Damascus – Christos Tsiolkas
‘A powerful testament to spiritual yearning and the human desire to transcend the physical world’ ― Sunday Times
A visceral portrait of the life of St Paul’ ― Guardian
‘The novel Tsiolkas was born to write’ ― Financial Times
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“They kill us, they crucify us, they throw us to beasts in the arena, they sew our lips together and watch us starve. They bugger children in front of their mothers and violate men in front of their wives. The temple priests flay us openly in the streets. We are hunted everywhere and we are hunted by everyone …
We are despised, yet we grow. We are tortured and crucified and yet we flourish. We are hated and still we multiply. Why is that? You have to wonder, how is it that we not only survive but we grow stronger?’
In a far corner of the Roman Empire, a radical sect is growing.
Alone, unloved and battling his sexuality, Saul scrapes together a living exposing these nascent Christians, but on the road to Damascus, everything changes.
Saul – now Paul – becomes drawn into this new religion and its mysterious leader, whose crucifixion leaves followers waiting in limbo for his promised return. As factions splinter and competition to create the definitive version of Christ’s life grows violent, he begins to question his new faith and the man at its heart.
Damascus is an unflinching dissection of doubt, faith, tyranny, revolution, cruelty and sacrifice. A vivid and visceral novel with perennial concerns, it is a masterpiece of imagination and transformation.
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