John the Revelator and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

John the Revelator Hardcover – 1 Aug 2009


See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£0.01

Trade In Promotion

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; First Printing edition (1 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151014027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151014026
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,408,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

'Everything about John the Revelator excited me - i couldn't wait to turn the page and keep going. It was almost like reading for the first time...' -- Roddy Doyle

'Peter Murphy's prose is extraordinarily good and each page is sheer pleasure to read.' -- Irish Independent

'So fresh, so original and brave... it's an absolutely wonderful novel.'
-- Colm Toibin

'With his first novel, Irish journalist Murphy has created that elusive, precious thing, beloved of readers and publishers alike: a real page-turner.' -- The List

`Beautifully written, darkly humorous and totally engrossing. An exciting and impressive new talent.' -- Hot Press

`Directly from the opening paragraph, Peter Murphy's exuberantly candid first novel draws the reader.' -- Irish Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

'So fresh, so original and brave... it's an absolutely wonderful novel.'
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gabrielle O on 24 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I couldn't stop reading this novel: I read it in bed; on the train; on the tube; under the desk at work. The funny thing is that I'm not really sure why. It wasn't because of the suspense, or the plot exactly - I just really needed to know what was going to happen.

A deliciously fresh novel that deals with some of the oldest, toughest issues: love, loss, family, friendship and growing up. And some others along the way, like religion, getting completely wasted, ill-advised actions, small-town politics, avoidance, betrayal, and sex. You'll have to read it to have any idea of what I'm talking about.

I ordered this book without really knowing much about it. I didn't realise that it was set in Ireland (somehow the blurb makes it sound like it could be American) and I didn't really have a sense of what it would be like. Having finished it, I still don't quite know what to make of it - like the very best writing, it works its magic in a subtle way that's hard to pin down.

But it was a great read, from the Biblical quotes to the topsy-turvy home-life of John Devine, his oddly straight-talking mother Lily and John's burgeoning intense friendship (and adventures) with James Corboy. Beautifully written - even the bits about maggots and worms are curiously fascinating (our protagonist has a keen interest in creepy crawlies of this sort - sorry to give this away but this is perhaps not a book for the squeamish!)...

Fabulous but not at all precious or affected, this book delights in avoiding easy answers and just revels in the complex glories and sadnesses of growing up.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
Quirky is an overused catch all phrase nowadays. If something doesn't fit exactly within the confines of a genre then it is inevitably called quirky. So, to label this book quirky seems somewhat glib and easy, but that would be an accurate description.

John the Revelator is in many ways your standard coming of age tale; a disenfranchised young man, an outsider, a small community, a strange family, a smattering of drink and drugs. So far, so familiar. But when you add in an obsession with insects, a hint of the supernatural and biblical undertones you start to get something a little bit out of the ordinary.

John lives in a small Irish village with his heavy smoking and bible-quoting mother. He is haunted by dreams of crows and the end of the world and withdraws from the community about him.

When James Corboy arrives in town John spies a kindred spirit and is gravitated towards the newcomer. As their normal teenage behaviour spirals into something altogether more sinister, and John's dreams become increasingly vivid, his mother's health steadily fails and John is faced with a life changing choice.

John the Revelator is hugely reminiscent of the Wasp Factory in tone and style, and it is impossible to read this book without making that unfavorable comparison, but there is still plenty to enjoy about it.

In places the writing is delicious and Peter Murphy exhibits a real understanding of the alienation and confusion of the teenage years. Throughout, the text is suffused with a dark humour and a sense of unease, and it is that which elevates this book above the norm.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
In this story if a young boy coming of age, John Devine grows from childhood to adolescence in the Irish town of Kilcody. Born in a storm, his mother said the thunder was so loud she flinched when it struck. Treated as a typical boy, Gabriel realizes what is expected of him as his kindly mother cleans people's houses and sometimes takes in clothes to be washed or mended in order to make ends meet. A heavy smoker who likes to sit me the fire and read her Westerns, she silently becomes detached from the world around her. John in turn is confused by the mixed messages she sends, seeking solace in books including "Harper's Compendium of Bizarre Nature Facts" which established John's preoccupation with worms and parasites. In the midst of a visit from by his mother's friend Mrs. Nagle a square old bird and the only one who could help him, John meets and befriends the eccentric Jamey Corboy the market square with his black jeans and army boots, floppy hair raked back from a high forehead. A blow-in from Ballo town, Jamey is a loner who sits in the school-shelter writing in a spiral notebook, but he's from a good family and lived in a nice house. Literate and ironic, Jamey enthralls Johns with his stories, passing him copies of books by Rimbaud, and Dante.

When Jamie, hell bent on celebrating the end of his exams, drags John to a disco at the Rugby club, the hyperactive rhythms pounds from the sound system, and for the first time there is something about the music and about Jamie that is dangerous to John. If he isn't careful, the music and indeed Jamey might overwhelm his senses and swallow him up. Even as his mother, the smoke around her head like some "dissipating halo," tells John to stay away from that Jamey Corboy, Dee, Jamie's mother is just thankful that Jamie has made a friend here.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 14 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
An "Irish gothic" novel with dark, religious overtones, JOHN THE REVELATOR is set in rural southeast Ireland, where the author himself grew up. The "revelator" of the title, "someone who reveals divine will," is a boy named John Devine, for the "beloved disciple," the only one of the apostles who escaped martyrdom, and the patron saint of writing. Born to an exceptionally religious single mother, a house cleaner, John's childhood seems relatively normal, despite his poverty, though he is pre-occupied with worms. He has nightmares in which he combines his daily life and his worries into horrific tales involving crows. By the age of fifteen, however, John is "content with his own company," and not terribly rebellious.

It is not until he meets Jamey Corboy, a sixteen-year-old, that he develops a real friendship. Jamey, far more adventurous, introduces John to heavy drinking, smoking, and a willingness to flout convention. Hanging out with bikers and toughs, Jamey has participated in a robbery, but he is also an intellectual and a fine creative writer who shares his full-length stories with John and the reader. Often scatological in tone, they reflect the spirit of Rimbaud, Jamie's favorite author, who produced his best-known work while still a teenager. Jamey plans to make a film called "Merde a Dieu."

At this point, halfway through the book, John resembles teenagers around the world, though perhaps a bit more introspective. The novel, until now, is well organized and exceptionally well written, with unique characters and a setting which allows the author to plumb the myths, folklore, and beliefs of rural Ireland. Every detail counts and relates to every other detail, and the author obviously has a big picture in mind for his themes.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback