At All Adventure: An Alternative Gospel consists of vignettes, ranging from one line to several pages, retelling traditional stories of Jesus and his times, but with new and unexpected twists.
Jesus is portrayed with some sympathy, but surrounded by ignorant people who seek only their own gain and glory. He has been chosen by a particularly vain and capricious God to give his life performing a mission, the alien-ness and horror of which he slowly begins to comprehend.
The vignettes are embedded in a frame story set in the island of Malta in the year 40 C.E. The story concerns, and is narrated by, a Greek ship-owner named Theophilus who collects stories about Jesus from the crew and passengers of passing ships (including Paul, Peter, and James) and who had known Jesus fleetingly but tellingly before the crucifixion.
Theophilus and his fellow Greek expatriates are preparing to stage “the last classic Greek drama” in honor of the island’s Roman governor. The play, “Odysseus in Melita” (which embeds more of the stories Theophilus has been collecting) is presented, and is a fiasco and a public embarrassment for the guest of honor, the Roman governor. During rehearsals, however, Theophilus and a woman named Chaera had developed a close friendship, which grew into love. At the end of the book, Thophilus and Chaera sail off to the West, to stay away until the governor cools down, and to find new adventures.