Photo by Enric Martinez used under a Creative Commons license.
Rupert Thomson, The Book Of Revelation (Knopf, 2000).
A novel, set in Amsterdam, about man, a dancer, who is abducted by three women and sexually abused for some weeks before he is released on a suburban lawn. Over the second half of the novel, he struggles with what was done to him. A story which could have been exploitative but isn’t, but at the same time I hesitate to recommend it because it can be, as many of the linked reviews say, disturbing. But if it sounds like your cup of tea, maybe it is.
Thomson’s site has a biography and other information about him. Jonathan Miles (Salon) says what seems at first glance an exercise in subverted prurience blossoms into a disturbing fable of abuse. John Grant says it’s a novel which can be taken in terms of its surface as a psychological thriller of sorts, but it’s very much more than that. Amanda Jeremin Harris says it’s about the movement of consciousness. Bridget is undecided about it. J.A. (Barcelona Review) says the plot is perfectly constructed in an unconventional, ultra-modern manner that lures, teases, shocks and dazzles. James Hynes (Boston Review) says the long aftermath of the narrator’s captivity and humiliation is the book’s true subject. Richard Bernstein (The New York Times) warns it may give you nightmares. Sarah Weinman calls it brilliant, disturbing stuff. Armando couldn’t put it down. Eric Arvin found a great line. Bibliolatrist calls it intense, gripping and disturbing. The Bat Segundo Show #138 touched on the book. Here is an excerpt of an on-line chat with Thomson at The Guardian after the book came out. Maud Newton interviewed Thomson. RJ Dent has the film trailer (scroll down).