This is the story of John Devine stuck in a small town in the eerie landscape of Southeast Ireland, worried over by his single, chain-smoking, bible-quoting mother, Lily, and spied on by the "neighborly" Mrs. Nagle. When Jamey Corboy, a self-styled Rimbaudian boy wonder, arrives in town, Johns life suddenly seems full of possibility. His loneliness dissipates. He is taken up by mischief and discovery, hiding in the world beyond as Lilys mysterious illness worsens. But Jamey and Johns nose for trouble may be their undoing and soon John will be faced with a terrible moral dilemma. Joining the ranks of the great novels of friendship and betrayal A Separate Peace, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha John the Revelator grapples with the pull of the world and the hold of those we love. Suffused with family secrets, eerie imagery, black humor, and hypnotic prose, John the Revelator is a novel to fall in love with and an astounding debut.
John the Revelator
I was born in a storm. My mother said the thunder was so loud she flinched when it struck, strobes of lightning and slam-dancing winds and volleys of rain for hours until it blew itself out and sloped off like a spent beast.
'I knew you were a boy,' she said. 'Heartburn. Sure sign of a man in your life.'
My name is John Devine. I was christened after the beloved disciple, the brother of James the Great. Our Lord called them the sons of thunder.
'John was Jesus' favourite,' my mother told me. 'The patron saint of printers and tanners and typesetters.'
When she got started on this, it could go on for hours. We were out walking the fields at the back of our house. I was still in short trousers. My mother strode ahead, hell bent on where she was going, and I had to trot to keep up.
'He was the only one to stay awake in the garden while Our Lord sweated blood,' she said. 'After the crucifixion, the emperor brought him to Rome to be flogged and beaten and ...
John the Revelator will undoubtedly garner rave critical reviews, but the reading public will likely have a wide range of opinions on whether or not it's worth perusing. I can't even categorically state that this is one of those books readers will either love or hate; Murphy's writing is so distinctive that reader ratings will almost certainly run the full spectrum. The novel should appeal most to those who revel in quality writing and enjoy books that break the mold.
(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Full Review (1020 words).
John The Revelator, The Person
The title of Peter Murphy's book is taken from a traditional song about John of Patmos, the name given to the author of the biblical Book of Revelation, who identifies himself as living on the Greek island of Patmos. Scholars date Revelation to between AD 54 and 96 with most believing it to have been written around AD 95.
In the 2nd century AD, the early Christian apologist Justin of Caesarea (later Saint Justin Martyr) suggested that the author of Revelation was the same person as both Jesus' apostle, "John the Beloved", and "John the Evangelist", author of The Gospel of John. But, around the 3rd century this was called into question by church historians who identified the author of ...
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