Review of A BOOK OF REVELATIONS by A. C. Burch

See full issue for 2016 10-03

The Rundown

A Book of Revelations opens with a Eudora Welty quote about the way our lives unfurl in a sequence of time that defies chronology, instead following a “continuous thread of revelation.” This insight from the short story doyenne leads readers into A.C. Burch’s collection and then lingers, an almost imperceptible but undeniable bass line connecting 8 eclectic tales.

While distinctly different, each story is inhabited by characters who exist on the fringes until they’re flung into storylines where they’re forced to collide with other people and previously unknown facets of themselves.

Welty’s  “continuous thread of revelation” is evident in Burch’s “Private Quarters” when an unlikely friendship and paper-thin walls prompt a college music student to begin peeling back the layers of his identity and “Götterdämmerung” as a professional musician becomes a conduit as his struggle with the ephemeral nature of fame becomes a catalyst for exploring and expressing his deepest desires as he comes to terms with himself.

Each story draws readers into continuums of isolation and connection, introspection and expression, confusion and lucidity as its characters stumble and soar toward finding and claiming their own voices.


The Recommendation

A Book of Revelations delivers the voyeuristic aspects of social media sans FOMO (fear of missing out) thanks to Burch’s stellar ability to place a reader inside the characters he’s created. His short stories have an epic feel because of his exquisite use of language and penchant for deftly wielding details. (Prepare to be compelled to reread  details like “her right blinking flashing as she turned left” multiple times.)

Lately, there’s been no shortage of research on the benefits of reading floating around in the “soundbite-osphere,” everything from reduced stress levels and higher happiness quotients to better sleep and elevated empathy. (This feature rounds up nine of them.) As for the latter, being immersed in the worlds masterfully created by Burch may result in an almost immediate boost in understanding.

The eavesdropping sensation they induce is mesmerizing, and the stream of unexpected revelations are, too.




The Rating Selected as a Top Pick!

Top Pick! 5 Stars (out of five): Freaking amazing. Any agent or publishing house that passed this one up made a big mistake. It was selected by our reviewer as a personal favorite. This is also a nomination for our Novel of the Year award.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Characterization, Dialogue, Strong World-Building, Surprise Ending, Unique Style

The Links

More about A Book of Revelations on UBR

The Reviewer

Yvonne Lieblein

Visit Yvonne Lieblein‘s website.

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