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(Jerusalem #1-3)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  2,148 ratings  ·  554 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 1266 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Liveright Publishing Corporation
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  2,148 ratings  ·  554 reviews

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Edward Lorn
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Once upon a time, there was an old magician. We’ll call him Not Quite Gandalf. Not Quite Gandalf quite enjoyed scatological metaphors and similes, and what kids in his day called Funny Books. Not Quite Gandalf, not quite comfortable in his own skin, decided one day that his legacy should not be Funny Books. So he decided to collect all of his unused ideas into one fuck-all-big tome and call it Jerusalem.

(Man, I see an Internet Rage Machine out there right now. Their face is beet red and there’s
It took me ten days to read.
60 hours for an audiobook. Nearly 1300 pages.
Still, it took me ten days to read this. I'm shocked.

I'm also quite amazed at the brilliance of this book.

I'm thinking of also getting a bound copy of this book to open up at random whenever I want my mind blown and just stick my finger in it and osmose the hell out of it. It's that kind of dense, crazy book.

The only book that comes close to it is Infinite Jest, and I like Jerusalem a hell of a lot more. It has an enormou

The town of Mansoul, in Bunyan's The Holy War

When Alan Moore was asked why he had made his book so gigantically long, he gave the magisterial reply, ‘So that only the strongest might review me.’ Faced with the prospect of nearly a million words about Northampton – a chav-haunted and rather neglected old market town like dozens of others in the UK – reserves of strength certainly seem called for. And the book's longueurs are especially frustrating in this case because it quickly becomes clear tha
Althea Ann
Yes, it took me a whole four months to read this book, which may be some sort of record for me!

Starting 'Jerusalem,' I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm familiar with Moore's graphic work, but excellent graphic novels do not necessarily translate into excellent thousand-plus-page works of prose. I was quite pleased to discover, then, that Moore is truly an adept and accomplished writer, with a huge breadth and depth of styles.

In some quarters, 'Jerusalem' is being hailed as Moore's masterwork. It'
Leo Robertson
FUCK—this got more traction than I expected so Mr Moore, if you discover this, please don't read it: this is not how I'd explain my reaction to this book to you. I write reviews for readers only. I love seeing writers make big, ambitious flamboyant things, so please keep fighting the good fight :) Unfortunately this one wasn't for me. That's all.

(You think this is an unnecessary safeguard? Once two writers responded to my reviews of their books on the same day. I'm not taking any chances.)

Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Update, February 2018: finished, for the second time. Even better this time around, which I thought not possible. Simply breathtaking.

I honestly don’t know where to start with this. Astonishing. I should probably start by saying it is astonishing. It stands head and shoulders (and, not to belabour the point too much, upper body) above all other fantasy recently-published, certainly in this still-fledgling century.

You will read many people saying that it needs editing.

They’re wrong.

Its richness,
2 "Brussel sprouts " stars !!!

Throwing in the towel !

Only was able to read 9 percent since mid August...not for me ! I cannot make it to page 1280.

What a relief to stop !

Creative yes but not reader friendly ! Or perhaps just not Jaidee friendly.

Two stars as a bonus for immense imagination!
Bhaskar Maji
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: really-big-books
This is the summit of Mount Alan Moore.

A compilation of a fierce imagination and extraordinary ideas that Moore spent all his life exploring in comics, this comes across as his seminal work. The novel may not be utterly engaging to some readers, but is fascinating once you let your brain strap on the things that the author wants to tell you and let him take you on a ride. A re-imagined take on life and death and the beyond, the mundane and the absurd, a funny, tragic, finely-wrought, and a terri
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Well then. A paucity of stars if it concerns the level of my 'enjoyment'. More than a paucity of stars for the object, that is, for those of whom we can say, At least people are reading this kind of book. I mean, it's a good einsteigs novel into that realm of the big fat brainy erudite digressive mess of a fictional artifact. And that's not altogether a bad thing. Kind of like The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet for YA, should maybe Jerusalem for the comic book and fantasy set. So for form/structu ...more
DNF at 30%

I'm sorry Mr Moore I tried I really did

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this book or at least the portion I slogged through is more a string of vignettes than a novel.

I don't mind approximately 10 pages for a character to adapt to his death but I don't have time to read about said character not doing anything about his new circumstances in those pages.

Moore's stream of consciousness writing has some powerful language but omg I just don't have time sorry.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
Warry, seriously, everywhere's Jerusalem, everywhere trampled or run down. If Einstein's right, then space and time are all one thing and it's, I dunno, a big glass football, an American one like a Rugby ball, with the big bang at one end and the big crunch or whatever at the other. And the moments in between, the moments making up our lives, they're there forever. Nothing's moving. Nothing's changing, like a reel of film with all the frames fixed in their place and motionless till the projec
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I first heard about this book, I wasn't inclined to read it. Not because of its length, but because I read that many chapters took place where a child was choking on a cough drop. This sounded ludicrous to me as well as boring. But then I was in a book store and saw it, and had to buy it, for $47!

And I am glad I did, as it's an amazing book. It has a little bit of everything. There is a Finnegan's Wake like chapter, a chapter like a play, a chapter of poetry and yes, many chapters where a t
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'd give it six stars if I could

Alan Moore, the reluctant graphic artist (always “comics” to the great man), is more accurately an artist, magician, film maker, illustrator, musician, poet, performer, essayist, journalist, commentator, and all round fascinating human being.

I had only read 'Watchmen', until now, despite habitually seeking out Moore vids on YouTube and going to listen to him in person whenever he’s in town.

I’d give 'Jerusalem' six stars if I could, which is not to say that this r
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
I definitely don't have the reviewer skills to properly review a book like this. So I'm just going to say that it was a terrific experience to read/listen to it. If you are thinking of tackling this one go for it! it's totally worth it. I did a combination of reading and listening and this worked really well. Simon Vance does a great job on the audio but there were many occasions when I wanted to go back and reread sections so having a paper copy was helpful for that. ...more
Mark Parsons
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is astonishing, earthy, celestial, wise, funny, bawdy, erotic, rude, violent (at times), brilliant, endlessly inventive and transformative. It is a modern classic. It places Moore in the company of the ages. It is not for everyone. Beware the Lucia Joyce chapter. It will reprogram your brain's language and conceptual centers. ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: samizdat
The child had woken before she could ask whether this meant that pigeons were all human ghosts, forms that dead people had gone into and become, or whether they somehow existed simultaneously in Heaven, where dead people go, and up amongst the rafters of the derelict barn in the neighbour’s yard at the same time.

My friend Roger - who is reading this with me- related that sometimes one needs to go to encyclopedic ends to marshal the argument as to why some never leaves their home town. I countere
Brett C
Feb 02, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Yeah, I didn't like this at all. It started out unique and different but after pages of what felt like endless reading I lost all interest in this one. This story did absolutely nothing for me. It seemed boring, mundane, and uneventful. I loved 'V for Vendetta' and 'Watchmen' because Alan Moore's writing was the real and genuine. Maybe he should stick to that format of storytelling (just my opinion). I would recommend Alan Moore's graphic novels any day over this long, drawn-out, and boring stor ...more
Oct 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
At 370 pages in, I'm calling it.

I can't read another overwrought description of a person doing something mundane.

I can't read about angels somehow being involved in spitting, fucking, and shitting.

I can't read like a million descriptions of what street in some fuckoff city people are on.

I surrender.

Don't waste your time on this meme.
Jul 10, 2016 marked it as to-read
It is not strictly true that I want to read this book; in fact I really don't. Although Watchmen is one of the greatest graphic novels probably ever, I have not forgiven Alan for From Hell, or any number of his other shitty shits, or the fact that he's totally bats. Really I'm only adding this because I want to share its blurb from the Millions' Great Second Half of 2016 Book Preview:

For anyone who fears that Moore is becoming one of his own obsessed, isolated characters — lately more known for
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a -ing masterpiece.
Picture yourself inside of a pocket watch, looking at first this cog, then that pinwheel.
Or listening to one of the great big band songs, say Koko by Duke Ellington,only one instrument at a time.
Then look at or listen to them in their totality, and behold the marvel that all of those disparate parts have become.
This book is filled with moments that make you look at everyday events in your life with a different eye, noticing the unique and the sacred in the ever
Books and the Bronx Gurrrrlll
I have under 200 pages to go befoe finishing this book and I've been composing my review for several days. It's really difficult for me to not talk about it using sweeping, effusive words, so I'll start with those: this was one of the most incredible, compelling, original, awesome, imaginative and thought-provoking books I have ever read in my life, and I've read A LOT of books.

The decade that it took Moore to write this homage to his hometown of Northampton shows in every word. He's crammed in
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites's taken me nearly 2 months to get through this, but it was entirely worth it. I haven't written a review for quite a while (too busy) but this book cries out for one. I'll really try to fit in a full length review. He's a brilliant writer. ...more
Andrew Barnes
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jerusalem shouldn't work. On paper it has potential disaster of historic proportions written all over it. Sure, if there was an equivalent of Mount Rushmore for comics Alan Moore would be on it, but for only your second novel to check in at 1,400+ pages and transcend three dimensions and humanity's entire lifespan, that's beyond ambitious and bordering on reckless. It has hundreds of pages taking place while an infant chokes on a throat lozenge. It has chapters told from perspectives of a distin ...more
Alex Sarll
Advance word said Alan Moore’s second novel was going to be a million words long, and set entirely in one Northampton district, the Boroughs. Neither half of this is strictly true; there are sections outside Northampton, even as far as London, and if Moore’s cosmology can claim Lambeth as somehow part of the Boroughs, it surely can’t carry off quite the same trick with St Paul's. But, it's close enough. Still, if he'd really wanted to fuck with people he should have said, quite honestly, that it ...more
Viv JM
I've finished! I've finished!! I've bloody well finished!!! More coherent review to follow. Probably.


Hmm...not sure I can coherently review this book at all. It's quite something! I loved how much Moore's love for Northampton came across. I could have done without some of the more experimental parts. There were moments of laugh out loud humour. There were some extraordinarily well described scenes. There were ghosts having sex. There was papier-mache with chewed up Rizla papers. And, best
Yeehaw, I'm done!! Wow, what a journey that was. I admit that I'm terrible at writing reviews, so even attempting to write a review about this magnificent work is going to be like me bringing a few pop rocks to a professionally staged going all out never-ending fireworks display and synced music to go with. In other words - pathetic. ha ha.

So...all I'll say is that this book easily won its spot within my favorites before I was even halfway through. Yes, this book is long, but I enjoyed almost e
Sep 13, 2016 marked it as tried-but-not-for-me
somewhat interesting especially as writing goes but not interesting enough to spend the time on this humongous book; if it were situated in a place of more interest to me, I may have at least tried it
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Sooner or later all the people and the places that we loved are finished, and the only way to keep them safe is art. That's what art's for. It rescues everything from time.”

Very rarely do I start a review with a quote, but this seems like the best point of departure to address the ridiculousness that is Jerusalem. For the past two weeks I have been walking about my house mumbling about this book. I have mostly been trying to discern if I consider it genius or filth. I am still relatively undeci
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk
Alan Moore's new novel - only his second "real" novel, if you discount things like Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell and all those things that are Just Comic Books - is 1266 pages long, in three volumes, and took him ten years to write. It spans from the ice age to the end of the world. It has dozens, maybe hundreds, of POV characters, fictional or real, living or dead. It switches styles with almost every chapter and jumps from highbrow literary games to furious politics, from kitchen-sink re ...more
Almost 61 hours later, I have finished Jerusalem. It wasn't one of those books that I listened to straight through--too overwhelming for that. And I could never have read the book--too much dialect and occasional imaginary language, too dense, too much. But Vance's narration makes it totally understandable (well, that may be an overstatement. I'm not sure anything but a much bigger brain would make this totally understandable) and even enjoyable. There's no point in trying to give a plot descrip ...more
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07/23/17- Modern Times, Blind But Now I See 1 16 Jul 29, 2017 04:38PM  
The Patrick Hamil...: 'Jerusalem' by Alan Moore 17 37 Jul 19, 2017 08:43AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Corrected Page Count 2 202 Oct 06, 2016 10:40AM  

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Alan Moore is an English writer most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. He has also written a novel, Voice of the Fire, and performs "workings" (one-off performance art/spoken word pieces) with The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, some of which have been released on CD.

As a comics writer, Moor

Other books in the series

Jerusalem (3 books)
  • Jerusalem, Book One: The Boroughs (Jerusalem, #1)
  • Jerusalem, Book Two: Mansoul (Jerusalem, #2)
  • Jerusalem, Book Three: Vernall's Inquest (Jerusalem, #3)

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