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Book Review: Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas

Book Review: Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas

Book Review: Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas

13 April 2020

Damascus shocks and confuses, but also comforts readers.

By Commissioner Doug Davis

Damascus shocks, confuses but also comforts the reader. It shocks because Christos Tsiolkas seasons his narrative with numerous expletives and obscenities. Infanticide, lust, prostitution and immorality are involved – and that all before page 28.

Saul’s pre-conversion life is confusing.

He is not the man who rigorously adhered to the lifestyle of a Pharisee. Saul is victim of a mugging on the Damascus road instead of having an encounter with Jesus. Christians come to the rescue and in their company Saul gradually beginsto see the light. The reader is comforted when Ananias enters with his greeting, 

“Brother Saul”. Here we are nearer the biblical text as Paul is given patient, pastoral care. But again, fiction wins out. Happily, Timothy is depicted as a worthy protégé to Paul and is commissioned to further the apostle’s evangelism following his master’s execution.

The author’s after-note should be read first. It explains much about the author and his personal journey in writing Damascus. Available at all bookstores.



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