On Sale: March 3, 2015
Featuring: Brother Bernard; Brother Andrew; John the Pupil
Hardcover / e-Book
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Historical | Fiction
Set in thirteenth-century Europe, against the backdrop of
a medieval world where beauty and violence, science and
mysticism, carnality and faith, exist side by side, this
is a masterful, mystery-laden novel from the author of
The Gift, in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Barry
Unsworth, and Michel Faber.
Since he was a young boy, John has studied at the
Franciscan monastery outside Oxford, under the tutelage
of friar and magus Roger Bacon, an inventor, scientist,
and polymath. In 1267, Bacon arranges for his young pupil
to embark on a journey of penitence to Italy. But the
pilgrimage is a guise to deliver scientific instruments
and Bacon’s great opus to His Holiness, Pope Clement IV.
Two companions will accompany John, both Franciscan
friars: the handsome, sweet-tempered Brother Andrew, with
whom everyone falls in love; and the more brutish Brother
Bernard, with his secret compulsion for drawing imaginary
monsters. Neither knows the true purpose of their
John the Pupil is a medieval road movie, recounting the
journey taken from Oxford to Viterbo in 1267 by John and
his two companions. Modeling themselves after Saint
Francis, the trio treks by foot through Europe, preaching
the gospel and begging for sustenance. In addition to
fighting off ambushes from thieves hungry for the thing
of power they are carrying, the holy trio are tried and
tempted by all sorts of sins: ambition, pride, lust—and
by the sheer hell and heaven of medieval life.
Erudite and earthy, horrifying, comic, humane, David
Flusfeder’s extraordinary novel reveals to the reader a
world very different and all too like the one we live in
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