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The Revisionaries

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  27 reviews
All is not boding well for Father Julius. . .

A street preacher decked out in denim robes and running shoes, Julius is a source of inspiration for a community that knows nothing of his scandalous origins.

But when a nearby mental hospital releases its patients to run amok in his neighborhood, his trusted if bedraggled flock turns expectantly to Julius to find out what’s
Hardcover, 608 pages
Published December 3rd 2019 by Melville House Publishing
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  59 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Ron Charles
I spent 24 hours clawing through the tangled thicket of A.R. Moxon’s gargantuan debut novel, “The Revisionaries.” Throughout that lonely ordeal, I was baffled, dazzled, angered and awed. In between bouts of hating it, I adored it. “The Revisionaries” is a self-indulgent muddle; it’s a modern-day classic.

Can reading a novel trigger a nervous breakdown? Asking for a friend.

I realize this is a fraught enterprise. Picking up any new book is an act of faith; committing to a long, difficult one
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5, rounded down

Update 1/10: In retrospect, I think my original review below reads somewhat too harshly (although I was THRILLED the author himself 'liked' it!!), and may unfortunately dissuade people from reading this remarkable book, so wanted to add that after finishing and returning my library copy, I went ahead and ordered my own - since I know I will re-read it one day (and I'll wanna make notes next time!). Although I prefer NOT to add to Bezos' coffers, Amazon currently has the
Jason Pettus
I recently made the decision to start accepting advance review copies (or ARCs) of soon-to-be-published novels again, for the first time in three years; and then almost immediately I started regretting the decision, in that the first four ARCs in a row I read were fucking crap, the exact kind of dismal middlebrow bullshit aggressively promoted by shrill freelance publicists that made me quit accepting ARCs three years ago in the first place. So that makes me doubly glad to have had a chance to ...more
juanito moore
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading versions of this book since it was only a quarter written, and it has consistently been one of my favorite things to read. I am not a sophisticated reader -- some world class literature flies right over my head -- but I'm literate, and believe I have discriminating taste. I'm more interested in language and character and world than layered plots and complex relationships. But this book has ALL OF THESE! I failed to even understand many of the underlying themes until discussing ...more
Adam Wing
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh, man. What do I even say about this book? Whoof. How do I describe it?

…A.R. Moxon’s debut novel, The Revisionaries isn’t a time travel story, yet reading it is undoubtedly what it feels like to get hopelessly lost while travelling through time.

…A.R. Moxon’s debut novel, The Revisionaries is Infinite Jest, if Infinite Jest were actually good and had a compelling story.

…A.R. Moxon’s debut novel, The Revisionaries offers a classical narrative … exploded into a metamodern fever dream, in which no
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comedy, fantasy, literary
Not gonna lie: I read this book because I follow its author on Twitter. Under the handle @JuliusGoat, he opines about politics with a cutting-edge wit and insight. This is his first novel, but I doubt it will be his last. I certainly hope not.

The Revisionaries is difficult to pin down. It’s a story which is clearly inspired by Thomas Pynchon, although far more readable; but there are also hints of Alan Moore, Mark Danielewski and even the later Dark Tower novels. It asks a number of tough
Ryan Winfield
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s a huuuge book, but it makes great use of every page. You need to focus to read this book, it’s not for skimming, and if you try, you’ll find yourself going back to re-read what you hurried through. But if you take the time to digest it, you’ll fall in love with this book, and at least a few of the characters.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book engrossing and entertaining but also full of food for thought.
The plot is well crafted, the world building is amazing and the characters are fleshed out.
An excellent read, recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
There's a little-known law in literature: If all the blurbs on a book jacket are attributed to "Author of...," that book will kind of suck.

And I do mean "kind of." It won't be TERRIBLE. It will be...tolerable. Probably adequate in execution. It may even be fairly all right for a holiday read when there are lots of distractions and you don't necessarily need something wholly absorbing. But mostly it'll faintly remind you of other writers you REALLY like so that when you're reading this book
Rees Malwin
There was no way I was letting this book escape into 2020, into my pile of ever-exceeding novels to read. And—the treasure trove it is—I’m glad I did. There isn’t a better way to end off the decade than to find something that inspires you to search deeper for the meanings of life’s lessons and reach out towards them.

Patterns, coincidences, conspiracies, opinions: all of these thoughts are interpretative and subjective. Reading this, I’ve realized it is impossible to live one-hundred percent
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A priest, an author and a reluctant superhero walk into a donut shop.

This was a great book. Or maybe books; depending on how you look at it. Emphasis very much on “you,” the reader, since one of the many ongoing editorial conversations revolves around the roles, rights and powers of creators and their audiences. Not to mention Creators and their audiences.

That plot is hard to summarize; it’s probably best to let it wash over you, and allow the various strands to unwind, entangle and thwart each
Missy MacDonald
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, kindle
The Revisionaries starts out fairly straightforward for fiction/fantasy…odd street preacher, abruptly released mental patients, organized crime, samurai in red robes, flickering main character…and then things get weird. The first half was excellent, the next quarter was good, but the final quarter seemed more an exercise in cleverness than wrapping up the plot. Though, to be fair, I’m not 100% sure what really happened on the final page or to Boyd. A good read for people comfortable with ...more
Jeff Larsen
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wild ride. Father Julius, Gordy-Gord, Donk, Bailey, the Andrews, Morris, and more populate this imaginative, gravity-defying, dimension-bending novel. My gut tells me The Revisionaries might not hit The NY Times lists anytime soon, but will slowly gain traction/readers/popularity over time, much like a sardine-sized wave gaining strength in the distance.

Also, I'd like to know where I can get my feet into a pair of Sandals Julius.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Remember that time when the Scooby Doo gang got sucked into the video game only to get lost in the funhouse and Fred pulled the mask off the phantom creeper only to reveal Fred? No? Maybe? How can you be certain that it didn’t happen that way? Questions and more questions. The Revisionaries by A.R. Moxon is like piling into the Mystery Machine and blindsiding conventional story telling in a county fair demolition derby.
The novel, if it really is a novel, is layered like a Scooby Doo villain.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book won't be for everyone, but it was definitely for me. Fantastic. I can't believe this is a first novel.

Reminiscent, in part, of Harkaway's Gnomon, some Eco (Island of the Day Before?), with a little surreal VanderMeer mixed in. But totally unique in my experience.
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I stumbled through this novel for about 5 days and only made it 30% through. I hate to give this book a poor review because I really was interested the whole “let the looneys go” thing and the conspiracies evolving, however, I didn’t make it far enough into the book for any of it to make sense. The narration was not my style. I found myself rereading passages and losing my place because the sentence structure and storytelling just left me confused. Maybe I’m not as intelligent as I think I am or ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I kept feeling like there are too many words in this book. Reading it, I had an image of the author drifting into reveries of writerly power where he just can’t stop stacking clauses. He’s giving you metaphor after metaphor, image after image, detail after detail, if that one didn’t work for you no worries cuz he’s got four more coming. I feel like a more assured writer can just hit you with that one image that tells you all you need to know about the situation but with this book it felt like so ...more
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was beautifully written. It was too convoluted. It was entertaining. It was a mental catastrophe. It was the Old Testament as told by someone on LSD. I really can’t figure out what to think of the book overall, so I’ll describe how I felt about it chronologically.

The first hundred or so pages: this is a great book about poverty and slum life and lost religion. It’s a social commentary that’s darkly hilarious and I can’t stop reading it.

The next two hundred pages: it’s....a book about
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this book.
The story is kind-bending with many different threads that will keep you engaged until the very end. The characters are interesting and enough thought is given to each one, that you care about their fate in equal measure.
What I am most impressed with, is that the mystery is not stretched out beyond the point of caring. There is a very thin line between keeping the reader interested and bored and I think Moxon manages to successfully give us enough answers to keep reading.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
DNF. A chaotic, kaleidoscopic book about.....what? A rundown, gangster-managed neighborhood of an unnamed city, populated by people with strange powers; a time-shifting, magical portal; a Jonestown-like Pigeon Forge? Parts of it well-written and exciting, but all too confusing and pointless for me; I just couldn't see working through another 500 pages. Sorry; so many books, so little time.
Lisa Hedin
Jan 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I cannot decide between 5 stars and none, so am settling on three. If you have a long snowed in weekend to read all in one sitting then probably a 5. Once you give yourself over to the process of this book it it is all consuming and rich. Almost impossible to take in small bites. Definitely will be re-reading.
Jan 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
Rather too convoluted for my liking.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Well, All I can say is I read the entire book.
Jeff Bradberry
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An existential Gordian Knot.
Lisa P Butler
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Blew my mind. What he wrote, how he wrote it. Wow!
Douglas E.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Revisionaries is morality tale as tesseract, with vivid characters and a crazy-train plot driven by shadowy machinations, slippery identities, and supernatural forces.

Moxon weaves together postmodern sensibilities and devices, Biblical themes, and traditions of American gothic horror to explore eternal questions of free will, good and evil, identity, revenge, and power unused and abused. Does our struggle allow for "pride of ownership," or are we just bodies down the chute of someone else's
rated it did not like it
Dec 26, 2019
Scott  Melton
rated it it was amazing
Dec 15, 2019
Angela Amstutz
rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2020
rated it really liked it
Jan 03, 2020
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Born in New Hampshire, raised in Zaire, live in Michigan. Husband. Father. Uncle. Second-cousin. Mango-enjoyer. Runner of many 10Ks. Rhythm-enjoyer but not rhythm-haver. Tall, but not tall-tall. Only somewhat clumsy.

Julius Goat on Twitter