The Celibate is the story of a young man with a mind full of God, but a heart closed to love. While studying at the theological college, he is confused by his feelings for a fellow ordinand and suffers a nervous collapse at the altar. His college principal sends him on a placement to London, where he enters an unfamiliar world of outcasts, down-and-outs, rent boys and religious fundamentalists.
In increasing despair, he embarks on a journey through the world of Jack the Ripper, the devastation of the Great Plague and the mysteries of his own family. As the past and present come full circle, he finally understands the true meaning of Passion.
'It takes courage to write about faith in this faithless world, particularly from a homosexual viewpoint. But in The Celibate, Michael Arditti’s first novel, the author’s anger, conviction and sharp observation hold the reader’s attention throughout' Alistair Bruton, The Times
'An ambitious first novel, which traces the liberation of a human soul through a gradual revelation of the meaning of passion and the Passion' Candia McWilliam, Independent on Sunday
'This deeply spiritual novel … a carefully crafted, intensely analytical and deeply honest theological quest where the storyline becomes consumed in a broader faith journey' Peter Stanford, Catholic Herald
'A bold and multi-layered first novel and one which negotiates a remarkably taut high-wire between frailty and ardour' Graham Anderson, City Limits
'A fine political novel. Michael Arditti’s eloquently beautiful style burns with passion and commitment. My mind and emotions were engaged for all of its 341 pages. A brave, unique book, this deserves the widest possible readership' John Roman Baker, Rouge
'It is unusual to find an English first novel of such unflinching moral seriousness … a varied and involving read' Gregory Woods, Times Literary Supplement
'I found Arditti’s heartfelt, even desperate, plea for tolerance and acceptance moving and honourable, not to mention timely' Karen Lewis, Literary Review
'An exceptional book - at its core it combines the sexual with the spiritual' Sunday Times