King David, according to Jonathan Kirsch, was "a kind of Robin Hood," "a Che Guevara," "an authentic sex symbol," "a voyeur, a seducer and a murderer," "an exhibitionist," "the first superstar," and "the original alpha male." But more than that, Kirsch interprets David as the Biblical figure who most powerfully embodies the full complexity of human life, and the 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. He commits adultery and induces others to do the same, he threatens to slit the windpipes of the "lame and the blind," and he even seduces and impregnates a married woman whose husband is a soldier in his army--and then has the woman's husband murdered. It all makes Monica Lewinsky look like pretty tame stuff.

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

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