Jerusalem by alan moore

Hi all, Trang’s here! (: I decided to start this book on December 31, 2020 hoping to be done with it on New Year, what a mistake. I only finished it yesterday, with more than 30 hours put into reading this book of 1266 pages. For the first time in a really long time I kept a reading diary recording my thoughts about each chapter of the book. Yes, Yes I did. I felt if I didn’t I would be completely at loss and I was right.

(c) Trang for Bookidote

Jerusalem, is a big ambitious book. No one can deny the work, the research and the creativity that went into this book. So many ideas, thoughts and time put into this book I’m sure but gosh it was the hardest book to get through. The problem is it’s not a novel. It was commercialized as a novel but what it really is a collection of short stories. Yes, short stories. The chapters feature different writing style to go with the character’s perspective. The one main concept that holds them together is the location : Northampton, United Kingdom, in the Boroughs.

(c) Trang for Bookidote

The main plot pilots around the Boroughs’ many diverse inhabitants : not only humans but God himself, angels, demons, wandering ghosts and each of the characters’ lives intersect in space and time (and other forms of dimensions), creating an involuted chain of events. Now, after reading 1,000+ pages I wonder what’s the main message of the book? I’m going to tell you so if you don’t want to get spoiled, skip this next sentence but if you want to know so you don’t have to read the book, be my guest. You’re ready? Here it goes. Like the ring in Lord of The Rings, we have a Destructor in this story but instead of the hunger for power, the Destructor here is a sickness that unifies each chapter, representing the annihilation of meaningful relationships. That’s it, pure and simple.

(c) Trang for Bookidote

Now unfortunately this book could’ve been great in my repertoire but it wasn’t. I fell asleep on some chapters, I really wanted to skim through them but always force myself to read every single word. And that’s the problem of this book, he wrote details about EVERY single thing as if they are going to matter, so you read them and then you finish the chapter and you’re realizing that it was a trap. It doesn’t matter at all.

(c) Trang for Bookidote

There were a lot of chapters that I had to read it twice because I was literally like What the fuck happened?! But there’s this one particular chapter that I would always remember about 800 pages in called Round the Bend. It’s an entire chapter in the POV of Lucia Joyce, (based on a real person by the way, she’s the daughter of the author James Joyce), who describes her time in a psychiatric ward of her final years. It was written in the same style as Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, with an idiosyncratic langage.

She’s proverbly trancestating the inudibelle and dustant leerics into her roam lingwish, the seam way she daz with reveriething.

– Jerusalem, Alan Moore

Yeah I know, whuut?

If you want to find a reason to read this book, I can’t give you one unfortunately but I would recommend you try out the first chapters and if you feel you can keep going then you’re on a good track. I’m sorry if I offend some of you who might be big fans of the book, I can appreciate the intricate messages and details behind this puzzle but as I always specify, this is only my personal opinion and in no way is reflective to the brilliance of its literature. I was simply not the right reader for it.

Rating : 2.8 /5

Did anybody read this book? What did you think?

(c) Trang for Bookidote

19 comments

  • You thought you could read Jerusalem in a day!? 😂😂 My word! Haha. You’ve done better than me, though. I’ve abandoned it twice now. Furthest I’ve got is about halfway, but really would like to read it all some time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting angle though to approach it as a collection of short stories. I’ve never heard that before, I wonder if it would make it more manageable to read, looking at it with that in mind.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes I noticed that te feeling of short stories when I realized the stories are totally different from one chapter to the other. Like sure there are some relations between the characters but each chapter itself can be seen as a short story haha ! So honestly you can pick a chapter anytime of the day and start reading it LOL

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah… I was pretty ambitious HAHA big mistake to be honest. Damn twice! Yeah you can read a chapter a month hahah! I think read it all at once was such a burden but it was.. interesting nonetheless. You can tell Alan Moore has a lot of ideas pouring out of his brains hahh!

      Liked by 1 person

  • This isn’t one I’d ever heard of. I know Alan Moore is very well regarded but I’ve had mixed results with his work. Sometimes I enjoy it, sometimes less so. Not sure if this is one I’d enjoy, but at 1000+ prose pages I’m not likely to try it anytime soon. Perhaps one day. Sorry to hear it didn’t work well for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes same here! I think this is so far my least favourite from him haha. I feel like it’s overwhelming, there are too many things he wants to show that he’s capable of.

      Like

    • Alan Moore is a funny one for me. Like, I’m a huge comic/graphic novel fan, been reading them since I could read, literally, so getting on for 40 years. I’m aware Moore is very highly regarded amongst critics and fans, but I’ve always found his work hit and miss. There is some absolutely incredible stuff like V For Vendetta, Saga Of The Swamp Thing and his Lovecraftian trilogy, but equally there’s stuff that just doesn’t do anything for me like Watchmen and, to an extent, Jerusalem. He’s a very interesting guy though, it’s worth looking up a conversation he had with comedian Stewart Lee on YouTube. Two really interesting people interviewing each other, worth a look.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I feel like I already wrote a comment here, deja vu, where I had a dream. Someone, my daughter?, was holding a burning book and would not drop it. So I grabbed it and threw it into the pool. I think I will avoid reading this one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • YES! That’s a terrific idea! His graphic novels are always on point, and this would definitely be better on a graphic medium ahha.

      Like

    • Hahha it is very pretty! They made a great job at rebranding it cause the first edition cover was.. hum well LOL not as good

      Like

    • It won’t be in my definition of dark academia, as it lacks a few items like a private college setting, but it discusses about the mortality and the wrath of life which can encompass the dark academia values.

      Like

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s