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.
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.
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.
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.
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.