This is the story of John Devine -- stuck in a small town in the eerie landscape of Southeast Ireland, worried over by his single, chain-smoking, bible-quoting mother, Lily, and spied on by the "neighborly" Mrs. Nagle. When Jamey Corboy, a self-styled Rimbaudian boy wonder, arrives in town, John's life suddenly seems full of possibility. His loneliness dissipates. He is taken up by mischief and discovery, hiding in the world beyond as Lily's mysterious illness worsens. But Jamey and John's nose for trouble may be their undoing and soon John will be faced with a terrible moral dilemma. Joining the ranks of the great novels of friendship and betrayal -- A Separate Peace, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha -- John the Revelator grapples with the pull of the world and the hold of those we love. Suffused with family secrets, eerie imagery, black humor, and hypnotic prose, John the Revelator is a novel to fall in love with and an astounding debut.
Starred Review. In the hallowed pantheon of Irish coming-of-age novels, Murphy's strongly written debut splits the difference between the sensitivity of Portrait of an Artist and the freakishness of Butcher Boy. John Devine lives a marginal life with his single mother in the small Irish town of Kilcody. He has a love for the lore of creepy-crawly things (thanks to his favorite book, Harper's Compendium of Bizarre Nature Facts). His mother, a maid for the rich folks in the area, is versed in Irish myth, which gives him an enchanted, slightly sinister sense of the world. As a teenager, John befriends the posh James Corboy, who fancies himself quite the young Rimbaud. Two events define John's coming into manhood: one involves James, a video camera and a drunken rampage; the other, John's mother, who is dying and whose weakness necessitates the frequent assistance of nosy neighbor Mrs. Nagle. Murphy understands the gracelessness of teenage boys and that peculiar delinquent wisdom shared by all the great coming-of-age novelists. With this novel, he doesn't have to bow to any of them. (Aug.)
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
April 12, 2010
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.