BookBrowse Reviews John the Revelator by Peter Murphy

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John the Revelator

A Novel

by Peter Murphy

John the Revelator
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2009, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2010, 272 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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An astounding first novel suffused with family secrets, eerie imagery, black humor, and hypnotic prose

Peter Murphy's debut, John the Revelator, is in many ways structured like other well-known 20th-century Irish novels such as Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle, and Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe; it's dark, gothic and gritty, has elements of both tragedy and black comedy, and is populated with stock characters; but the author transcends the genre, taking these stereotypes and breathing new life into them. The resulting work is utterly fresh, unique, and quite unlike anything else I've read.

Murphy's writing is difficult to categorize, primarily because he uses so many different techniques throughout the novel. While much of the book is straight-forward narration, he also inserts snappy dialog, dream sequences, fables, Bible tales, and even stand-alone short stories penned by one of the characters. Each part has its own flavor, its own style, proving him to be an ...

About the Author
Peter Murphy is a contributing editor with Hot Press magazine and has written for Rolling Stone, the Sunday Business Post, and others. Murphy has written liner notes (the writings found in booklet form in many CDs) for albums and anthologies, including the forthcoming re-mastered edition of the Anthology of American Folk Music, which features the "Blind" Willie Johnson recording of the song John the Revelator. He lives in the southeast of Ireland, in County Wexford, where he grew up. John the Revelator was his first novel.


Images: Above: Peter Murphy; Right: "Blind" Willie Johnson

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