King David, according to Jonathan Kirsch, was "a kind of Robin Hood," "aChe Guevara," "an authentic sex symbol," "a voyeur, a seducer and amurderer," "an exhibitionist," "the first superstar," and "the originalalpha male." But more than that, Kirsch interprets David as the Biblicalfigure who most powerfully embodies the full complexity of human life, andthe capacity of God to love us even at our most flawed. King David leads a"squalid private life" that Kirsch likens to that of John F. Kennedy. Hecommits adultery and induces others to do the same, he threatens to slitthe windpipes of the "lame and the blind," and he even seduces andimpregnates a married woman whose husband is a soldier in his army--andthen has the woman's husband murdered. It all makes Monica Lewinsky looklike pretty tame stuff.

Biblical scholars may quibble with Kirsch's melodramatic interpretation,and with some of his historical claims about the life of David. Butthere's no question that in Kirsch's hands, the Bible is more excitingthan a Saturday night B-movie special. Give this book to your favoriteromance novel aficionado; it just might turn her toward the greatest Bookof all.