Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Journey to Virginland: Epistle 1” as Want to Read:
Journey to Virginland: Epistle 1
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Journey to Virginland: Epistle 1

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Brimming with black humor and piercing satire, at turns picaresque and epistolary, Journey to Virginland explores the breakneck paradigm shifts of the 21st century, navigating through the morass with the guidance of Dog, the novel's loutish yet wise antihero. Through a devilishly iconoclastic story line, Dog parses the key cultural and religious failures that have made for ...more
Hardcover, First, 290 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Two Harbors Press (first published July 29th 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Journey to Virginland, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Journey to Virginland

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  83 ratings  ·  50 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Journey to Virginland: Epistle 1
Jun 02, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book at BEA. On Friday they were apparently being pushed pretty hard, on Saturday when I was there I happened to find one left behind so I picked it up. Until sometime after I posted this review originally I thought that it was being published by Penguin. I was wrong. It's being put out by Trafford Publishing, which is a self-publishing firm owned by Penguin (the verso page says, A Penguin Books Company, it says this on the title page, too)

Initially, I was very irritated that
Arthur Graham
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it
You know, I rather enjoyed this impenetrable, inflammatory screed of a novel, despite the author's repeated attempts to convince me otherwise. It was probably a bit didactic for my taste, and few of its postulations were really all that mind-blowing, but where it didn't get bogged down in its own sprawling discourse or self-righteous sense of purpose, the style, wit, and imagination on display were nevertheless enough to lift this unwieldy amalgamation of satire and philosophy up out of its own ...more
Dawn Betts-Green (Dinosaur in the Library)
While I hesitate to discount any book based solely on description, etc, I am making an exception in this case. The description of the story itself does sound interesting, but when you include the following as your giveaway listing, you are just asking to be panned.

"Enter ONLY IF you love 1. reading a book with highly advanced vocabulary, 2. thinking all along, 3. doing a very serious reading (its NOT a light read), 4. grappling with philosophical concepts and your philosophy of life and morality
Jun 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
I keep seeing this on the giveaways page, then I started reading some reviews to see if other people find this author as irritating as I do. And they do! A few times the author has even responded to these criticisms with some of the same gibberish crap I assume is in this book.

First, I despise authors who want to make their book seem like something only the elite and truly intelligent could possibly understand. The rest of us are just the stupid little people who really don't matter anyway, thro
Steve Capell
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This fictional account of the character Dog took me on a physiological journey to places, ideas, metaphors, and wonders that I could only dream about. Dog is on a journey to find the implications of life and self discovery. He is a very deep and unrefined character that invades our own ideas and understandings concerning topics of religion, politics, sexuality, men, women, and leadership. I read every book with a completely open mind and allow the author through their characters interact with me ...more
Chrystal Mahan
Mar 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I’m not philosophical.
I try to be.
I am not a scientist, or a mathematician, despite working on a Masters degree.
I don’t read a lot of sci-fi -futuristic type novels.
But, I try to be open minded about them.
When I requested to be a part of the read and review group for Journey to Virginland Epistle 1, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.

At first it was really hard for me to get a grasp on. I was intrigued by this life of Dog and the quest for life and its meaning.

I like to th
Mar 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
Just received my PDF copy of the book - what quick and commendable service! I look forward to getting to it on my eReader.

I received this book for free on Goodreads' First Reads giveaway.

I tried really hard with this book. I haven't had this hard a time with a book since I tried to read White Fang and Gulliver's Travels when I was seven. The story looked interesting enough - that's why I entered. The prologue seemed interesting enough - this looked like a good story. As soon as the re
Sherri Keller
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star
Disclaimer: This book was awarded to me in a LibraryThing giveaway. I was asked to provide a review in return.

I'm only halfway through this book so far, so I might add more to the review once I'm finished, but there are some things I need to address.

Here's a quick lesson how not to do self-promotion. The text from the first giveaway has appeared in several reviews. I'd recommend you read it as well. When I entered the giveaway, I was looking for a book that was more than fluff, more than YA vamp
May 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels
Ordinarily I wouldn’t think twice about rating a book poorly and rattling off the reasons why I didn’t like it, but I won this in a goodreads giveaway, and the author was even nice enough to sign the book for me, so I feel a little guilty at the thought of saying, for instance, that the book’s humor is sophomoric and predictable, or that its ideas have previously been explored by many other writers with better style and wit. I like the author’s ambition (but not the pomposity of its presentation ...more
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm sure this book is remarkable for many, but I couldn't relate to it. ...more
May 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
Conceptually, this book should be great. It challenges life as we know it, touching important issues such as feminism, communism vs. capitalism, adultery, religion, and the relationship between love and wealth. The non-linear prose seems reminiscent of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five and the complex vernacular suggests highly intellectual analysis is required. In reality though, I didn’t really enjoy this book and in fact, only made it about half-way through. This is a big deal for me because it ...more
brandy oliver
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I found this to be one of the most unique and most extraordinary books I have ever read.
Have you ever listened to a song, saw a movie, read a book, that was so powerful and meant so much, and you gained so much from that tiny little piece of imagination the songwriter/author/filmmaker, shared with you, that you wished you could personally thank him or her? That is how this book was to me after finishing it.
This book and I had a love/hate relationship at first, and after understanding what the a
Aug 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I don't have much to say about this book, but I received it through the First Reads giveaway on this site. After reading a few of the reviews on here, I became wary of the content in Journey to Virginland: Catena, but I wanted to give it chance. I will admit, though, that the author has made a nice attempt at breaking new grounds in the realm of literature, and it is quite an innovative idea. Most writers wouldn't dare to try something different. In addition, the ideas presented in this book do ...more
Feb 09, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is many things, one of which is a very intriguing read, and not one for those who like light and airy writing. Journey is sad and funny and altogether crushing at times. The author is really an amazing writer.

The subject of the book is an extremely smart but loutish and character known simply as Dog.
Dog pursues the answers to his questions about life, his place on Earth and other such subjects and does so at an unrelenting pace. His quest for identity and meaning in the universe causes
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Did the synopsis leave you confused? Do not worry, me too! Let me put what this book is about in normal people terms : Some really smart guy, the author, uses really big words in a dystopian type of book. He pulls from all the cultural differences that the world has and lays them out for us using literature. The author portrays the main character, Dog, as a single traveling man who is caught up in all the bias the world places on one another. As I read the novel I could honestly say I could pinp ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I have received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

I found this book very interesting. It won’t be just a book you’ve read, trust me. It has some very cool elements in it and they definitely have their appeal. Like the map at the beginning of the book. It has all these funny names, like Shakespearessex and Alpacinoland. In the book he also mentioned Pornstan, really cool.
The book itself was very funny. It had great lines like “”I command you to be obedient to a husband,” they say t
Kim Hansen
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Let me preface my review by saying that this book, while it is very good, is not for someone that is a light reader. I read a lot, and found myself re-reading portions so I could understand what was going on. Having said that, this book was absolutely intriguing and if you stick with it, I think you will really enjoy it. This book is a definite page turner and very fast paced, so you have to keep up!

Dog is the character created in the book and is drifting about in a dreamland called The Republic
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read a lot of light fiction these days, mostly due to the fact that my recreational reading time is not as much as it used to be. When I was offered the chance to review Journey To Virginland I was thrilled to have an excuse to pick up a book with some depth and grit. I am most definitely NOT disappointed to have vested the time and thought that I did in this book!!!

This tale of dog explores the hypocrisy that we all seem so willing to pass a blind eye to as we meander through life. While I fo
EmoNation inc.
This book was way beter than i thought mna let me tell you if i could explain life within a book it would be this book. It just let me thinking and dreaming of hoq our qorld might turn to this one of the days, and that would suck alot
Most of all this book help me understand more about civilization and how we all can't pick side sometimes it good to be the middle man so both side will understand each other so this book not only open my eyes to the world but shown me another side to the world som
Paul Lunger
Armen Melikian's "Journey to Virginland: Catena" is one of the more unusual parodies/satires written in a while. The book follows Dog on his travels through the ancestral Virginland as we explore this world & the oddities within it. In this world that Melikian has created countries are redone within a sexual contrast & the characters themselves are products of it. The story itself if you can follow the satire & get over the references isn't a bad one to read even though Dog's character & the cas ...more
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book through good reads first reads for free.

I have one word "heavy"

Deep and thought provoking material that is sure to get your mind working overtime.

Loved it.

thank you Armen
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Great book, kept me reading from beginning to end. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a creative, entertaining read. The world's history in a different light, according to Dog." ...more
Elizabeth Carpenter
Definately a voice to be heard. Brutally honest and in your fac. Great book :)
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Armen Melikian
Oct 15, 2011 added it  ·  (Review from the author)

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: "Dog vs. God. In an iconoclastic story, Dog demolishes the foundations of Western civilization."

READER VIEWS: "A book that is completely different than anything that I have ever read before."--Page Lovitt

REBECCA'S READS: "A book unlike any other. A very intelligently written, original work of fiction. A book quite out of the ordinary."--Kam Aures

"An engrossing, brillantly crafted read...
In his ambitious novel, Journe
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
It took me forever to read this book. It is not an easy read or even an approachable read. You must really dedicate yourself to immersing in the language and style. Just like a Fantasy novelist creates a culture and world for their characters to flourish in, this author created words and experimental literature techniques to present a mirror of history and politics. I enjoyed reading something completely different from what I usually choose to read.

That being said, the actual ideas conveyed coul
Camila Sugui


In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I've received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

First, I would like to thank the author, publishing company and Goodreads for the opportunity to read and review this book.

I won't lie, the fist thing that caught my attention in this book, was the cover. It's so pretty, simple but also intricate , just like the novel to me.

I don't go into books with much expectations on it. This book was a very pleasant read, bu
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
I have to say when I originally read the book cover to this book I was excited to get my hands on it. However on starting it I found the book to be rather confusing to me. I held out thinking it would begin to make sense but by the third chapter I realized I was in over my head. I had I really hard time following the book and was perpetually confused though out the entire read even after rereading several passages I was still lost. Though the book is well written for someone of my average intell ...more
Jul 20, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
First I have to say that I won this book on Good Reads.

Once I started, I was greatly disappointed. Is this book different from anything else you are likely to read? Yes. Does it have its own language, syntax, vocabulary, and pace? Yes. Does it try to be provocative? Yes.

Is it any good? Absolutely not. From the promotional materials provided, I can only gather that the author thinks very highly of himself and his intellect. However, the bulk of the book sets our to skewer any belief and/or polit
{ U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y }
Dec 30, 2012 added it
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to { U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y } by: Won in a giveaway

- My Description -
I think the character was supposed to see a dog that talks to him?
The dog didn't really exist. He also thought he was a dog?

- My Review -
I don't know what the hell this book was supposed to be.
It left me flabbergasted and confused.

I didn't get very far into this one until I gave up.
I hate giving up on a book, but will in extreme circumstances.

This was an extreme circumstance.

The author wrote in run-on sentences.
He also completely forgot to capitalize letters of the alphabet
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Website 1 15 Dec 09, 2010 02:52PM  
Armen Melikian (b. 1963) holds a Master's in International Relations from American University, Washington, D.C. He has also studied mathematics at Harvard and elsewhere, and was admitted by the Mathematical Institute of Oxford University. However, he eventually abandoned both politics and mathematics in favor of literature and dedicated his life to writing.

In 2002, Melikian repatriated to Armenia

Related Articles

  Bestselling author Jeff VanderMeer is perhaps best known for his creepy sci-fi thriller Annihilation, which was made into a movie and kicked...
152 likes · 34 comments