The Revelations – The Critical Response

“A very gripping story… A strange and compulsively readable tale of City slickers seduced by a promise of spiritual awakening… I was electrified by the oddity of all the characters. At times – especially when they are all together on the retreat – I thought of Iris Murdoch’s 1958 novel The Bell, about a collection of religious weirdos, and wondered whether Preston would do for the evangelicals of 2012 what Murdoch had done for the tormented high church homosexuals.’” A N Wilson, Financial Times

“Timely and provocative … the masterly narrative and unsparing depiction of religious hypocrisy keep the reader gripped.’ Michael Arditti, Daily Mail

“Alex Preston’s entertaining second novel, The Revelations, has echoes of Donna Tartt’s American cult classic The Secret History…  Preston is so adept at conjuring atmosphere and psychological tension… He has a flair for vivid characterisation and an acute understanding of the emotions that tend to wash around any form of religious extremism.” Kate Saunders, New Statesman

“Compelling… a smooth moral tale about the machinations of ambition.” Stephanie Bishop, Times Literary Supplement

“This is a cleverly conceived novel, pitched between commercial and literary. It’s intensely readable and feels honest and authentic in its intentions and execution … Preston’s characters may be preachy (although they have serious misgivings about whether they believe in what they’re saying) but the novelist himself is not. He lets us form our own conclusions about who is to blame for what. This book is intelligently questioning and analytical about religion generally and Christianity specifically.” Viv Groskop, The Observer

“A provocative and daring novel with a powerful emotional core.” Easy Living

“This is a dark, enticing story with echoes of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. It is well paced and gripping throughout, even in the difficult middle where a lot of books falter. This is the work of a talented writer with much more to come.” Julie Fisher, Bookmunch.co.uk

“A heart-stoppingly gripping novel.” GQ

“Engaging… The Revelations is often strikingly well-written and remains intriguing throughout.” Peter Carty, The Independent

“Insightful, thoughtful and subtle, it [The Revelations] engages with the subject of religion without ranting or preaching and without easy conclusions.” Graeme Allister, Word Magazine

“A devastating critique of how a fictional evangelical movement, with more than a passing resemblance to the Alpha Course, fails the young who have turned to it in order to find meaning in their dog-eat-dog daily lives. Instead they end up in a maelstrom of illicit sex and lies.” Katie Law, Evening Standard

“Preston writes with black-edged wit about the kind of spoilt, confused young adults bred during the boom years … [a] mature , tightly written exploration of the way spiritual yearning can become indistinguishable from the more destructive aspects of capitalism.” Amanda Craig, Prospect Magazine

“A really engaging novel.” William Rycroft, Just William’s Luck

‘Cool, intelligent and smoothly plotted novel with believable characters whose spiritual yearnings are taken seriously … there are beautiful, brief passages of natural description.’ Suzi Feay, The Tablet

“A hugely intelligent and entertaining novel.” Ben Peel, We Love This Book

“A sensitive, thoughtful writer.” Carrie O’Grady, The Guardian

“A fluent and engaging novel, and throws light on the secretive organisations that continue to thrive within some of our most powerful communities.” Tom Williams, Literary Review

‘An intelligent, fast moving, thriller-like narrative about four people being hooked ever deeper into a dangerous cult.’ Henry Sutton, Daily Mirror

‘Racy… Preston’s writing is fresh and original, adding depths to the characters, while the pages are peppered with lyrical descriptions and startling images … he certainly can tackle an issue in a way that will resonate with readers.’ Erikka Askeland, Scotsman


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