Personal Contendor for Best Book Ever – A Masterwork. -oli



Moore’s Jerusalem – A ‘Philosopher’s Toroid’ in Joyce’s Wake

Terence Mckenna described Joyce and specifically Finnigan’s Wake as a sort of philosopher’s stone – unfolding the text like some chaos-infused origami in which the work mirror’s itself (and indeed history broadly) at practically all scales…. being Terrence he of course extends this into Reality proper (in his expanded scope of the term).

I can’t think of a better way to express what Jerusalem by Alan Moore achieves as that ‘philosopher’s stone’ in a volume… a logos labyrinthine tapestry of language and syntax – in as soaring and intricate, all encapsulating nature…. as this type of alchemical praise Mckenna lavished on Joyce – I am positive he would be as blown away as I am with Jerusalem.


there is of course more than something of Joyce here… yet the century between his great novels and this one form the temporal backbone of (ever-increasing) change so central to Moore’s Jerusalem.

A central theme, perhaps THE central theme of the book; dramatic decay – and the staying power of everything despite. The century’s wrenching upheavals (through to the present and nudging out beyond a wee bit too) paired with the notably specific setting of Moore’s hometown of Northampton, UK are mined to great effect while thrashing out such lofty subject matter with style, affection, wit and mastery.

I am coming from very selective but obsessive love of pkd, some Leguin, Ballard, w. gibson, neal stephenson… a few selective others (typically not hard sci-fi, i couldnt give a crap whether sci-elements pair to quicksand scientific realism) others in the sci-fi / speculative fiction arenas…. (i love fiction and yet tend too often to get stuck totally in non fiction these days…) but the closest body of work i’m personally well read (listened) in likely lead to my discovery of Jerusalem and I can’t imagine anyone who loves Mitchell’s work wouldn’t find this to be a pinnacle in something of a similar vein and love it.

… having discovered author David Mitchell late (and come to Jerusalem after a deep dive through his works in full the month prior…. yes i do have audiobooks playing 24/7 🙂 but so much of the tastefully fantasy-infused (i kinda hate the fantasy term… sorry to use it) blend of what is a little sci-fi but not really, a little paranormal, but not really, hyper post-modern in the best sense…. certainly structurally…..

but whatever this genre – if one insists on labels, which i don’t…. this seems to me equal parts milestone of undeniable genius (and ‘essential’ instant classic for whatever this blend of topical terrain may be – hell i will just call it literature!)

As an artist – – looking forward to working in VR and the like –

and despite knowing of Alan Moore’s extensive achievements in ‘comics’ as the must-be-true wikipedia entry suggests Moore prefers over the more oft-used ‘graphic-novel’ form

I have to suggest…

being paired with:

– focus and commitment (it may seem like setting sail on a long voyage)
– one’s own imagination …
– prompted by bloody brilliant prose and an exceptionally well narrated audiobook….

the reward is something MORE vivid, immersive, a more lucid-dreamscape plunge into oneself and the highly personal world built in the collaborative medium of language,

than any movie, likely any visually concrete – even VR – form…. can deliver. perhaps ever…. other than perhaps a particularly special chemically enhanced style of experience (alluded to plenty in the book). The two might make for a rather delicious blend 🙂 though not recommended on first pass.

In Final Analysis – Jerusalem by Alan Moore truly is an epic tapestry of rare beauty and skilled craftsmanship.

The volume i suspect will become a cherished and much celebrated milestone for a new or at least wonderfully expanded sort of fiction – a literature that, as with most everything in the book (and indeed most great art) is vitally of our moment while reflecting the eternal patterns and strange loops (better yet, strange ‘torus/toroid’) our life and death meanderings – imprint upon one another and our world (not limited to the known ones!).

notes and bits about the Audiobook version (for me that’s a given these days) – this started as an Audible review but I thankfully remembered what more people should*.

Would you consider the audio edition of Jerusalem to be better than the print version?

AudioBook Notes – from Templated Review Questions

Would you consider the audio edition of Jerusalem to be better than the print version?

It is certainly extremely well done – not just the range, intonation and comfort with what can be challenge tongue twisting prose at times…. but countless times throughout I noted an exceptional feel for pacing, tiny silences, essentially the rhythmic delivery. It all does justice in my opinion to the sublime prose – so while I probably will pick up and read the print book at some point, I have nothing but praise for the audiobook edition and suspect it to be particularly ideal in this case marriage of this special medium with amazing work.


* Amazon, Facebook and the many other ‘Siren Servers’ in Lanier’s terminology – have built (and continue to) tremendous fortunes in no small part by tickling our ego’s hot buttons and getting us to build their empires for them. User Generated Content is worth a pretty penny, as I know from my adventures in affiliate marketing.

What that helped ingrain in my head is the importance of having a home base (or 100) that meaning your (or my) own websites that I own and control where content begins and all roads lead back to (unless of course they are links to things like this awesome book. By tacking on my own monetized link to check out or buy it, at least I can bank a little coin when any such links lead to sales.

I am sure I will ramble on about the why and how of setting up a system to promote via web-syndication artwork, writing etc. of one’s own across the social web (using and at times abusing their systems) while maintaining clarity of ownership and pointing the traffic funnel in the proper direction …. back to my home base not the new feudal digital empires.

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