The Revisionists

( 5 )

Overview

A fast-paced literary thriller that recalls dystopian classics such as 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, from the award-winning author of The Last Town on Earth.

Zed is an agent from the future. A time when the world's problems have been solved. No hunger. No war. No despair. His mission is to keep it that way. Even if it means ensuring every cataclysm throughout history runs its course-especially The Great Conflagration, an imminent disaster in our own time that Zed has been ordered to ...

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Overview

A fast-paced literary thriller that recalls dystopian classics such as 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, from the award-winning author of The Last Town on Earth.

Zed is an agent from the future. A time when the world's problems have been solved. No hunger. No war. No despair. His mission is to keep it that way. Even if it means ensuring every cataclysm throughout history runs its course-especially The Great Conflagration, an imminent disaster in our own time that Zed has been ordered to protect at all costs. But what will happen when Zed's present begins to take precedence over a perfect future? One that may have more cracks than he realizes?

THE REVISIONISTS puts a fresh spin on today's global crises, playing with the nature of history and our own role in shaping it. It firmly establishes Mullen as one of the most exciting and imaginative writers of his generation.

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Editorial Reviews

Atlanta Magazine
"An extraordinary trip to the near future ... Questions of fate versus free will, utopia versus reality, and the implications of a world without racial and ethnic lines add terrific human depth to the whiz-bang gadegtry of Mullen's imagined world ... a very high-brow spin on the spy novel and science fiction."
Paste Magazine (A Best Novel of the Year)
"Blade Runner meets John le Carré....a thoughtful, suspenseful novel of intrigue."
Los Angeles Magazine
"An imaginative, elegant work of literary sci-fi, set in modern-day Washington, D.C....What transpires in the final act is as powerful for its well-paced revelations as it is for the ethical questions it raises."
The Columbus Dispatch
"A grippingly readable book, creating a kaleidoscopic world where the reader's sense of what's going on changes with every chapter ... thrills grounded in intelligence and compassion."
The Tampa Tribune
"Provocative... relentless...Mullen delivers."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Mullen is a skilled storyteller ... [THE REVISIONISTS is] much more than a page-turning techno-thriller. It also serves as a vehicle for .. an indictment of avoidable human folly leading to wars year after year, decade after decade, century after century."
Booklist
"[An] intriguing thriller [that] serves up a heaping helping of paranoia."
Paste Magazine
Blade Runner meets John le Carré....a thoughtful, suspenseful novel of intrigue.
San Diego Union-Tribune
This well-written cross-genre book is a great reading experience. As told from multiple points of view from four fully developed characters, the engaging plot and ultimate resolution will leave you still thinking about the possibilities long after you turn the last page. THE REVISIONISTS will appeal to readers who like smart literate works in any genre-it's a contemporary thriller with a science fiction vibe, written by an author known for literary fiction.
Brian Wood
"A peek at a future that is both exciting and terrifying."
Olen Steinhauer
"The Revisionists is a devious and absorbing novel that challenges the reader at every turn, not letting up until the final pages. I loved it."
Julianna Baggott
"A tightly woven, deeply layered look at war, love, sacrifice, and loss."
Warren Ellis
"Sharp as razors, savage and immense in its power and weird beauty."
Alex Tse
"Such a unique, original story could only come from a unique, original mind--Thomas Mullen's."
San Diego Union-Tribune (a Best Novel of theYear)
"This well-written cross-genre book is a great reading experience. As told from multiple points of view from four fully developed characters, the engaging plot and ultimate resolution will leave you still thinking about the possibilities long after you turn the last page. THE REVISIONISTS will appeal to readers who like smart literate works in any genre-it's a contemporary thriller with a science fiction vibe, written by an author known for literary fiction."
Los Angeles Times
"Stunning, intense, and deeply satisfying."
on The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers Booklist
"Mullen . . . wraps up this evocative Depression-era gangster tale in an unexpectedly surrealistic package, elevating it far above recycled melodrama status . . . Mullen is to be commended for taking literary risks in this genre-bending crime thriller."
on The Last Town on Earth (Four stars out of four) People
"Extraordinary."
From the Publisher
"A tightly woven, deeply layered look at war, love, sacrifice, and loss."—Julianna Baggott, author of Pure

"An imaginative, elegant work of literary sci-fi, set in modern-day Washington, D.C....What transpires in the final act is as powerful for its well-paced revelations as it is for the ethical questions it raises."—Los Angeles Magazine

"An extraordinary trip to the near future ... Questions of fate vs. free will, utopia, versus reality, and the implications of a world without racial and ethnic lines add terrific human depth to the whiz-bang gadgetry of Mullen's imagined world ... a very highbrow spin on the spy novel and science fiction."—Atlanta Magazine

"The Revisionists is a devious and absorbing novel that challenges the reader at every turn. I loved it."—Olen Steinhauer, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Tourist and Nearest Exit

"Sharp as razors, savage and immense in its power and weird beauty."—Warren Ellis, author of RED, Crooked Little Vein, and Transmetropolitan

"Mullen is a skilled storyteller ... [THE REVISIONISTS is] much more than a page-turning techno-thriller. It also serves as a vehicle for ... an indictment of avoidable human folly leading to wars year after year, decade after decade, century after century."—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"A compelling and complex page-turner, a paranoid thriller for the post-9/11 age."—CNN.com

"Mullen explores the ethical implications of time travel in this excellent thriller set in the near future...The complex concatenation of events that follows make this book a one-sitting read despite its length."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"An outstanding dystopic novel."—Library Journal (starred review)

"Award-winning novelist Mullen's intriguing thriller...serves up a heaping helping of paranoia."—Booklist"Such a unique, original story could only come from a unique, original mind--Thomas Mullen's."—Alex Tse, co-screenwriter of Watchmen

"A peek at a future that is both exciting and terrifying."—Brian Wood, Eisner Award-nominated author of Channel Zero, Demo, and DMZ

"Remarkable ... Brilliant ... nerve-shredding ... time and again, Mullen's suspenseful storytelling pulls us forward."—The New York Times Book Review, on The Last Town on Earth (Editor's Choice)

"Extraordinary."—People, on The Last Town on Earth (Four stars out of four)

"Stunning, intense, and deeply satisfying."—Los Angeles Times, on The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers

"Mullen . . . wraps up this evocative Depression-era gangster tale in an unexpectedly surrealistic package, elevating it far above recycled melodrama status . . . Mullen is to be commended for taking literary risks in this genre-bending crime thriller."—Booklist, on The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers

CNN.com
"A compelling and complex page-turner, a paranoid thriller for the post-9/11 age."
Library Journal
"The past was gone." When Zed's wife and daughter die in a car accident, the government gives him two months to mourn. Then agents appear at his apartment and remove all trace of them—their pictures and clothing, computer files, his daughter's teddy bear. They even take the clothing his wife had bought him. Zed lives in a world that is traumatized by memories of a terrifying past and determined to prevent that past from occurring again. Through time travel, Zed is sent back to our present time to ensure that nobody gets in the way of a soon-to-happen conflagration that ultimately leads to his own amnesiac future. This is either a novel about a horrifying future in which dissent is crushed before it starts and history is altered to fit the present, or an equally horrific present in which corporate interests and lawmakers collude and the apparatus of enforcement is progressively outsourced. Maybe it's about both. VERDICT Mullen (The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers) has crafted an outstanding dystopic novel, but, surprise!, the dystopia includes today. [See Prepub Alert, 3/14/11.]—David Keymer, Modesto, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Mullen (The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers, 2010, etc.) ventures into espionage for his creaky, overly ambitious third novel.

You might think Zed is a light-skinned black guy. In fact he's from a future world in which race, ethnicity and the attendant conflicts have been eliminated. He's time-traveled back to our post-9/11 world to blend in with the "contemps" and execute his mission. Zed's job is to stop other time travelers ("hags," or historical agitators) from revising history. He will protect the Events that lead to the terrible but inevitable Great Conflagration. This is all very portentous, but you don't have to take it seriously. Eventually Mullen tires of straddling two worlds, the hags fade away and he focuses more on the contemps and a very conventional tale of corporate machinations. The opening finds Zed in Washington, at a parking lot near the Potomac. He takes out two hags who are trying to prevent the abduction of an investigative reporter. From here on the story takes baby steps. The reporter's disappearance will not surface in the media until the halfway point, and the identity of his abductors will only be revealed at the end. Besides Zed, Mullen introduces three other protagonists. Leo, ex CIA, is a spy with a conscience, tracking WikiLeaks-type subversives for a shadowy corporate outfit. Tasha is a corporate lawyer determined to ferret out the circumstances of her brother's death in combat overseas. And Sari is a virtual slave, an Indonesian maid for a Korean diplomat and his abusive wife. The four will bump up against each other. Along the way there will be misunderstandings, tailings and more abductions.

Mullen's novel has attracted, magnet-like, all the clichés of the genre.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316176736
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 804,367
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Mullen is the author of The Last Town on Earth, which was named Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA Today and was awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction, and The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers. His books have been named Best of the Year by such publications as the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Onion, and Amazon.com. He lives with his wife and sons in Atlanta.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nothing Short of Brilliant

    Thomas Mullen creates a frightening world where the government has outsourced so much of its intelligence work that the outsourcees maybe have just a bit too much power and no oversight. So if they are going to use their knowledge for bad, who can stop them? One thing is for sure- this book will make you think while it entertains you with a fascinating story.

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This thriller is a super tale

    The government insures history does not repeat the mistakes of the past. Thus when agent Zed's wife and daughter die in an accident, he is granted two months to grieve his loss. When his allowed mourning time ends, operatives arrive at his apartment to remove any hint they lived.

    Zed understands the importance of prevention as his job is to insure the past happens but not repeated in the present. His current assignment is to go back in time to insure the early twenty-first century great Conflagration occurs by protecting the Events that led up to this calamity from the Revisionists time traveling historical agitator Hags who want to rewrite history. At a parking lot overlooking the Potomac he eliminates two Hags trying to prevent the abduction of a reporter. However, he soon finds himself butting heads with Leo the former CIA agent, Tasha the corporate lawyer grieving her loss, and Sari the Indonesian maid enslaved by a nasty Korean couple.

    This thriller is a super tale in which the "perfect" future is protected at all costs to the past. Rather than trying to prevent the Event that shapes the future, Zed and the government protect the Events leading to the big one. Although there is stereotyping and hyperbole in the modern day, the spin on the world's problems is fascinating as to the victors go the Revisionists history books in which the masses numbly accept as truth even when it is harmful to those individuals. Readers will appreciate the present and future converging in DC.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted February 21, 2012

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    Posted November 13, 2011

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    Posted November 7, 2011

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