Unconventional, self-proclaimed priest Julius is faced with far more eccentric parishioners than he bargained for when he takes up his ill-earned mantle as their leader. He and his gang of misfits reside on Loony Island, an industrial wasteland that is getting both more dangerous and more ridiculous with each passing disaster, including the recent release of patients from a psychiatric hospital. A violent and rollicking chase begins for possession of an all-powerful instrument that is capable of controlling everyone and everything. In response to this existential dread, the characters of A.R. Moxon's debut novel, The Revisionaries, become increasingly aware of themselves as fictional characters or as postmodern figures that are always at the whim of an inventor, author, god or whatever holds control over their lives.
To attempt a summary of this work feels largely beside Moxon's point. The plot luxuriates in illustrating the profound absurdities of fictionality. The real enjoyment of reading this novel is getting lost in its characters' antics and its philosophical challenges to the practice of novel-writing as an immersive, self-forgetting, but ultimately unreal experience. Like Gordy, whose unstable physical appearance begins the novel, the world of The Revisionaries flickers in and out of existence for readers, giving them an uncanny but nonetheless entertaining awareness that this is a real, material book they are reading, filled with characters who exist only within its physical boundaries. Atmospheric, darkly funny and unpredictable, Moxon's novel, like a darkly contemporary, adult version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, asks readers to attempt to make sense of its eerie, thought-provoking nonsense. --Alice Martin, freelance writer and editor