Hello, you righteously rebellious readers! Today I have a review of Jerusalem, by Not Quite Gandalf (a.k.a. Dame Alan Moore). Enjoy.
Once upon a time, there was an old magician. We’ll call him Not Quite Gandalf. Not Quite Gandalf quite enjoyed scatological metaphors and similes, and what kids in his day called Funny Books. Not Quite Gandalf, not quite comfortable in his own skin, decided one day that his legacy should not be Funny Books. So he decided to collect all of his unused ideas into one fuck-all-big tome and call it Jerusalem.
(Man, I see an Internet Rage Machine out there right now. Their face is beet red and there’s smoke blasting from their ears. They’re looking for the comment box, but WordPress is telling them that they cannot comment because they are not friends with the fat fuck who just called graphic novels “Funny Books”. I’m kidding, Internet Rage Machine, calm your man-boobs.)
The point of the opening paragraph is to illustrate Alan Moore’s mindset. (See what I did there? Illustrate? Because he writes Funny Books? I’m clever. That’s called wordplay. I’ll throw in a shitty metaphor later, see if you catch it. It’ll be fun. Like one of those spot-the-difference games.) With the publication of Jerusalem, we see the actions of a wizard in the later stages of life, desperately begging to be taken seriously. “I wrote a massive fucking book, me. I’m a proper bloke now.”
Internet Rage Machine: “Your parody of the Queen’s English is offensive!”
Me: “Oh, sugar, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
The main issue I have with this kitten-squisher of a novel is that it’s not a novel. It was marketed as a novel. The goddamn cover calls it a novel. Even Not Quite Gandalf calls this motherfucker a novel. But it is not only a novel. A terrific three-hundred-page novel resides inside this clusterfuck, though. If Not Quite Gandalf had accepted the services of an editor (wonderful people, editors), we might have received a better all around experience. What we do receive is a novel bookended by two loosely (and, gotdammet, I meanLOOSELY) connected short story collections.
Imagine you have a bowl of salt. Dash a bit of black pepper into your bowl of salt. You still with me? Coolio. Now focus on the bits of pepper. There’s probably a hundred or so miniscule flakes of black pepper on the surface. What I need you to do now is to pick up the bowl of salt and give it a shake. Right. Good. Now dig through all that salt and FIND MY MOTHERFUCKING PEPPER, ASSHOLE!
When you read the synopsis for this panda-ass of a novel, you’ll see that someone thought it’d be cute to say it’s a book about EVERYTHING. Well, they’re not being cute. And therein lies the problem, ya dig?
Every chapter, except one written in verse and another that’s just shorter than all the rest for no real apparent reason, is 30-65 pages of brick after brick of text. If Not Quite Gandalf had edited these chapters down to the pertinent details of the world he was creating, I wouldn’t have anything to bitch about. But you’re going to read about EVERYTHING. Not Quite Gandalf seems to think that EVERYTHING is interesting. But it’s not. There’s a reason why most humans suffer from Cognitive Blindness. Cognitive Blindness is what makes Hidden Object Games so appealing to us highly evolved apes; our brains are programmed not to give a fuck aboutEVERYTHING, so we only focus on what we deem important. Not Quite Gandalf does not seem to have that problem. He thinks you give a fuck about EVERYTHING. I, sadly, do not. I do give a fuck about a cohesive storyline, which is in here… somewhere. Because this book does make sense. There is a good story in here. You just have to dig through the salt to find the goddamn pepper.
The lackadaisical editing and perpetual pontification present in this fecally-minded, masturbatory miasma of intellect and madness creates a colostomy bag of calories that goes straight to one’s ass cheeks like a White Russian with wee-colored margarine in, to smooth and soothe your tender palate, as the author’s warm, room-temperature load slides down your gullet and you retch and pass a burnt umber and ochre coal of waste into your knickers, in which resides a ratty resident known as Tom the Diamond, a shit-encrusted man-troll hellbent on fathoming the words this fat fuck wrote on the internet in a weaseling attempt to corrupt the good name of an overhyped author struggling to be taken seriously outside of the world of Funny Books.
Did you have fun reading that last passage? Good. Read this fucking book, ya muppet. Because that is what you’re going to get. Page after page of rambling as Not Quite Gandalf force-fucks his thesaurus into a family way. Ten years of anal coitus with a Word Find is the only possible meaning behind this bloated and belligerent belly-laugh of a book. See, Not Quite Gandalf, you’re not the only one who can write like that. Doesn’t make you any more or less special. Any literate cocksucker can string together nouns and verbs into a Yorkshire pudding of madfuck meanderings.
This book is an accomplishment in the same way that watching a man bash his beanbag in a drawer repeatedly for ten years would be an accomplishment.
“He didn’t give out after the first slam? Ya don’t fuckin’ say! He’s still going? Fuck off! Wait… he really is STILL going??? I gotta see this!!!”
And that’s why I finished this book. I know how fucking crazy Not Quite Gandalf is. I expected page after page of nuttiness, but I thought this would be entertaining moreso than not. Being inside the mind of a man off his meds should’ve been a blast from beginning to end. But Not Quite Gandalf has some whole crackers left in the sleeve, and these injections of sanity are not fun to read at all.
I know more about British history than I ever needed to know. I know about how you folks across the pond went from the barter system to gold to coins and paper money. I know a bit of Sierra Leone history. I know the ins and outs of Northampton because Not Quite Gandalf describes it in every fucking chapter. Think you know your way around? Took the tour, didja? Well, too shitting bad, ya dense pudding, you’re coming along for the next 34 tours, because fuck you, that’s why.
Jerusalem is not completely terrible. I loved quite a bit about the second book. Imagine Neil Gaiman’s NEVERWHERE and King’s IT mashed together. Sound like fun? For the most part, it is. The Nene Hag was amazingly well-concieved, as were any of the snooker scenes. Unfortunately, once you’re done with Book Two, you still have Book Three to contend with, and there’s not a motherfucking ounce of those last 400 pages that I enjoyed. Why? Well, this next bit is a spoiler, and no, I’m not hiding it with a spoiler tag because… well, you’ll just have to fucking see, won’t you.
The last chapter of the book is a rendering in words of the cover. That’s right. Not Quite Gandalf spends fifty of the last sixty-page chapter going over the cover art of the book. The last ten pages are cool, but they left me with a sore feeling in my asshole, as if I’d just been to prison—a virginal sense of “That’s it? That’s what all the fuss was about?
In summation: Not Quite Gandalf, I hope you’re remembered how you want to be remembered. Me? I’m gonna remember you for this.
Final Judgment: Thank fuck this was a gift from the publisher.
Author’s Note: By request, this review, without this final postscript, from opening line to the final judgement, is, according to my version of Word 2013, 1,280 words long, which is the page count of this Tom-Cruise-forsaken book. You’re welcome.
Pic of the Day