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John: A Novel by Niall Williams

John: A Novel

by Niall Williams

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Love others by this author (such as Four letters of Love). This book is beautifully written but takes on a very different topic - the life of the apostle John and other early Christians years after the crucifixion of Jesus. An interesting part of history and politics within the roots of Christianity. ( )
  Lcwilson45 | Sep 2, 2012 |
Written as it is with poetic grace and attention to detail, my head tells me that this a fine piece of literary fiction. My heart did not take to it with quite the same level of enthusiasm, though I am not entirely sure why. As a result this falls into a category of books I tend to describe as work that I admire more than I enjoy. I would advise newcomers to Williams work to start instead with the absolutely stunning "Five Letters of Love" and perhaps come back to this one. "John" will be of particular interest to those with an interest in early church history, and a willingness to engage with an imaginative depiction of what it might have been like to be one of the pioneering Christians. I have some interest in these themes, but it is not something I am fascinated by, which may help explain my somewhat lukewarm reaction. ( )
  dsc73277 | Oct 30, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159691467X, Hardcover)

In the tradition of Jim Crace’s Quarantine and Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent, John is a stunning, lyrical reimagining of John the Apostle in the final years of his life, by the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of Four Letters of Love.

At a time when Americans remain skeptical about religion but still thirst for spiritual fulfillment, Niall Williams’s extraordinary and masterful new novel reveals a universally appealing message of hope and love.

In the years following the death of Jesus Christ, John the Apostle, now a frail, blind old man, lives in forced exile on the desolate island of Patmos with a small group of his disciples. Together, the group has endured their banishment, but after years awaiting Christ’s return, fissures form within their faith, and, inevitably, one of John’s followers disavows Christ’s divinity and breaks away from the community, threatening to change the course of Christianity. When the Roman emperor lifts the banishment of Christians, John and his followers are permitted to return to Ephesus, a chaotic world of competing religious sects where Christianity is in danger of vanishing. It is against this turbulent background—and inspired by Jesus’s radical message of love and forgiveness—that John comes to dictate his Gospel.

Immensely impressive—and based on actual historical events—John is at once an ambitious and provocative reimagining of the last surviving apostle and a powerful look at faith and how it lives and dies in the hearts of men.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:58 -0400)

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"Years after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, a frail, blind old man lives in forced exile on the desolate island of Patmos with a small group of his disciples. He is John the Apostle, waiting in banishment for Christ's return." "In isolation and exile, fissures begin to form among the disciples. As even John starts to question his own faith, Matthias disavows Christ's divinity once and for all and breaks away from the community, threatening to change the course of Christianity forever. An ambitious and provocative novel, John looks at faith and how it lives and dies in the hearts of men."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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