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The Revisionists

by Thomas Mullen

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3463258,777 (3.54)27
An agent from the future where all the world's problems have been solved goes back in time to ensure that every disaster throughout history runs its course.

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The Revisionists is that rarest of rare birds...a literary Sci-Fi novel. And it's a really good one too, deserving a place on the shelf along side the likes of A Handmaid's Tale, Cloud Atlas, The Sparrow, Oryx & Crake, The Book of Strange New Things.

Zed is an agent sent back in time to preserve events as they had already happened, while there is a subversive group going back in time to try to alter the future. A "Cataclysm" is mentioned and even though a shit ton of people died, this must be preserved in order not to compromise the perfect world humanity has constructed out of its ashes. Thus begins a kind of conspiracy thriller sort of plot involving several present day people ("contemps") and others sent back from the future. For some reason I had expected a more freewheeling adventure type story, but it has more of an elegiac tone, though certainly not stiffly written and overwrought like books with similar themes (looking straight at you, The Age of Miracles).

The writing is in fact quite exquisite, smart, erudite, poignant, yet concise, with precise language, but there is also a looseness to the writing that is natural and not the slightest bit belabored or pretentious (looking in your direction once more, Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker). The viewpoint shift between four diverse, incredibly well drawn characters. it was a real treat to get into the minds of four fictional characters in one book that are not only vivid, but have their own distinct ways of thinking and interpreting the world around them. Bravo, Thomas Mullen, for some great, perceptive character development.

Very very minor weaknesses: The future world seems like standard Orwellian Big Brother stuff. Almost a cliche of Utopian societies where everyone lives in perfect harmony and it seems great except for the fact that no one gets to actually, you know, be human. And any deviation from the norm can get you Taken Away. Also, I liked, but didn't quite love, the way it all wrapped up.

That said, I really enjoyed this novel and would strongly recommend it it, particularly to anyone who is a fan of the books mentioned in the first paragraph. This is my first book by Thomas Mullen. Mullen seems to genre hop to some extent with his books, which I totally respect, and I plan to search out all of them, as he is a really gifted writer.

( )
  usuallee | Oct 7, 2021 |
Beklediğimden daha güzel geçti kitap.Kitapta çok geç tahmin ettiğim için çok şaşırdığım olaylar oldu.Kitap ABD'de geçmese 5 puanlık kitap. ( )
  Tobizume | Jun 9, 2020 |
The writing was good and I liked the characters, but I just felt like the whole plot fell flat. The story was just too simplistic for me and the climax was kind of boring. Overall it was a fun read but nothing special. ( )
  bookishtexpat | May 21, 2020 |
A well-constructed suspense novel about a man who travels back to our time to preserve history as it happened so that his own time will remain intact. This usually means ensuring that a key figure will die or that an atrocity, such as 9/11 or Hitler's regime, actually take place. He's part of a group who does this to counteract others from his time who make the trip to avert the same catastrophes, regardless of the implications for their own time. The book is told from the viewpoints of the time traveler and of several people he meets, and it wraps up the loose ends very nicely. The issue of how a change in history would affect the very existence of the time travelers does not enter into the story, which may leave some readers feeling there's something missing, but all the same I found that the story pulled me right along.
  auntmarge64 | Sep 26, 2017 |
Please visit The Mystery Bookshelf for details of my review: http://wp.me/p6kwu-17G
  johnbsheridan | Apr 27, 2013 |
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An agent from the future where all the world's problems have been solved goes back in time to ensure that every disaster throughout history runs its course.

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