Saturday, May 30, 2009

Book 56: The Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation by Rupert Thomson

Eh. I'd read a review of this over at Bibliolatry and I thought the premise sounded very interesting. The main character, a dancer, is kidnapped by three women for eighteen days and held against his will. While in their captivity, he both hates them and sometimes questions himself, wondering if he is too cooperative with them, asking himself what that says about him. Obviously, he doesn't have a choice but to cooperate but he still blames himself to an extent. After they release him, he returns to his old life, but can't deal with it and ends up leaving Amsterdam behind for three years.

Once he comes back, he becomes obsessed with finding his old captors. Since he only ever saw their bodies but not their faces, he believes the only way to do this is to sleep with a bunch of women and see them naked. Of course, given that his captors know this, why he would think he'd ever be able to seduce a single one of them is beyond me. Despite that stupidity on his part, I actually liked this part of the novel, especially once he begins to reach his senses and begins putting his life back together.

And then the ending happened, and just made me angry. I was rather impartial to the first half of the book, and then I really disliked the way it ended. Since the narrator never shares his story with anyone except for his ex-girlfriend right when he is released and trying to convince her he hadn't left her, it eats at him and no one understands his change in behavior. He is obsessed and even when it looks like he is beginning to let go of that obsession, it still takes control of him. Since he doesn't explain his motivations, he looks like a monster; however, even with his motivations, his behavior has become despicable. He realizes this but can't stop himself, comparing what happened to him to vampirism.

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