The Damascus Road: Book summary and reviews of The Damascus Road by Jay Parini

The Damascus Road

A Novel of Saint Paul

by Jay Parini

The Damascus Road by Jay Parini X
The Damascus Road by Jay Parini
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2019
    368 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

From the author of the international bestseller The Last Station, a superb historical novel of the Apostle Paul, whose tireless and epic preaching of the message of Jesus brought Christianity into existence and changed human history forever.

In the years after Christ's crucifixion, Paul of Tarsus, a prosperous tentmaker and Jewish scholar, took it upon himself to persecute the small groups of his followers that sprung up. But on the road to Damascus, he had some sort of blinding vision, a profound conversion experience that transformed Paul into the most effective and influential messenger Christianity has ever had. In The Damascus Road novelist Jay Parini brings this fascinating and ever-controversial figure to full human life, capturing his visionary passions and vast contradictions. In relating Paul's epic journeys, both geographical and spiritual, he unfolds a vivid panorama of the ancient world on the verge of epochal change. And in the alternating voice of the Gospel writer Luke, Paul's travel companion, scribe, and ghostwriter, a cooler perspective on his actions and beliefs emerges - ironic but still filled with wonder at Paul's unshakable commitment to the Christ and his divinity.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Fantastic... Parini has produced a stellar novel that humanizes the Christian message and its messengers." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Parini is a poet, and the beauty of his language is everywhere, whether he's describing the glories of the ancient world or the form and faces of the young people Paul admires with a profound wistfulness. A moving read, both earthy and transcendent." - Booklist

"An exceptional character study that still may test some readers' tolerance for unrelievedly religious matter." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Jay Parini

Jay Parini is a poet, novelist, and biographer who teaches at Middlebury College. His six books of poetry include New and Collected Poems, 1975-2015. He has written eight novels, including Benjamin's Crossing, The Apprentice Lover, The Passages of H.M., and The Last Station, the last made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. His biographical subjects include John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, William Faulkner, and, most recently, Gore Vidal. His nonfiction works include Jesus: The Human Face of God, Why Poetry Matters, and Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America.

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