Jerusalem

  • by Alan Moore
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 60 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Fierce in its imagining and stupefying in its scope, Jerusalem is the tale of everything, told from a vanished gutter.
In the epic novel Jerusalem, Alan Moore channels both the ecstatic visions of William Blake and the theoretical physics of Albert Einstein through the hardscrabble streets and alleys of his hometown of Northampton, UK. In the half a square mile of decay and demolition that was England's Saxon capital, eternity is loitering between the firetrap housing projects. Embedded in the grubby amber of the district's narrative, among its saints, kings, prostitutes, and derelicts, a different kind of human time is happening, a soiled simultaneity that does not differentiate between the petrol-colored puddles and the fractured dreams of those who navigate them.
Employing a kaleidoscope of literary forms and styles that range from brutal social realism to extravagant children's fantasy, from modern stage drama to the extremes of science fiction, Jerusalem's dizzyingly rich cast of characters includes the living, the dead, the celestial, and the infernal in an intricately woven tapestry that presents a vision of an absolute and timeless human reality in all of its exquisite, comical, and heartbreaking splendor.
In these minutes lurk demons from the second-century Book of Tobit and angels with golden blood who reduce fate to a snooker tournament. Vagrants, prostitutes, and ghosts rub shoulders with Oliver Cromwell; Samuel Beckett; James Joyce's tragic daughter, Lucia; and Buffalo Bill, among many others. There is a conversation in the thunderstruck dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, childbirth on the cobblestones of Lambeth Walk, an estranged couple sitting all night on the cold steps of a Gothic church front, and an infant choking on a cough drop for 11 chapters. An art exhibition is in preparation, and above the world a naked old man and a beautiful dead baby race along the Attics of the Breath toward the heat death of the universe.
An opulent mythology for those without a pot to piss in, through the labyrinthine streets and minutes of Jerusalem tread ghosts that sing of wealth, poverty, and our threadbare millennium. They discuss English as a visionary language from John Bunyan to James Joyce, hold forth on the illusion of mortality post-Einstein, and insist upon the meanest slum as Blake's eternal holy city.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Neither Engaging nor Satisfying

Seriously guys??? I see it's on me to be the dissenting voice of reason. So be it.

Perhaps I'm a Philistine (one really can't tell about oneself), but I just can't understand why this book has received such high praise. As far as I'm concerned, the only merit that it possesses is that it's long. Maybe if you're driving across the country, then it might help you stay awake. Probably not though, as the plot is neither terribly engaging nor remotely satisfying. I'm not going to spoil anything in case you make the [unfortunate] decision to go ahead and read this thing anyway, but I will tell you this: nothing, I mean nothing gets resolved or even fully explained.

Don't get me wrong, I'm normally cool with semi-vague endings that leave you to resolve elements of the plot or speculate about the resolution of certain events (e.g., Roadside Picnic, The Windup Bird Chronicle, The Man in the High Castle, etc). In fact, I tend to like those kinds of stories far more than the average reader, so it's not an aversion to vague endings that piqued me.

Let me be clear: we're talking about massive, seemingly endless string of inane stories about generally unlikeable people few of which actually tie together in any meaningful way or resolve into satisfying conclusions. It's like an endless Stephen King character montage (the type he uses to give you a peek into the lives of the citizens of a town in novels such as Salem's Lot and Needful Things), only the characters aren't terribly interesting and the plots lack coherency. I kept thinking, "Now! This is the part where something that happened earlier is going to matter," and being completely wrong. There are exactly three threads that stitch together throughout the book, and none of them moved me in any way. I've never been so relieved to finish a book.

What irritated me the most about this book is that it left me with an impression that the author was having a bit of a laugh at me. "Look what I got this poor schlub to do—he read this whole cursed thing" It's like one of those long, tedious jokes that starts with a plaid monster in a plaid room and ends with the punchline, "And the moral of the story is you should always look both ways before crossing the street."

Barring malice, I can only conclude that the author simply didn't have a story to tell and just wanted to write, pouring out his words in a tome that he thought would would make James Joyce proud. Instead, I'll draw from one of my favorite Stephen King quotes. There are good stories told poorly, and there bad stories told well, and sometimes you luck out and find a good story told well. This, however, is neither a good story nor is it told well, no matter what the vein, pseudo-intellectual sycophants who convince themselves that tripe like this is actually good fiction may say.
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- Philipp Marian Selman

The most important book of the 21st Century.

Inexhaustible, can be read over and over, something new is always discovered and something new is always uncovered about the reader.
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- Gregory

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-13-2016
  • Publisher: Recorded Books