stand alone as novels in their own right. Please check the comments on previous posts, as Canongate has never claimed otherwise.

  3. Basho (April 14, 2010 at 12:17 pm) :

    Loved it. In reviewing it fully I took the angle from, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” Quote:” It is import ant to be able to step along the hero’s journey and understand the ever repeated rhythms within it. Whether it is the ancient story of the Minotaur, the modern tale of the Sky walker or the encom¬passing monomyth of Jesus, the story goes on and will be retold in the same forms forever.“ Full review here:

  4. Ricardo (April 21, 2010 at 5:07 pm) :

    I found this at a bookstore a few days ago, and have begun to read it. Only today have I realized that it is part of the “Myths” series, from a note on one of the last pages of the book. With the early volumes of this series, the jacket had the logo for the series on the front; it is nowhere to be found on this jacket. Was there a special reason for this?

  5. Andrea on behalf of Canongate Books (April 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm) :

    The logo is on the back of the jacket for this book. As you can see, the jacket design would not work with the logo in front.

  6. Benjamin (April 29, 2010 at 11:34 pm) :

    Hard back – but different size, just to really annoy collectors.

  7. chris!! (July 7, 2010 at 10:16 am) :

    realy enjoyed the book 8.5/10 theres a full review on my blog so go ahead and click my name

  8. Another small pile of books! « Book Addicts Anonymous (July 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm) :

    [...] The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman. I had this on pre-order, and received it as soon as it was released. On the back of the book it says in gold lettering “This is a STORY.” Part of the myths series from Canongate. As with all of Pullman’s novels it makes the reader think about what they are reading. No doubt there will be some people offended by his version, but as is clearly stated on the back cover, it’s a story, and as a story, and part of the myth series should be taken as just that, just another take on a particular myth. I loved it, but I am a big fan of Philip Pullman’s work. [...]

  9. briana (June 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm) :

    Any idea as to when the next book might arrive? Waiting more than a couple months to name a successor is out of character for Cannongate. It has been more than a year. Have you forgotten us? You seem to be slowly fading into the recesses of my mind- like a dream. It was a good dream this series. Please wake up. Please another book. Please hardback.

  10. Spencer (August 4, 2011 at 3:59 am) :

    I enjoyed this book. It is not the strongest in the series, and there are certainly moments when it feels like Pullman is trying a little too hard to be controversial. Anyone familiar with Pullman knows that he is “controversial” when it comes to Christianity. The fact that the story of Jesus Christ is being included in a series of myths is controversial in and of itself, but all that being said, it was an interesting book that raised some questions. I would not recommend this book as the one to start with in this series, but I would certainly recommend it to anyone who has an open mind and some curiosity. Speaking of an open mind, a book like this makes me wonder if the “myth” of Mohammed would be broached as well?

    Oh, and btw, I think it’s great that this was a hardback! I am a little confused as to why you made this such an odd size though. That seems to me like a very bad decision on the part of the designer. It almost feels like the publisher believes that this author deserves more attention than the others who have come before. And please don’t take that as an attack, it’s just an observation. I have bought all of the books in this series and will continue to do so, because I think that it’s a marvelous enterprise and that Cannongate is an excellent publisher!

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  13. 2015 round up Books | Life, Don't Talk To Me About Life (December 31, 2015 at 10:28 am) :

    [...] The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ – Philip Pullman part of the myths series [...]

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