The Book of Revelation
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The Book of Revelation

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  569 ratings  ·  47 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 9th 2001 by Vintage (first published 1999)
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A tough one to review, this. I'm getting sick of saying that the books I read start out good and then run out of steam, that they don't have enough ideas to justify their length, but here I am, about to say it yet again. It's not me, I swear, it really is the books! This one though has a lot more going for it than those three stars might lead you to believe, so please do read on...

The Book of Revelation doesn't start out merely good, I'm happy to be able to say - it starts out very good indeed....more
After reading (and hating) The Hunger Games I wondered whether I simply hate all dark and disturbing works of fiction. And then I remembered this book, which I read years ago and loved. It is deeply disturbing, but the author explores the results of extreme physical, mental and emotional violation in a profound way.
I found it incredibly easy to read, but not so enjoyable. I felt a bit numb, to be honest, not really engaging with the protagonist at all. Even with all that sex and torture in the first half, the whole thing felt tacky (I really could have done without the strip-tease and all the PVC or leather or whatever it was). Also the fact that you knew from the beginning that he was going to get out somehow created some sort of distance.

I found the second half much more interesting, especially the reac...more
Cassy Skellington
I'll start right off by saying this book isn't quite as graphic as it suggests. At least, not persistently. There are definitely moments that will make even the hardest reader squirm, but mostly, if you've ever read an M rated fanfic, this won't be too bothersome. Mild in some ways, even, if you ignore the mutilation scene, which by the way, is NOT a spoiler. The darned book gives away so much detail in its synopsis, that the majority of the plot is revealed before you open the first page. I sup...more
Oh my.
The first half of The Book of Revelation would have earned 4 or 5 stars, had it ended there.
The second half, perhaps 2 stars.
The problem is that the first half of the book is a supercharged engine that takes off and leaves you hot and bothered (on several levels), much to your pleasure or dismay. The second half, a dismal denouement, is like a cold shower when you were hoping for another go-round (you following me here?).
I did like the writing thoughout, but the pricktease ending left me d...more
I tore through this book and couldn't stop reading.

BUT, I was VERY disappointed. Extremely disappointed. It had so much potential. It was a great, strange story and it fell flat.

I don't want to spend a lot of time writing about it so I will just say that in the kidnapped part of the book the emotions fell flat and at first I wasn't even sure if it was all a big joke or serious. There should have been much stronger emotions and it felt as if he didn't even really care that he was kidnapped and al...more
Katie M.
Holy disturbing story about a man who gets kidnapped and used as a sex slave by a trio of identityless women, Batman. Some really interesting psychological issues at play, though I agree with other reviews that it doesn't always dig deeply enough or leave things unanswered when perhaps it should. But still, totally gripping.
This is what I fall upon when weeding the adult fiction shelves here at the library. I began to read it to see if it was worth keeping and I got swallowed up by the plot. Had to take it home to finish the book and find out what happens.

First off, for all you guys who think this is a fantasy come true--here you will learn that this is not the case. The loss of power, the violation, and the ramifications of that violation are here. No wonder feminist women encourage men to read this book!

I had q...more
Ian Mapp
Another contender for the book of the year, although this one will not win it as it has a bit of a flabby middle section.

Starts perfectly - an unnamed dancer is kidnapped by three women and held in a room for the sexual pleasure. Which he finds himself responding to. Book starts in the first person, then moves to the third and back in the first.... its as if the protaganist cannot face the shame of what has happened.

The sexual abuse is a mixture of every mans dream to everymans nightmare. It the...more
I was stuck between giving this a three and four star rating. In the end I gave it a four because the subject matter was handled so well and the book is very well written. I picked this book up on a whimsy, not thinking I would like it, only to find that I could not put it down. The story centers around a male ballet dancer who has everything going for him: fame, looks, a beautiful girlfriend, a wonderful and promising career. On a trip to buy some cigarettes for his girlfriend, he is kidnapped...more
A talented choreographer is kidnapped by three masked women, who then hold him captive and torture him, physically, sexually, and otherwise. The synopsis alone is a hard sell, potentially because the American media and Anne Rice's more disturbing novels have left people less thirsty for rape and torture in their light-reading. But 'Book of Revelation' is less about the torture (it encompasses about 1/3-1/2 of the book, which is only 200 pages long) and more about how the main character deals wit...more
Ian Pindar
I loved this book. The start: the first third of the book was enough to keep you hooked to the end. It is not a spoiler to say the main character - ex-ballet dancer and choreographer is kidnapped and sexually exploited by three unknown women. It reads like a thriller and the kidnap is an allegory for female rape and abuse (by men). It does run out of steam a little bit and would have been better if it was shorter. It is also frustrating, if I tell you why it would be a spoiler. If you want a gre...more
A good example of not judging a book by the movie adaptation.
Having seen the movie, I approached this book with more trepidation and prejudice than it deserved.
I actually enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first, probably because the way in which our dancer deals with his ordeal is what drew me to the story in the first place. Though I must admit a slight disappointment, had Thomson actually approached his subject matter with the depth I would have liked to see, he would have run...more
I found this book on a bookshelf in a holiday home I was staying at. The edition I found was hardcover, and very similar to the one shown here, but there was no title, just a picture of a fuse box. The lack of title intrigued me. When I opened the book up the title appeared in all caps: THE BOOK OF REVELATION. Suffice to say my curiosity was piqued.
When I began reading I had no idea what to expect, and it continued to surprise me all the way through. The subject matter was surprising, and at ti...more
Michael Riess
This the second book I've read by this author the first being 'Death of a Murderer', and I have to say I'm somewhat hooked! 'The Book of Revelation has a unique and unpredictable storyline; refreshingly original with an interestingly erotic undertone. Definitely a book for 'grown ups'. I'm ready for another Rupert Thomson masterpiece!
Susan Sloan
Most reviews seem to say they loved the first half and hated the second but I was the other way around with the section where he is looking for the women being my favourite part. An uneven and flawed book but one I read quickly and did enjoy all the same.
Jun 17, 2012 Zoe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zoe by: Jacqueline Brocker
Shelves: fiction
I thought this was brilliant, from the main character's horrifying ordeal to how he deals with it and concluding in what I thought was a very satisfying way. It's beautifully written, tense in parts and meandering (in a good way) in others. The author wrote a character that you really loved and rooted for and I was just hoping and hoping it would all turn out well for him. And we never even know his name! 100% recommended.
Rodney Welch
A freaky, kinky book about a man kidnapped, blindfolded, used as a sex slave by some kind of bizarro female cult, and then released, thus putting him on a mission to find his unseen captors. This is one of those stories where certain odd details make you question the narrator's total reliability. Is he a victim or a nutcase blessed with a fervent imagination? Either way, he tells a riveting story.
Oooh, this book is gripping. In Amsterdam, a prima donna male balerina has an argument with his girlfirend and escapes to buy cigarettes. He's kidnapped by women, kept blindfolded, and sexually exploited in creative ways. After 18 days, he's inexplicably released. No one believes his story of kidnap and captivity. I kept thinking, "This is really disturbing." Yet I couldn't put it down.
Mikael Lind
The book is very decent in the first half. The story is engaging and you keep on reading whenever you can to find out what happens next. Unfortunately, the second part of the book is not as interesting. The story sort of dies a slow death, and it's not until towards the very end that it becomes engaging again. A pity, being that the book starts off so well. Ah, well!
while i highly recommend (and very much enjoyed) 'book of revelations' there was a disappointing 'predictability' to the sexual politics and individual motivations/reactions portrayed. i can't help but feel an opportunity for profound insight and subversiveness was missed. why merely 'push the envelope' when you could tear that f*cker apart?
Really really intriguing book. Very glad I read it. It was one of those intelligent books that makes you think and ponder on shit. My only complaint is that maybe the ending was a little too open-ended. But then I always complain about stuff like that. I just love to know everything that happens to the characters in the end, lolol.
Paul Simon Grimsley
this was a like more intense, leaner version of john fowles the magus. i can't recommend this more highly -- rupert thomson's name should be being shouted from the rooftops a hell of a lot louder than some of the other writers who get stupid amounts of praise whilst possessing little talent.
Probably one of the most disturbing books ever. Well written, horrifying, you want to throw it out the window and stop reading, but you can't. Interesting ideas about sex/power. Actually a pretty fascinating read, just not one of my favorites. Recommended, though.
Shock and fluff. Like I imagine 50 Shades to be like, with a less plausible storyline.
Apr 25, 2007 John rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pervs (ie, everyone)
Shelves: fiction
A book about obsession, sexual and otherwise. Actually, it's mostly about sex, but what isn't? Sex as power, sex as punishment, sex as identity and its loss. As with his other books, there aren't any real answers, but the questions are the point.
Beautifully crafted in parts, but uneven as a whole; the book falls apart into a (to me) rather disappointing anti-climax at the end. An interesting tale, told with some skill, but not one I would pick up again soon.
Midway through, feels as if it will yield new questions about sex and power and masculinity, but, disappointingly, the plot wraps up in a cute, neat little bow. aw darn. worth reading, though.
when he's good i love thompson. sadly this isn't him firing on all cylinders and feels more like shock for the sake of it. It improves towards the end though and leaves a few things to mull over
Aug 21, 2010 Isi added it
Read this years ago. I think I picked it up because the flap text sounded quite sexy. Yet the story was actually quite horrifying. Still, I remember I couldn't put it down.
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