There are two distinct narrative voices in this novel. One is a first-person account of Judas' life from childhood to dotage. It tells of his boyhood friendship with Jesus, of his difficult younger days, how he becomes a disciple of first John the Baptist and then Jesus and finally ends up as a rich merchant in Mesopotamia. It is there he writes the first gospel.
The other voice belongs to Dr Murray Watkins, a biblical scholar and finder of `the Judas Texts' in early 21st Century Iraq, shortly before the invasion of that country. Through a series of "essays" he tells of the finding of the texts, of what they tell us and of the significance of this find.
The latest from Tom East is the non-fiction LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE, an unsparing account of life after two brain haemorrhages. This is told from first-hand experience but with a lightness of tone that belies the sunject-matter. Prior to this was another work of non-fiction, A FIFTIES' CHILDHOOD. This examines in careful and unsentimental detail the post war decade through the eyes of one who grew up in it. Before this was the second ELDRITCH collection, WISH MAN'S WOOD. This appeared soon after a second edition of the first, THE EVE OF ST ELIGIUS.
Other recent books include three very different novels. The most recent was THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JUDAS. Little is known about Judas Iscariot - he is a symbol of all things bad rather than a person - but what if his influence on the early church was altogether more significant? What if he was nothing less than the writer of the first gospel, upon which the four canonical gospels are based? And what if manuscript fragments of the writings of Judas were found in Iraq on the eve of the Western invasion in 2003?
The other two novels were the 100,000-word TOMMY'S WAR: JULY 1914, an unusual take on the month before WWI and THE GREENLAND PARTY (79,000 words). The latter is a 'whodunit', although with an out-of-the-ordinary setting and a strange motive for the original murder.
All of the above are available as ebooks or paperbacks in a number of places across the world.
See www.benybont.org/ for more details.
Earlier Tom was the writer of many works of fiction, commercial features, essays, reviews, 'other prose' and poetry. He was also the author of six (print) books.
He was born in London, although of Welsh family and has lived in Wales for many years.
Still available as paperback and ebook:
THE EVE OF ST ELIGIUS
THE GREENLAND PARTY
TOMMY'S WAR: July, 1914
SCENES FROM SEASONS
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT VERSE BRIGADE
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JUDAS
LYRICS, POLEMICS AND POETICS
WISH MAN'S WOOD
A FIFTIES' CHILDHOOD
LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE