Tuesday, December 10, 2019

"The Revisionaries"

A. R. Moxon is a writer who runs the popular twitter handle @JuliusGoat. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Moxon applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Revisionaries, and reported the following:
From page 69:
To him, Bailey was his relation. He didn’t realize that Yale had been her boyfriend. He had no idea his two managers even knew each other before they became colleagues—a misapprehension those two encouraged. No, I doubt Ralph gave Yale a passing thought when he made the hires.

But Donk and Bailey sure gave Yale a passing thought. For them, their new jobs were less a hire than an infiltration. I suppose you could say seeing brother and lover murdered affected them a bit, as regarded their feelings toward Ralph Mayor.


It’s nearly dark, and thus far the expected trouble hasn’t arrived. Donk’s closed down the store early, which is a tricky bit of business. You have to come up with a cover story the gangs will believe; Donk decided to claim an internal audit, requiring the manger’s presence. Now they’re by the checkout lanes, pretending to count cash and confabulating. Even so, Bailey frets; there’s always the worry that news of an unauthorized closing will get back to Ralph. They also have to worry about whoever might be on the way.

Donk, being Donk, sees opportunity where Boyd sees only danger. In fact, Donk seems to be ready to shoot some crazy angle, seems to detect some hope that they’ve finally come near the end of their long vengeful road.

The problem with getting Ralph is all the bodyguards. You can’t fight your way into Ralph’s retirement villa. Survival of the fittest? Ralph’s bodyguards are the fittest who survived. Even if you could sneak a weapon past their jealous eyes, you still have Ralph, old, but tough and mean. The odds of prevailing with a shiv against Ralph are not strong, and even then, there would be a bad death afterward. No way to fight past that shrewdness of apes; their paunches hide impenetrable mounds of muscle, they possess a frequently indulged taste for cruel deeds. They know their way around ordnance and cutting edges and brass knuckles, they knew where nerves cluster, they knew where to snip to make your ligaments give way like cables, unroll your muscles inside your skin.

What we need, Daniel is fond of repeating, is an army to go get the bastard. He has the unified gangs, sure, but his tenuous authority over them comes to him from Ralph. No good. He needs another army.
The difficulty in saying whether or not page 69 is representative of the whole is that the whole is comprised of 4 distinct parts, each of which become more fragmentary as the book progresses into revelations I'd rather not mention. However, as page 69, which occurs in Part 1, deals with three of our characters navigating the impact of new intrigues upon long-standing intrigues, it is at least representative of that part.

There is one way at least, however, that page 69 is representative of the whole, and that is that it features a change in mode. We switch from a character named Tennessee, speaking in first person (to an as-yet unrevealed party) about the events that are happening in present-tense Part 1, before swapping over to the events Tennessee is recalling, and a third person omniscient voice. As the book progresses, this shifts will (one hopes) take on greater and greater depths of meaning for the attentive reader. And hey, even if they don’t, they sure will be in there, so I’d say that page 69 is a very … oh let’s say nice … representation of the novel as a whole.
Visit A. R. Moxon's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Revisionaries.

--Marshal Zeringue