A formidable work of scholarship and imagination, this is a beautifully written reimagining of John the Apostle's final years in exile. Old, frail, and blind, John has instructed his small group of followers on the island of Patmos to wait for Christ's return, but he is slow in coming. The faith of the men dwindles, and even John himself is tested. Eventually John and his followers return to Ephesus, where John dictates his Gospel. Performer Nicholas Bell brings beautifully enunciated and rhythmic narration to this richly imagined account of the last surviving apostle.
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.
At a time when many 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.
©2008 Niall Williams; (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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