John, By Niall Williams

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The Independent Culture

There's a lot of elemental weather in Niall Williams's re-imagining of the last days of John the Apostle.

Banished to the island of Patmos, John is holed up in a wind-lashed cave and eagerly awaiting the second coming. Blind and frail, he runs the constant risk of being swept out to sea.

To while away the dark nights, the centenarian reflects on the messianic highlights of his youth, remembering the summons, the passion and the crucifixion.

As the years pass, the younger disciples grow restless. Williams writes an expressive and heightened prose well suited to this mythic subject matter.