What Would John Do? is a little novel about a grown man, John, who is trying to understand his adult beliefs by thinking back to his childhood. We see a more or less random year in John's childhood, in which he is mostly at home, going to school or messing around with his friends and getting into trouble – and is afraid that he will burn in hell.
I grew up in a Christian family. I was baptized when I was a few months old. My grandmother and grandfather get worried if too much time passes before their grandchildren are baptized. When I was around 19, I considered getting baptized again, but I gave up on that idea. I've never spoken in tongues, even though I often prayed for that gift of grace as a teenager. I've stopped using terms as a gift of grace. I've never sought out strangers to pray for them, but I have placed my hands on, and prayed for, several of my friends. I have never seen a miracle.
A book to believe in.
Thomas Espevik narrates great existential questions in a language that insists that something is on stake. “I wonder if atheists is as scared for there being a God, as I am for him not being there”. Me, on my part, is more scared that Thomas Espeviks book should not exist. But it does. I exhale with relief.
DAG OG TID
Thomas Espevik explores the vector, the contradictions and comedy that might characterize a Christian upbringing. The novel succeeds in lifting up a great topic at astoundingly small space, and it does so with touch and lightness. The book is easily read; much because of the way it measures the doses of comedy, in effortless and concise language.
What would John do? Is a well written and thought provoking novel about a person’s relationship its own sense of reality. An engaging novel that leaves the reader wanting more.
Espeviks debut is a raw, but tender depiction of childhood, faith, doubt, love, friendship and repetitive prayers for forgiveness. The author draws a picture of a different upbringing, where God is at the centre of things. But still asking a lot of the same questions about life that most other children and young would ask them selves.
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