The story of a young man with a mind full of God but a heart closed to love. After a nervous collapse while serving at the altar, his college principal sends him on a placement to London where he enters an unfamiliar world of outcasts, down-and-outs, rent boys, religious fundamentalists and people with AIDS. In increasing despair, he embarks on a journey through the world of Jack the Ripper, the devastation of the Great Plague and the mysteries of his own family. As the past and present come full-circle, he finally understands the true meaning of Passion. This is an intelligent and emotive novel, potent with atmosphere and rich in ideas and insights. It employs a unique fictional structure which integrates the contemporary and the historical, the personal and the theological, the comic and the polemic in a revelatory way. On its initial publication, it was hailed as the debut of a major literary talent. 'An exceptional book: at its core it combines the sexual with the spiritual.' - Sunday Times 'The author's anger, conviction and sharp observation hold the reader's attention throughout. An exciting debut.' - The Times 'An ambitious first novel, which traces the liberation of a human soul through a gradual revelation of the meaning of passion and the Passion.' - Independent on Sunday 'It is unusual to find an English first novel of such unflinching moral seriousness...a varied and involving read.' - Times Literary Supplement 'A bold and multi-layered first novel, and one which negotiates a remarkably taut high-wire between frailty and ardour.' - City Limits 'A powerful and moving first novel.' - Independent
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April 21, 2009
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