Malachi Thorndyke, former soldier, book smuggler, drunk, is living in the South Australian Reclamation when he’s approached by Isabel and Nathan Beaumont. They have a mission for him, the most important smuggling trip he’ll ever make, back to New Jerusalem, capital of the Christian fundamentalist state that America has become, with a document that with change the course of history.

Christendom soars as its prodigious invention sparks’

‘One one level, this is a straightforward thriller; what raises it above the crowd is the tension of the writing. It . . . challenges our preconceptions, and sets us up for the sick beauty of the plot’s central revelation’
Literary Review

‘Neatly conceived . . . a well-paced thriller with original ideas and taut writing’
The Times

Excerpt from Christendom

It’s summer.

The boys, no longer children, not yet men, are dressed in shorts, T-shirts and sneakers.

The tall one, the graceful one, who is called Randall Staad and who one day will save the world by the grace of God, carries a battered blue cooler in one hand, a fishing rod in the other. He leads his friend along a path they have trodden many times before, on many such summer days.

Download the first chapter of Christendom

Author’s note

Ah, Christendom…my lost baby. The rise of the New Religious Right! Holy War in the Middle East! A fundamentalist American president! How unlikely this all seemed, in the dog days of the Clinton presidency.

Re-reading it, I think all the elements are there — one chapter, A Christian Gunman In The Rameses Hilton, is certainly as good as anything I’ve done since. Oh, I don’t know; there’s stuff in here I’m still proud of. But if I was going to write Christendom today, I’d do it very differently. Read more


UK Publication Details
ISBN: 0-099-77861-0
Format: B-Paperback
Pages: 311
Publisher: Vintage
1st Edition Published: February 1999

Download this page as a PDF