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The Book of Revelation
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The Book of Revelation

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  797 Ratings  ·  71 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
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 9th 2001 by Vintage (first published 1999)
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Jan 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Maciek by: Silvia
At first I could barely put down The Book of Revelation, but about halfway through my interest in it has started to wane and essentially diminished as I reached the end. The strong opening and first half are both an asset and a disadvantage - we have to keep reading to know what will happen, but our hopes are ultimately not met and we end up feeling at least slightly disappointed.

The Book of Revelation begins with the first person of an unnamed English ballet dancer, living and working in Amster
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Sergio  Mori
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gill by: Ashley Stokes
Impressive and rather gripping. Read it in one setting, despite apprehension about potentially gruesome content. (The gory stuff is done with quite early and isn't lingered upon. Some of the front cover designs for this are unfortunate: damn you, publishers' marketing departments.). It has an interesting and provocative structure - and quite a risky one, given that the APPARENT action peaks quite early in the novel. I shall definitely read more by this author.
Apr 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-general
What a strange little book, this Book of Revelation. It centers around a 29-year-old British male dancer who lives and works in Amsterdam. He and his girlfriend Brigitte, who is also a dancer, live together and work for the same dance company. He's happy. As he steps out to buy cigarettes for his girlfriend - he tells her cigarettes will give her cancer but she doesn't care - he reflects on how perfect his life is at that moment. He knows his career as a dancer is nearing its end, but he has a b ...more
Cassy Skellington
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 01, 2009 rated it liked it
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
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Travis Hutch Belushi
I was excited to read this, the storyline sounded great. The story peaked in the first half although from then on it fell flat. The story didn't really know where it wanted to go. Easy to read though it left me annoyed in the direction it went. I think Rupert Thompson needs more real life sexual experience as I think his writing is amateur in that department. Apparently the book of revelation is meant to shock - I'm guessing only prudes will get the shock factor out of it.
Katie M.
Oct 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
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.
RC Brophy
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It was thought provoking and well written. I found it difficult to put down, but I was frustrated with the ending. This is not to say that the ending was bad. In fact, my frustration may have stemmed from it being good. It evoked emotion in me, and that's always a positive in my opinion.
Michael Riess
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
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!
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
I read this in anticipation of a trip to Amsterdam. It's a quick read but the first part is very tough to get through and frankly, sexual torture (not a spoiler - it's on the flap) is something I particularly dislike reading about. The second part of the story held more appeal for me and I found his description of the Netherlands and Amsterdam to be evocative.
Aug 13, 2015 rated it liked it

This book ostensibly promises to be sexually fascinating, f#cked up, and revelational. Is it?

Long story short, there are 99 pages early in the book written -- unlike the rest of the book -- in the third person, which detail how a 29 year old straight male dancer/choreographer is abducted and held against his will by three women. The man is imprisoned in a white room and the three women use him in various sexual, domineering and hedonistic ways, while feeding him, seeing to his needs, rewarding h
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
A pesar de que me gustaron muchos pasajes, al final me quedé con la sensación de "mucho ruido y pocas nueces"; puede ser que mis expectativas se hayan inflado tras el tiempo que me tomó adquirir este libro.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
V original. As always. Seems to understand the people he describes.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perfection! I’d almost forgotten what a wholly satisfying and beautiful writer Rupert Thomson is. A wonderful read.
Alex Clare
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an unusual and disturbing book, which was refreshing. You didn't know where it was going to go next and that kept me reading.
Greta Cribbs
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
There's a long held belief that the book is always better than the movie. Often that is true, but just as often what I find is that whatever I discover first is the version I prefer. I read this book because I had already seen the movie based on it, and I think that diminished the reading experience for me a little.

The book was remarkably like the movie, which was good. There's nothing worse than a movie which is supposedly based on a book but which seems to be telling a completely different sto
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Ian Mapp
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Ian Pindar
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-20-favs
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
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
Jul 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Michael Smith
Jul 06, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
At the end of reading this book I really didn't see what the revelation was. I have a vague sense that is was nothing really mattered after all protagonist had been through, but the actions and scenarios that led the protagonist to this 'revelation' really didn't correspond with the end thought processes as his musings throughout the book I felt really difficult to relate to given the scenarios.

The time in the white room, the search for the three women, the decision to go travelling, all seemed
May 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Normally a fan of Rupert Thomson's work, this one was a disappointment. Perhaps because there is little time to connect with the character prior to his abduction, I found it hard to feel for him as he never seemed fully formed. I also found it mildly offensive in the suggestions that the protagonist was enjoying the sexual abuse, as though this how victims actually feel. I'm not opposed to a dark novel, and there are many ways to deal with tough topics from the strongly emotive to the humourous, ...more
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Accidental treasure"

This book is an accidental treasure to me. I picked it up at the library by chance, partly turned off and partly enchanted by what was to expect from a book talking about sexual exploitation of a male dancer by three unknown females - surprise, surprise. There were many times I almost put down the book and thought of not continuing when the depression and helplessness portrayed was palpable and suffocating; it took me a long time to finish this book, as I read every line and
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