What a wild ride Father Julius, Gordy Gord, Donk, Bailey, the Andrews, Morris, and populate this imaginative, gravity defying, dimension bending novel My gut tells me The Revisionaries might not hit The NY Times lists anytime soon, but will slowly gain traction readers popularity over time, much like a sardine sized wave gaining strength in the distance Also, I d like to know where I can get my feet into a pair of Sandals Julius. I found this book engrossing and entertaining but also full of food for thought.The plot is well crafted, the world building is amazing and the characters are fleshed out.An excellent read, recommended.Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine. All Is Not Boding Well For Father Julius A Street Preacher Decked Out In Denim Robes And Running Shoes, Julius Is A Source Of Inspiration For A Community That Knows Nothing Of His Scandalous Origins But When A Nearby Mental Hospital Releases Its Patients To Run Amok In His Neighborhood, His Trusted If Bedraggled Flock Turns Expectantly To Julius To Find Out What S Going On Amid The Descending Chaos, Julius Encounters A Hospital Escapee Who Babbles Prophecies Of Doom, And The Growing Palpable Sense Of Impending Danger Intensifies As Does The Feeling That Everyone May Be Relying On A Street Preacher Just A Little Too Much Still, Julius Decides He Must Confront The Forces That Threaten His Congregation Including The Peculiar Followers Of A Religious Cult, The Mysterious Men And Women Dressed All In Red Seen Fleetingly Amid The Bedlam, And An Enigmatic Smoking Figure Who Seems To Know What S Going To Happen Just Before It Does In The End, The Revisionaries Is A Wildly Imaginative, Masterfully Rendered, And Suspenseful Tale That Conjures The Bold Outlandishness Stylishness Of Thomas Pynchon, Margaret Atwood, And Alan Moore While Being Unlike Anything That S Come Before It s a huuuge book, but it makes great use of every page You need to focus to read this book, it s not for skimming, and if you try, you ll find yourself going back to re read what you hurried through But if you take the time to digest it, you ll fall in love with this book, and at least a few of the characters. The Revisionaries is morality tale as tesseract, with vivid characters and a crazy train plot driven by shadowy machinations, slippery identities, and supernatural forces.Moxon weaves together postmodern sensibilities and devices, Biblical themes, and traditions of American gothic horror to explore eternal questions of free will, good and evil, identity, revenge, and power unused and abused Does our struggle allow for pride of ownership, or are we just bodies down the chute of someone else s scheme How far are you willing to go to find out Who s writing this script, anyway, and why all the ninjas Want a donut With the rare exceptions of some unnecessarily refined dialogue early on and a somewhat wobbly exposition of quantum cosmology the one spot where less would have been , the prose especially the internal monologue is both lush and agile, a finely knotted magic carpet for an epic story arc that triangulates Genesis and Jonah, Conrad and Vonnegut, Stephen King and John Barth Moxon s nuanced grasp of the human psyche is impressive, as is his capacity for metatextual acrobatics and narrative framing Alongside much else, the book is a tour de force of imagination.The Revisionaries is a rolling broadside of a debut novel Highly recommended. There was no way I was letting this book escape into 2020, into my pile of ever exceeding novels to read And the treasure trove it is I m glad I did There isn t a better way to end off the decade than to find something that inspires you to search deeper for the meanings of life s lessons and reach out towards them Patterns, coincidences, conspiracies, opinions all of these thoughts are interpretative and subjective Reading this, I ve realized it is impossible to live one hundred percent objectively There will always be a focus on the self as long as the self is alive, and the self has its own consciousness filled with its own individual thoughts, which branch out into opinions, conspiracies, patterns, and coincidences If the self is the only one speaking, the self will never develop or learn any of its life lessons, which is why the self has to listen to other selves for while there is the self to look after, there are other selves around that could use support or a lesson.I m gonna stop before I get too deep and actually move onto what I can muster up of a review seriously, this book feels like something to write a 25 page essay on, like it s part of a college course Moxon is a rather charming devil with the power to bend form in the slightest ways that make you want to knock on your head The first part reminded me of THE GODFATHER, except psychedelic if, say, Hunter S Thompson took the wheel for Puzo during his writer s blocks and the eschatological feel of all Joyce Carol Oates s villains and anti heroes escaping to from an island Part two exudes vibes I get from Carlos Ruiz Zaf n s CEMETERY OF FORGOTTEN BOOKS, with an historical prose reminiscent to works by David Mitchell, like the first and last few chapters of CLOUD ATLAS or THE THOUSAND SUMMERS OF JACOB DE ZOET The third part starts to boast the descriptiveness some authors like David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Franzen showcase d extremely well, but manages to retain its own unique Bj rk esque, Sjon ish Icelandic ish style I could not stop thinking of INFINITE JEST through possibly this entire book, which propelled my desire to finish it faster, since I d read IJ over a three month period And then the final part, which I am still now and will for years to come be pondering over its sublime scope When the book jacket compared the novel to the likes of Pynchon, I got a little suspicious especially with cats being such heavythought in this story , but the last part, which is as unconventional and fun to peruse through as Mark Z Danielewski s HOUSE OF LEAVES, reminded me heavily of the ending of Thomas Pynchon s debut novel, V And DEFINITELY comparable to Alan Moore, especially the third book in his JERUSALEM trilogy So I coerced myself to read this book and in the process have stumbled upon a new burning star realized what I ve stumbled upon is something magnificently grand and promising, and a hell of a lot than I was hoping for expecting This book, like the prisoners within, encages you, intoxicates you like sangria to keep reading, to turn the next page until there aren t any left to turn, and then flip them back in reverse order to make sure you didn t miss a single brick in the walls of pages, and once you re snapped out of the spell of whatever was dosed in that sangria you drank while you were, only then will you realize it s best you start over from the first page, with a new pitcher of sangria My next tattoo I did not run away with the circus The circus ran away with me. Remember that time when the Scooby Doo gang got sucked into the video game only to get lost in the funhouse and Fred pulled the mask off the phantom creeper only to reveal Fred No Maybe How can you be certain that it didn t happen that way Questions and questions The Revisionaries by A.R Moxon is like piling into the Mystery Machine and blindsiding conventional story telling in a county fair demolition derby The novel, if it really is a novel, is layered like a Scooby Doo villain Pulling the mask off the bad guy just reveals another bad guy in a room full of mirrors asking another set of questions Where does it end Where does it begin Well this mobius strip starts somewhere in the middle as a revenge thriller and then veers philosophically toward ontology and epistemology always sticking to the fringes The settings are self contained yet luridly drawn like from a travelling circus There are horrors and cringes galore Moxon creates broken characters and features them in a high wire act with the ease and confidence of a tightrope walker He has the accuracy of the knife thrower and the patter and rhythm of any good carnival barker You can t skim through this novel, it s a strap yourself in and enjoy the ride because you re not getting out until it s over story, and maybe not even then. I stumbled through this novel for about 5 days and only made it 30% through I hate to give this book a poor review because I really was interested the whole let the looneys go thing and the conspiracies evolving, however, I didn t make it far enough into the book for any of it to make sense The narration was not my style I found myself rereading passages and losing my place because the sentence structure and storytelling just left me confused Maybe I m not as intelligent as I think I am or maybe it s intended that the reader is confused Regardless, after 5 days of attempting to work my way through this story, I decided that this novel is just not for me I wish it was because the plot seems interesting Maybe one day I ll pick this book up again and give it another try. I recently made the decision to start accepting advance review copies or ARCs of soon to be published novels again, for the first time in three years and then almost immediately I started regretting the decision, in that the first four ARCs in a row I read were fucking crap, the exact kind of dismal middlebrow bullshit aggressively promoted by shrill freelance publicists that made me quit accepting ARCs three years ago in the first place So that makes me doubly glad to have had a chance to recently finish A.R Moxon s remarkable debut novel, The Revisionaries, which is arriving in bookstores the exact week I m posting this because it wasn t just a crackingly great weirdo saga marking the arrival of a major new literary talent, but it was also a reminder of why it s worth taking a chance on unknown new writers in the first place, a reminder I definitely needed here in a 2019 that was mostly defined by my ever increasing dive back into the great classics of the past The Revisionaries is in a genre known by its fans as bizarro, although it s less of the David Lynch variety weird shit thrown at you randomly for no particular reason and the Tim Powers kind weird shit thrown at you randomly but with the sense that it ll all come together by the end Or put another way, the marketing material for this book compares it often to Thomas Pynchon, as shorthand for it s long and strange, but would be better described as Haruki Murakami meets The Wire, in that its long page count and endless strange details take on a curious kind of logic as you re making your way through it, even as this weirdness takes place within the usually gritty social realist milieu of competing street gangs in a poor section of an unnamed city, and the liberal religious organization that services this community That s an act one feint to be sure, but as good a tip of an iceberg as any for a novel that s over 600 pages long, contains four small books worth of plot, details the secret evil history of Dollywood, and oh yes, features a sewer tunnel that may or may not traverse the entire planet and perhaps even pierce the fabric of the space time continuum itself.To reveal any of the plot would be to spoil the fun of this endlessly inventive novel but I can say that this will be equally up the alley of both convention going fanboys and ivory tower MFAers, because the main subject driving this gonzo storyline is that of metafiction that is, stories about storytellers who are writing stories about storytellers, in which some characters of the book suddenly realize that they re characters in a book, and are able to have a confrontation with the author who created them, who then somehow becomes a character in his own book, only it s not his book any because one of his characters has usurped him and become the author himself If you get a headache just thinking about this, it would be best to skip The Revisionaries altogether but if you get excited about a synopsis like that, you ll want to rush to the bookstore right away, in that this gets Postmodernism right in a way that a thousand hippy dippy novels in the 70s tried and failed at It s not perfect, which is why it s getting four stars from me instead of five its chief sin being that Moxon forgot the first rule of bizarro lit, that less is always better than , making this a book he could ve realistically cut in half and still convincingly make his point but in general I have to admit that I was surprised, pleased and delighted by how great a story this actually turned out to be, one of those emotionally weighty barn burners that makes you feel like you legitimately accomplished something important once you finally finish it several weeks after you began It comes strongly recommended in this spirit, a book that you need to commit to and occasionally forgive, but that is well worth your time and energy when all is said and done Enjoy my writing Get a lot of it at patreon.com jasonpettus. I ve been reading versions of this book since it was only a quarter written, and it has consistently been one of my favorite things to read I am not a sophisticated reader some world class literature flies right over my head but I m literate, and believe I have discriminating taste I m interested in language and character and world than layered plots and complex relationships But this book has ALL OF THESE I failed to even understand many of the underlying themes until discussing the book with other readers.I recommend this book without reservation But that s not actually true First I ask people if they read fiction Then I try to ascertain if they prefer quick shallow reads or deeper material Then I ll talk about how much I enjoyed this book, try to give a quick synopsis of the first section well, see, there s a priest who doesn t believe in God but wants to, and there s a man who is sometimes invisible who claims he talks to God and then follow that up with the giant caveat that there is no synopsis that can really do this book justice.If I haven t lost my audience at this point, I ll mention This book has the line concertina of imprecision There s a character who muses about a rhyme scheme like ABBCBAACBCABDDDDDCDDDDA that s actually it, I looked it up and then later there s an epic poem about canned sardines featuring that rhyme scheme I ve never heard the dimensions of space time explained as clearly as it was explained by a man in a powder blue suit in a donut shop Then maybe I ll lean on AR Moxon s most widely read work Heard of Julius Goat He had a viral thread after the Charlottesville Unite The Right rally Questlove and Hillary Clinton retweeted it If you re interested in a massively rewarding book with outrageously broad themes and gorgeous writing, complex multilayered plots that reward astute reading without being necessary to the enjoyment of the book, and deeply compassionate writing depicting tragedy without ever being cruel, check this one out
Born in New Hampshire, raised in Zaire, live in Michigan Husband Father Uncle Second cousin Mango enjoyer Runner of many 10Ks Rhythm enjoyer but not rhythm haver Tall, but not tall tall Only somewhat clumsy.
- 608 pages
- The Revisionaries
- A.R. Moxon
- 20 October 2018 A.R. Moxon