updated 25 April 2011
Sando MacSpan has been no stranger to the press in recent months. His controversial literary re-working of the Christian Bible's New Testament has attracted plenty of headlines. In case you've missed the hype, the novel recounts the story of Jesus as a thriller in which the Messiah is sexually abused as a child by a mysterious traveller. Christ then grows up swearing revenge on his attacker, spending years hunting him down before brutally massacring him along with several members of his family. Here's an excerpt:
He could still remember it, the day the bad man hurt him in the bad place. It was why he too now did bad things. Bad things like what the bad man did to him all those years ago. He didn't want to do it to other kids, but he couldn't help it, not until he could get his revenge anyway. Only then, only when he saw the bad man's blood flowing down the hill the way his tears might have done if he had lived near a hill at the time, only then could he stop revisiting his own terrible fate onto others.
The Picasso Cipher is just the latest in a long line of thrillers set in the biblical world to hit the headlines, such as the many famous titles by author Dan Brown. Mr MacSpan responded to claims of sensationalism and exploitation last week by erecting a 20ft statue of Jesus being given a blow job by some children outside his home, along with a poster displaying his current asking price for interviews.