Jezebel

by Alan Gold

 

Reviewed by Coral


At the beginning of this book there is a preface by the author in which he says "after three thousand years of being the 'painted whore', the 'loose and immoral temptress', [...] it's time to have an alternative reading of [Jezebel]'s life."

Now that would have been an interesting book to read.

The problem with this book is that the author seems to have either forgotten or completely ignored his goal in writting this book. I mean, where was the "alternative reading" on Jezebel's life? She was all about sex. If your intention is to delve into a different aspect of her personality or try to portray her in a different light, then how about including parts of that in the book?

Like, I don't know, her being kind and generous and winning the love of the people so they willingly embraced her religion. Or about her and her husband slowly coming to love each other, as she struggled with homesickness and a foreign culture. Something, anything. Instead when she wanted to win the people of Israel over to her, she danced around naked. When she wanted her husband to love her she sent him to the talented ministrations of her priestesses. When she wanted to make sure he still loved her after he came back from battle she got in to a little girl on girl action in front of him. How is any of this an "alternative reading" on her life?

I won't even get into the historical aspects, or the religious aspects, like Elijah and his characterization, or how the Phoenician religion was portrayed, even though I'm sure I could probably rant about them for awhile too. The thing is that even if the book was accurate in every detail (which I strongly doubt) it fails in its goal. This was supposed to be a book where the author was trying to help shed Jezebel's 'painted whore' label. Would have been nice if he remembered that.

Grade: F