Alan Moore extends the alchemical intensity of his Great Work from comics and spoken word spellcasting into the zone of prose with staggering, soul-warping success. His second novel is a verbally dense, jewel-encrusted masterpiece of decadent maximalism about psychogeography, working-class magic, art, family, and the afterlife that makes other massive modern novels like Infinite Jest, 2666, and Ulysses seem relatively neurotic and pedestrian. More books like this might save the world. Recommended By Jason L., Powells.com
I was so intimidated by how massive this book set is, but once I started reading, it swept me away. This isn't an easy read, but it's a rewarding one — as any fan of Alan Moore's comics should expect. Recommended By Ashleigh B., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Ten years in the making, comes a literary work like no other, from the legendary author of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell.
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 petrolcolored puddles and the fractured dreams of those who navigate them. Fiends last mentioned in the second-century Book of Tobit wait in urine-scented stairwells, the delinquent specters of unlucky children undermine a century with tunnels, and in upstairs parlors laborers with golden blood reduce fate to a snooker tournament.
An opulent mythology for those without a pot to piss in, through the labyrinthine streets and pages of Jerusalem tread ghosts that sing of wealth and poverty; of Africa, and hymns, 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.
Fierce in its imagining and stupefying in its scope, Alan Moore’s epic novel, Jerusalem, is the tale of Everything, told from a vanished gutter.
"Staggeringly imaginative…bold readers who answer the call will be rewarded with unmatched writing that soars, chills, wallows, and ultimately describes a new cosmology. Challenges and all, Jerusalem ensures Moore’s place as one of the great masters of the English language." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Unquestionably Jerusalem is Moore’s most ambitious statement yet — his War and Peace, his Ulysses. The prose scintillates throughout, a traffic jam of hooting dialect and vernacular trundling nose-to-tail with pantechnicons of pop culture allusion. Exploring a single town’s psychogeography with a passionate forensic intensity, Moore makes the parochial universal, the mundane sublime and the temporal never-ending." James Lovegrove, Financial Times
"Epic in scope and phantasmagoric to its briny core....The prose sparkles at every turn.... It’s a difficult book in all the right ways in that it brilliantly challenges us to confront what we think and know about the very fabric of existence.... A massive literary achievement for our time — and maybe for all times simultaneously." Andrew Ervin, Washington Post
"A hymn to Northampton, a commemoration of the lost people and places of his childhood.... Epic in scope.... The novel has the immersive imaginative power of fable; it also deepens Moore’s career-long investigation into the kind of collapsed rationality that borders on genius and might, very easily, be misdiagnosed as madness." Nat Segnit, The New Yorker
"Brilliant…monumentally ambitious…Moore keeps lobbing treats to urge his readers onward: luscious turns of phrase, unexpected callbacks and internal links, philosophical digressions, Dad jokes, fantastical inventions…Passionate…Behind all the formalism and eccentric virtuosity, there’s personal history from a writer who has rarely put himself into his own fiction before." Douglas Wolk, New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Alan Moore is a magician and performer, and is widely regarded as the best and most influential writer in the history of comics. His seminal works include From Hell, V for Vendetta, and Watchmen, for which he won the Hugo Award. He was born in 1953 in Northampton, UK, and has lived there ever since.