John Devine is stuck in a small town in the eerie landscape of southeast Ireland, worried over by his single, chain-smoking, Bible-quoting mother, Lily, and spied on by the "neighborly" Mrs.Nagle. When Jamey Corboy, a self-styled Rimbaudian boy wonder, arrives in town, John's lonely life suddenly seems full of possibility. He is taken up by mischief and discovery, hiding in the world beyond as Lily's mysterious illness worsens. But Jamey and John's nose for trouble may be their undoing, and soon John will be faced with a terrible moral dilemma. Suffused with family secrets, uncanny imagery, black humor, and hypnotic prose, John the Revelator joins the ranks of the great novels of friendship and betrayal as it grapples with the tension between the pull of the world and the hold of those we love.