The Modern Library - the 200 best novels in English since 1950
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Quarantine by Jim Crace

Two thousand years ago four travellers enter the Judean desert to fast and pray for their souls. There they encounter the tyrannical merchant Musa. In the distance is another, a Galilean fasting for forty days who they say has the power to work miracles. The writing style of calm perfection, the physical sense of the desert, and drama between the characters makes this book a masterpiece.
Jim Crace was born in London.

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Quarantine by Jim Crace