Barabbas (Vintage International) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This slim yet powerful novel fills in the fictional details of Barabbas, the prisoner who was released in exchange for Jesus of Nazareth. Nobel Prize winning author Lagervist gives us a Barabbas, who wants to believe, but cannot comprehend the faith of others. He wanders the old neighborhood, but is clearly not the brutal Barabbas of old. There are many ideas to sift through in this wonderfully translated novel.

— From Mark B.


Barabbas is the acquitted; the man whose life was exchanged for that of Jesus of Nazareth, crucified upon the hill of Golgotha. Barabbas is a man condemned to have no god. "Christos Iesus" is carved on the disk suspended from his neck, but he cannot affirm his faith. He cannot pray. He can only say, "I want to believe."

Translated from the Swedish by Alan Blair

About the Author

Par Lagerkvist was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1951.

Praise For…

"Its power is the power of a parable, with the same timeless echo." -- The New York Times

"As a parable, Barabbas is open to many interpretations. As a picture of a human soul, with or without parable, it is moving and convincing." -- Time

"Swift, sparing, limpid, and hauntingly intense." -- Atlantic Monthly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780679725442
ISBN-10: 067972544X
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: November 20th, 1989
Pages: 160
Language: English
Series: Vintage International