John: A Novel

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Dec 6, 2008 - Fiction - 288 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
9
Section 3
15
Section 4
22
Section 5
28
Section 6
38
Section 7
48
Section 8
58
Section 9
63
Section 10
275
Section 11
277
Section 12
279
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About the author (2008)

Niall Williams was born in Dublin in 1958. He studied English and French literature at University College Dublin before graduating with a Master's degree in Modern American Literature. He moved to New York in 1980 where he married Christine Breen, whom he had met while she was a Master's student also at UCD, and took his first job opening boxes of books in Fox and Sutherland's bookshop in Mount Kisco. He later worked as a copywriter for Avon Books in New York City before leaving America with Chris in 1985 to attempt to make a life as a writer. They moved on April 1st to the cottage in west Clare that Chris's grandfather had left eighty years before to find his life in America. His first four books were co-written with Chris and tell of their life together in Kiltumper in west Clare. In 1991 Niall's first play 'The Murphy Initiative' was staged at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin. His second play, 'A Little Like Paradise' was produced on the Peacock stage of The Abbey Theatre in 1995. His third play, 'The Way You Look Tonight,' was produced by Galway's Druid Theatre Company in 1999.

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