A stunning, lyrical re-imagining of John the Apostle in the final years of his life. Now a frail, blind old man, John lives in exile on the desolate island of Patmos with a small group of his disciples. Together the group has endured their banishment, but after years awaiting Christ’s return, fissures form within their faith.

An ambitious and provocative novel about the last surviving apostle and a powerful look at faith and how it lives and dies in the hearts of men.

Read Niall’s notes on the writing of John here.


"The writing is unfailingly resourceful and strong, able to range from the physical realities of poverty and deprivation to the exaltation of religious faith and the poignancies of memory. And the novel as a whole constitutes an eloquent and moving statement of the power of love and the belief that it will triumph in the end."

"Themes of love, faith, redemption and survival inform his smoothly lyrical, powerfully dramatic prose in John. Williams is a writer who understands the haunting power of the simple sentence, the importance of compelling interior monologues. He has the knack of conveying a sense of immediacy. His flair for narrative overcomes the challenge of a story that starts out, by necessity, chained to a Greek rock, like Prometheus... This is a cracking good Bible-based novel for those of us who are theologically challenged. If Hollywood producer Cecil B. DeMille (The Ten Commandments) were alive today, he'd be angling for the film rights."

"Gripping and believable... In an age where reason and science have shown themselves inadequate to fulfil the human dream of perfection, it is important that serious writers such as Williams face the perennial questions of faith and love."

"Poweful and moving... an absorbing and intelligent novel."

Scroll to Top