Read The Baptist by Ruby Barnes Free Online
Book Title: The Baptist|
The author of the book: Ruby Barnes
Edition: Marble City Publishing
Date of issue: January 4th 2013
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 672 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.6
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The Baptist is subtitled A Psychological Thriller, and that it is; but it isn't easily pigeonholed along with the likes of The Silence Of The Lambs or the works of Mo Hayder. At the heart of its oddness is the way it's structured. It starts from the viewpoint of the titular character, John Baptist, a clearly troubled soul, who apparently murders his brother and is committed to an asylum by his parents who have their own `issues', before abruptly switching focus and giving us a view of somebody else's thoughts. I say `apparently' murders his brother because it soon becomes clear that Baptist isn't the most reliable of narrators, not necessarily because he's a deliberate liar (though he is, as most killers tend to be) but because he doesn't have the strongest grip on reality.
The frequent changes in point of view make for some tricky reading. A character is described in detail by one narrator; then, in the next chapter, the narrator turns out to match the description he gave the person in the chapter before. Gradually the kaleidoscopic fragments consolidate and the plot becomes clearer. To say much more about it (the plot) would be to spoil the story.
The Baptist is a demanding read, which is one of the things I enjoyed about it. Barnes's writing is deft and sinewy but always easy to follow; the trickiness is deliberate and comes from the way the story is laid out. John Baptist is a compelling, complex character, though not one I'd like to spend a great deal of time with. The whole novel is shot through with a strong vein of outrageous humour: the scene late on involving a pair of American tourists, who may really be the cliches they appear to be or may on the other hand be victims of Baptist's own distorted perceptions, is shamefully hilarious.
The story is a little too drawn out towards the end, perhaps, and takes a turn for the predictable; but those are minor quibbles. This is highly original, intelligent and exuberant writing in a genre sorely lacking in such qualities. I look forward to reading Mr Barnes's other novels, Peril and The Crucible.
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Read information about the authorI'm an author and a reader. I write dark thrillers - Peril, The Baptist, The Crucible - and read thrillers and literary fiction.
I've pedalled the pushbike of life until the chain fell off. Now living in rural Ireland where the natives are friendly and the weather atrocious, I write crime fiction and thrillers.
Ruby's News is my mail list with freebies, pre-release info and other updates. As a welcome gift each new subscriber can choose a free e-copy of one of my books in their format of choice (epub, mobi, pdf). Go to my blog or http://eepurl.com/iNvvP to subscribe.
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