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  • Published: 7 May 1999
  • ISBN: 9780091839420
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $19.99

The Jesus Man




The second novel from the author of the bestselling Loaded and The Slap

The second novel from the author of the bestselling Loaded and The SlapThe Jesus Man tells the story of three brothers, Dominic, Tommy and Louie, who come from a Greek-Italian family haunted by its history. When Tommy is made redundant from work and can't find another job, he finds the voices in his head becoming louder and louder as he sinks inexorably into pornography, violence and madness. Tommy snaps and murders someone who may or may not be a serial sex killer of children, and then castrates and kills himself, leaving his family numb with grief and incomprehension and at the mercy of the ensuing media feeding frenzy.

The Jesus Man is told from the point of view of Louie, the youngest brother, who is struggling to make sense of Tommy's death and the kind of world in which such tragedies are commonplace. Written with the remorseless, page-turning urgency of a thriller, The Jesus Man is an uncompromising and timely examination of the hell that is life for many people; a soulless void in which pornography takes the place of love, television the place of human contact and where individual worth has been superseded by economic rationalism.

Counterpointing this unremittingly bleak vision is the sweet humanity and optimism of Louie, one of the great characters of contemporary literature, who looks within himself to find a place beyond the casual horror and mundanity of everyday life. It is his sense of hope for the future that shines through The Jesus Man, and that fact that we as readers believe in his optimism and are intensely uplifted by the book's final powerful message confirms Christos Tsiolkas as one of our finest and most original writers.

  • Published: 7 May 1999
  • ISBN: 9780091839420
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Christos Tsiolkas

Christos Tsiolkas is the author of four novels: Loaded (filmed as Head-On) The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award. The Slap won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize 2009 and was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the ALS Gold Medal. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne.

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Praise for The Jesus Man

The novel has the visceral intensity of a Greek tragedy, as one of the brothers, Tommy, “spirals out of control” after losing his job, descending into a cycle of violence, pornography and crime. Rapidly running out of money, governed by his sexual proclivities, he is “both repulsed and attracted” by the underbelly of the city, leading inexorably to catastrophe. Unflinching and urgent, the novel traces the frightened family’s attempt to understand and deal with the devastating aftermath of Tommy’s death and “the awful collapse in our lives”.

Anita Sethi, The Guardian UK

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