LLOYD C. DOUGLAS
Age Range: 15/16 and up
The Robe is an remarkable story about a Roman soldier who put Jesus to death and his conversion. Marcellus Gallio is a regular Roman tribune, but after insulting a Prince, he is forced to become a soldier and then ordered by Pontius Pilot to kill Jesus the Nazarene. After winning the robe of Jesus while gambling, Marcellus undergoes an experience that changes his life forever. Needing to find out more about this innocent and courageous man, Marcellus, along with his slave Demetrius, learns the language of the Jews and goes to Jerusalem looking for answers and what he finds changes his life forever. This extraordinary book tells the story of the people who came to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and the one true Savior and how that changed a whole nation.
Before I say anything else, let me say that there is no way my review of The Robe can do it justice. This book was way too good for me to describe it in words. This story begins a few months before the death of Christ and ends a few years after. The Robe mainly follows a Roman soldier, Marcellus Gallio, and his path to Christianity. By reading The Robe, I was able to more clearly see what an everyday person's life must've been like during the time of Jesus. For me, it brought to life all of the people who sacrificed so much to become one of His faithful followers. Throughout the book, there were many mentions of the incredible miracles that Jesus performed. Everybody knows the stories of Jesus calming a storm, healing the sick, and coming back to life. Still, by reading The Robe, these miracles didn't just feel like stories of something long ago but like something that happened to real people.
The Robe was so dense and had so many layers to it like only a good classic could that it was astounding in every way. Each character had their personality, thoughts, and feelings, and you could never tell what they would do next. The story was woven so perfectly that it didn't feel jerky or forced like many other books usually do. Everything flowed very nicely, and I was pretty much unable to put it down once I started. Lloyd C. Douglas did a fantastic job of telling the story of Marcellus and how he came to know and love Christ. At the beginning of the book, Marcellus is pretty much an atheist and doesn't believe in any gods or higher beings. Once he was told that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, and went on his long journey looking for answers, he couldn't believe it, but after thinking about it and searching deep in his heart, he knew that it was true.
In The Robe, I had two favorite characters, Marcellus and Demetrius. Even before he came to know Christ, Marcellus was a good and pretty moral man who knew that Rome needed change or it would all fall apart. After his experience with Christ's robe, he changed his thinking and became an even better and holy man. Demetrius was Marcellus's Greek slave who was captured from his wealthy family when he was young and sold to Marcellus. Demetrious always thought about everything sensibly and was always looking for the truth. While he was with Marcellus learning about Christ, he was drawn to Him and knew Christianity to be true. These two men's conversion stories were excellent, and then the way that they lived their lives after was even more so. The ending of the story was perfect and way better than anything that I could have come up with, and anyone who is reading the book and gets to the end will also know why I think it was exceptional! There is some romance, but I don't think there is enough to classify it as a romance book. This novel was mainly aimed at adults, but I am only 16 and loved this book. Some things would be better for older audiences, but I would say a person around 15 or 16 would also enjoy this book. The Robe is a long book, but it should be read by all people at least once in their lifetime!
Things to Mention: Marcellus' sister tells him that someone tried to make love to her. There are slaves, and a lot of people don't treat them right. There is a lot of violence, including the death of Jesus, the torture of some, fighting and killing, and some other minor things. There is evil and deception in high Roman society. A man tries to get a girl alone but is beaten up before he can. There are a few kisses with no details.
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