What to say about Alan Moore’s Jerusalem? How do you even begin to describe a book that is just so gosh darn big, not just in size, but in sheer magnitude of thought? Clocking in at over 1200 pages, Jerusalem takes place in Moore’s hometown of Northhampton, and in the section of town known as the Boroughs. At the center of the story is Michael Warren, who’s just been in an industrial accident and had a very surreal experience while he was unconscious. Did he die and come back to life? If so, why?
As he talks things through later with his sister Alma, he begins to remember another experience that he had as a young child, and together they piece together a kind of living history, not only of their family, but of the Boroughs itself. Alma, an artist, then portrays the story through her art in an epic art show.
In between, the reader is taken on a journey of a thousand years of history, both past, present and future, with a cast of characters that includes politicians, artists, clergymen, prostitutes, ghosts, fiends, demons, angels, and literary characters. Using many different writing styles and told from many different points of view, Moore’s tale is much more than a detailed fictionalized historical account. It’s a dark, twisted love story for Northhampton, its people, and their ways of living. Do you need to read this book? Yes. Yes you do.