John the Pupil: A Novel

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9780062339188: John the Pupil: A Novel

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 expedition.

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 now.

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From the Back Cover:

“A superbly written and intellectually stimulating novel.”—The Independent (London)

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 novices: the handsome, sweet-tempered Brother Andrew; and the brutish Brother Bernard.

John the Pupil is a road movie, recounting the journey taken from Oxford to Viterbo by John and his two companions. Modeling themselves after Saint Francis, the men trek 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 is tried and tempted by all sorts of sins: ambition, pride, lust—and by the sheer hell and heaven of medieval life.

“Astonishing.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Strikingly original . . . a hugely enjoyable read.”—The Times (London)

About the Author:

David Flusfeder is the author of six previous novels, including The Gift. He has been a television critic for the London Times, a poker columnist for the Sunday Telegraph, and has contributed features to many other publications, including GQ, Esquire, the Observer, Guardian, New Statesman, and Financial Times. He is the director of creative writing at the University of Kent, and lives in South London with his family.

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Book Description Harper. 1 Cloth(s), 2015. hard. Book Condition: New. "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 pilgrimage to Italy, but the journey is a ruse to deliver scientific instruments and Bacon's great opus to Pope Clement IV. Two Franciscan novices accompany John—the handsome, sweet-tempered Brother Andrew and the brutish Brother Bernard—and the author of The Gift gives us the equivalent of a 13th-century road movie as these three companions move through a world very different and yet all too similar to the one we live in now."There is never a dull moment on this trip. The vicissitudes of John's journey are a delight to follow. The result is a vividly atmospheric sense of period and, in the character of John, a richly comical and engaging hero Learned, funny and strikingly original, this is a hugely enjoyable read."—Times (London)"John's both limited and brilliant point of view is astonishing, especially when he describes the intricacies of an illuminated manuscript with entirely fresh eyes. The reader will move from amazement at how dark the Dark Ages were to recognizing the darkness and the hope in our own time."—Booklist (starred review)" 240. Bookseller Inventory # 71616

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Book Description Harper, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. 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 expedition. 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 now. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780062339188

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