"The city is like a fractured mirror: you can see yourself, but you get a shock at how it comes back to you. "The city is contemporary Jerusalem, described in all the richness of its walls and gardens, shrines and religions--ancient dust, olive trees, the smell of falafel oil and balsam, mysterious writing on crumbling stones. The man who comes to find (or lose) himself there is a schoolteacher from England who quit his job in the aftermath of his wife's tragic death and a fuss about his possible involvement with a student. Graham Joyce weaves an absorbing tale about friends and lovers tugging at the delicate strands of ancient mysteries with both Islamic mythological and Christian religious elements. Requiem has ghosts, demons ("djinns"), doppelgängers, crazy people, and passionate main characters; it is a well-constructed dark novel, only flawed slightly by a listless ending. Winner of the 1996 British Fantasy Award for Best Novel. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Though his Dark Sister (1992) won a British Fantasy Award for Best Novel, Joyce is only now making his Stateside debut with this impressive novel that was first published last year in Britain. Here, Joyce takes full advantage of the ready-to-hand exoticism of modern Jerusalem, using the city's density as a catalyst for an absorbing fantasy that's grounded in strong characterization. Fleeing his (only semi-explained) guilt after the senseless, accidental death of his wife, Tom Webster quits teaching and visits his longtime friend and ex-lover, Sharon, in Jerusalem. Soon, he is haunted by hallucinations?or perhaps they're apparitions or djinnis?and is entrusted with some Dead Sea scroll fragments. Joyce's Jerusalem is suffused with squalor and splendor, religious meaning and political struggle, as Tom tries to figure out what a host of emissaries from both the natural and the supernatural realms are trying to tell him about the world and about himself. The conclusion leans a bit too much on the purely personal, as if all the weighty history and symbolism of Judaism, Christianity and Islam were meaningful only as the key to one man's soul. Still, this is high-quality fantasy that at last puts Joyce on the American map.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
As you get older, it becomes a rare thing indeed to stumble across an author who reignites the passion for reading that you had as a youth. Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2002 by troy w folsom
Unfortunately, the rating system limits me to five, or I would get really extravagant... An excellent novel with well-drawn, multi-dimensional characters, and a fascinating... Read morePublished on July 26 2001 by Anthrophile
Blech. A bunch of psychobabble about some guy's unresolved feelings of guilt over his wife's death. Read morePublished on March 7 2000
I enjoyed the first half of this book but, started getting bored with the characters half way through. Read morePublished on Feb. 7 2000
A very unusual story line that flits back and forth between UK and Jerusalem. The story line is a bit on the edge but thanks to Mr. Read morePublished on Dec 29 1999 by Mister Black
The main effect of this book on me was to make me search for alternative historical interpretations of the Gospels. Read morePublished on Dec 29 1999
Dark fantasy? Horror? Whatever! Joyce is the name you should remember. Probably the best book of 'magic realism' of the 90s. Read morePublished on Sept. 16 1999