The Neon Bible
The accomplished and evocative first novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Confederacy of Dunces.
John Kennedy Toole wrote The Neon Bible for a literary contest at the age of sixteen. The manuscript was finally published twenty years after Toole’s death.
The Neon Bible opens with the narrator, a young man named David, on a train, leaving the small Southern town he’s grown up in for the first time. What unspools is the tender and tragic coming-of-age story of a lonely child, a story that revolves around David’s unorthodox friendship with his great-aunt Mae – a former stage performer who is fiercely at odds with the conservative townspeople – and the everyday toll of living in an environment of religious fanaticism. From the opening lines of The Neon Bible, David is fully alive, naive yet sharply observant, drawing us into his world through the sure artistry of John Kennedy Toole.
Iron-fisted Pope Leo XIV emerges from open heart surgery with the chilling realisation that his reforms have devastated the Church.
As he struggles to overcome the policies he himself put in place, he must battle enemies from within the Vatican, as well as Islamic terrorists determined to assassinate him. Amid political intrigue and counter-espionage, his brilliant surgeon Salviati becomes a target too, along with Salviati’s beautiful mistress, Tove, and her fragile daughter, as the plot builds to a dramatic climax.
The Clowns of God
Pope Gregory XVII has spent a lifetime quietly serving the Church he loves – until he announces a prophecy so alarming that it threatens to tear the Vatican apart. Terrified, the Vatican cardinals imprison him in a monastery. Is he mad, as they believe, or is it all an elaborate plot?
An old friend of the pope sets out on a risky quest to find out. On the way, he discovers the power of love and faith, while terrorists and politicians use every deadly and unholy means to stop him.
The Devil's Advocate
In an impoverished village in southern Italy, the enigmatic life and mysterious death of Giacomo Nerone has inspired talk of sainthood.
Father Blaise Meredith, a dying English priest, is sent by the Vatican to investigate. As he tries to untangle the web of facts, rumours and outright lies that surround Nerone, The Devil’s Advocate reminds us how the power of goodness ultimately prevails over despair.
The Shoes of the Fisherman
The pope is dead and the corridors of the Vatican hum with intrigue as cardinals gather to elect his successor. The result is a surprise: the new pope is the youngest of them all – a bearded Ukrainian.
The Shoes of the Fisherman is the moving story of Kiril I, recently released from seventeen years in Siberian labour camps and haunted by his past. Not only is he the leader of a fractured Catholic Church, but he also finds he must confront his inquisitor and tormentor in order to avert another world war.