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Book of Revelation: A Novel

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2005

    The Book of Revelations

    I thought the book was brilliant. I¿ve read several reviews of the book saying they were disappointed with the second half of the book, specifically the ending and his inability to ¿get on with his life¿ after the abduction and subsequent abuse ¿ but to me the ending was the entire point of the book. Yes the beginning (the 18 days imprisoned) was enthralling reading, but to me the book was about the dissociation from life resulting from abuse, using the somewhat taboo subject of male sexual abuse by women. But what makes the book for me is at the end, when he starts to explain his actions to a policeman friend of his who suspects that he has a story to tell ¿ the ultimate line ¿you¿ve started from the middle, go back to the beginning¿. In a way it¿s telling you to start the book again, almost as if the book is a transcript of his conversation with the policeman (hense the name of the book), but in another way it¿s also saying maybe go back to the very beginning and look at the motives of the women who kidnapped and abused him, they would have had stories to tell, were their actions a result of abuse they themselves had experienced in the same way his abusive actions to women at the end of the book were as a result of theirs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2004


    The premise was great. The execution was shoddy. The main character is brutally tortured and humiliated, yet does nothing to his unarmed captors when he has a chance? And THIRTY people watched as he danced nude with a lock on his penis? Very unbelievable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2001


    The beginning was captivating, but the book becomes increasingly irritating. The main character makes no real attempts to recover from his kidnapping and, subsequently, the book just continues to frustrate the reader. I kept reading for the hope that something - anything - would happen, but it didn't, which may be what the author wanted. In any case, the book was mediocre and the ending was worthless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2001

    a tour de force

    Rupert Thomson (1955) is one of my favourite authors. His latest sixth novel, `The Book of Revelation¿, is a compelling story, and once you start reading it, it¿s difficult to put the book down. A nameless 30-year old english dancer/choreographer lives and works in Amsterdam. He has a succesful career and for some years he¿s been living happily with his nice girlfriend Brigitte, also a dancer. In his life there are no real troubles, until... everything changes forever. He¿s abducted in Amsterdam by three cloaked and hooded women, who hold him captive and chained naked to the floor of an anonymous white empty room for eighteen days. For no apparent reason. During his captivity the only option there for him is total submission. The young women, presumably of his own age, appear often naked -though always hooded- to him. They have their way and play all kinds of games with him, mostly for their sexual pleasure. When the women¿s demands become more fierce, total dehumanisation and humiliation follows. The man is defenseless against this depraved performance of power, domination and desire. The ordeal he¿s subjected to includes rape and even brutal mutilation. For the reader this is a shocking nightmare as well. The captivity-part of the book reminded me of Pascal Bruckner's bizarre and weird, but brilliant novel 'les voleurs de beauté' (1997), and of two films where a similar sort of events takes place: Pasolini¿s `Salo: the 120 days of Sodom¿ (1975) and Michael Haneke¿s `Funny Games¿ (1998). What happens there is that you¿re forced to witness extreme atrocities, while you know there will be no escape from these brutal violations of human dignity. And of course, as a `witness¿, it makes you sick, you feel horrible. It¿s the same with Thomson¿s `Book of revelation¿, with one big difference, ... a relief. The man regains his freedom. After eighteen days the women all of a sudden decide to release him. The book is really about what follows then. Of course, after his release he¿s not really free. He will carry the horrible events he endured in captivity for the rest of his life, probably without ever knowing the identity of his torturers. In a brilliant way Thomson manages to describe the psychological process that accompanies the quest that now lies ahead of this deeply wounded man. His life-after looks like an endless re-evaluation. How to live with yourself, with these scars, how to deal with your sexuality, with the people around you, and how to put your life in some sort of right track again... Facing all these problems the man begins a search for the women who made a ruin of his life. A search that will also bring his innermost self to the fore, in a way he never could have imagined. The outline and structure of the novel is well balanced, and the shifting of perspective, using the first person (`I¿-form) and third person (`he¿-form) alternately in different sections of the novel, works fine and efficient. One of Thomson¿s best writing skills throughout his work is the use of analogies. In `The Book of Revelation¿ display of that skill may not be as abundant as in `The five gates of hell¿ and `The insult¿ -his most mesmerizing and intoxicating novels- but the outline and the psychological development of the main character is as good as ever. And, what¿s more, in `The Book of Revelation¿ Thomson reveals a deep wisdom to everyone of us about the essences of life, concerning relationships, sexuality, human dignity and freedom. A remarkable achievement, and taking into account the difficult subject Thomson is dealing with here, I consider `The Book of Revelation¿ a succesful `tour de force¿. In an oeuvre that¿s far from complete I hope.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2000

    What a revelation!

    This book was an insight to the very core of a fantasy many males have often dreamed of but as a reality is actually quite daunting. The autor has the tenseness and thrill of any good book but what makes it exceptional is the originalality. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who has ever wondered what happens when fantasy becomes reality.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2000

    Book of Revelation a Little Too Revealing

    Imagine that you have the perfect life: a lover who loves you no matter what, a job that is your true talent and a life that could not possibly contain a flaw. One day you walk outside your spacious apartment into the cool outside and you are kidnapped and taken sexual prisoner by three robed figures of the opposite sex. This scenario sounds wonderful, right, and completely ludicrous. Those were exactly my feelings on the novel by Rupert Thomson, entitled 'The Book of Revelation,' not to be confused with the other book, 'The Book of Revelations.' They do not even begin to compare, except that the nameless main character of this novel undergoes many self-revelations throughout this incredibly odd story. The main character remains nameless throughout the entire story, something that I find incredibly hard to identify with. He is strangely two dimensional, although the author tries his hardest to makes him have feelings and in-depth thought about what is happening around him. It starts off as the above says, with the young man living the perfect life with his beloved girlfriend and a job as a dancer and choreographer in Amsterdam. Everything is perfect in his life, or so it seems. It takes an extremely bizarre incident to realize what is really missing in his life. Another thing that must be noted about this novel is that the story seems to be written in three parts, or possibly by three different people because each main part of the book-his being taken prisoner, his travels and soul searching and his life after his return-varies so much from the others. That is just one more thing that makes this book very inconsistent. All of the first section is incredibly shocking, perverted and yet gruesomely entertaining. It shows the creative side of the author's mind, as the second part of the book remains questionable. The second part of the novel is not even worth mentioning as he is aimlessly wandering around, trying to 'search for himself' and what has been done to him. This section is so random that it makes no sense. Basically, he wastes part of his life because he gets nothing out of his travels. There was a basic lack of common sense on his part, or maybe the author's to leave this out of the story. The kidnapping screwed up his entire life; it meant so much to him, yet he made no effort to tell anyone about it. The ending is very disappointing; you want to scream at him to stop looking and move on wit

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