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In the aftermath of the first war in Iraq, Theo Griepenkerl is visiting the looted museum of Mosul when a bomb explodes outside the building. As Theo seeks shelter, he stumbles across the discovery of a lifetime: nine papyrus scrolls that have lain hidden for 2,000 years. Theo believes that he has found the fifth gospel, and its significance is extraordinary. It offers a shocking new account of the last days of Christ, calling into question the conventional narrative of events. As Theo sets out to share his discovery with the world, he can scarcely imagine where his journey will take him, and the trials and dangers that lie ahead. The Fire Gospel is on one level a hugely entertaining tale. At its heart lies a profound and powerful message about the power of words to resonate across centuries. As an indictment of fundamentalism, it is as controversial and provocative as The Last Temptation of Christ.
Michel Faber's startlingly original novel, Under the Skin (2000), which garnered accolades from around the world, was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award 2000 and nominated for the Dublin Impac Award, 2002. He has also won several short story awards including the Neil Gunn, Ian St James and Macallan. Some Rain Must Fall (1988), his first collection of stories, won a Scottish Arts Council award as well as the Saltire First Book of the Year Award, 1999. Faber's fiction is being translated into 21 languages. Born in Holland, brought up in Australia, he now lives in the Scottish Highlands.