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The Book of Revelation: A Novel

Thomson, Rupert

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ISBN 10: 0375708456 / ISBN 13: 9780375708459
Published by Vintage, U.S.A., 2001
New Condition: New Soft cover
From Flash Books (Audubon, NJ, U.S.A.)

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RARE Advance Reader's Edition-Uncorrected Proof-Not For Sale. 1st Edition-Stated. 1st Printing-Full # Line. New copy. Never read. Trade paperback format. BEAUTIFUL copy of Book & Cover. COLLECTOR'S COPY. Bookseller Inventory # 002112

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Book of Revelation: A Novel

Publisher: Vintage, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


In an edgy psychological thriller that is as mesmerizing as it is profound, Rupert Thomson fearlessly delves into the darkest realm of the human spirit to reveal the sinister connection between sexuality and power.

Stepping out of his Amsterdam studio one April afternoon to buy cigarettes for his girlfriend, a dashing 29-year old Englishman reflects on their wonderful seven-year relationship, and his stellar career as an internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer. But the nameless protagonist's destiny takes an unthinkably horrifying turn when a trio of mysterious cloaked and hooded women kidnap him, chain him to the floor of a stark white room to keep as their sexual prisoner, and subjected him to eighteen days of humiliation, mutilation, and rape. Then, after a bizarrely public performance, he is released, only to be held captive in the purgatory of his own guilt and torment: The realization that no one will believe his strange story. Coolly revelatory, meticulously crafted, The Book of Revelation is Rupert Thomson at his imaginative best.


Rupert Thomson has a solid reputation as a cult writer: his earlier books have garnered increasing acclaim without ever really propelling him into the authorial big time. Still, his 1998 novel, Soft!, marked a definite upswing in terms of recognition. And it would be a shame if The Book of Revelation, his sixth and latest, didn't continue this trend, given its level of psychological and aesthetic daring.

The narrator of Thomson's book is a dancer living in Amsterdam. One day he goes out to buy some cigarettes for his girlfriend--also a dancer--and is kidnapped and held for a period of time before being released. It would be unfair to give away too much more. But suffice it to say that each development adds an additional coordinate to what we might call the novel's emotional geography. Indeed, the Dutch metropolis seems to be a full participant in this intricate fiction:

There was a sense in which the city had been trying to tell me something all along. You'll never solve this case. You might as well forget it. But I had not been listening, of course. Look at the map. It's all there, in a way. The whole story.
At a time when so many writers are obsessed with trauma--particularly child abuse and its psychological fallout--Thomson chooses to explore the concept through an event that is both more and less sensational. The narrator's ordeal evokes the sort of highly ritualized bastinado that we encounter in, say, Story of O. Yet the author distances us from these events by switching from the first to the third person, a simple device that complicates and deepens the effect of the book as a whole.

Thomson's strange, disturbing tale asks profound questions about the burden of the past, especially of past events that set one apart from others. In this sense, The Book of Revelation chips away at the very notion of objectivity. How do we relate to others when we have experienced events that defy explanation or resolution? Perhaps such truths can be delivered only by (as it were) revelation. --Burhan Tufail

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