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Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth. Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth. A tragic and hilarious vision of life in an English country community. Get A Copy. Paperback , 96 pages. Published November 1st by Nick Hern Books first published More Details Original Title. Flintock, Wiltshire, England , United Kingdom.
Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Jerusalem , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Jerusalem. Shelves: older-men-younger-women , too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts , why-not-call-it-poetry , transcendent-experiences , well-i-think-its-funny , not-the-whole-truth. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. Notgettingenough and I went to this critically acclaimed play a couple of nights ago at the West End. I watched the whole thing with rapt attention; Not, as she sometimes does, took a short nap halfway through. I imagined this would give me an advantage during the post-mortem, but I should have known better. I mean, here we are, rotten to the core, served Notgettingenough and I went to this critically acclaimed play a couple of nights ago at the West End.
I mean, here we are, rotten to the core, served with an eviction notice and a few hours to vacate the property, but we think our charm and verbal brilliance will somehow let us sneak out of it I hadn't been alert, and as usual I'd failed even to consider the possibility.
Just because Rooster Byron is a drunk who's banned from every pub in town and supplies the local kids with illegal substances while telling them preposterous lies and getting a few of the prettier girls pregnant, it hadn't crossed my mind that he might also be Jesus.
Verily, the Day of the Lord cometh as the thief in the night: maybe we wouldn't recognise Him this time either, a theme James Blish also took pleasure in exploring. So how strong is the case here? There was certainly a lot of camouflage. You wouldn't necessarily expect Christ to put a glass of tea-and-vodka down the front of his stained pants, cheat at Trivial Pursuits or recount off-colour jokes about having sex with the whole of Girls Aloud.
But, just as with Lisbeth Salander , there were surprisingly many hints once you started looking for them. Why does everyone love the old reprobate so much, even the woman from the council who pins the eviction paperwork to the door of his grubby trailer?
Why is he able to spread a mysterious joy and peace to so many people? He drives a good many more mad with rage, but Jesus did that too. He claims to be a virgin birth, after an incident where a local philander is caught in flagrante and shot through the scrotum and the bullet, after multiple ricochets, ends up in his mother's panties. He's tortured and branded with a cross-shaped branding iron.
But he rises again, and, at the end, he - maybe - summons heavenly assistance. And then of course there's the title. It's a daring hypothesis, and Google turns up few other people who've had the same thought.
Even though I still can't quite believe it, kudos to Not for lack of conventional religious prejudices. And whatever the message, it's definitely worth seeing. View all 9 comments. Jun 04, Ceilidh rated it it was amazing.
Absolutely loved it, I guarantee it'll be considered a masterpiece in years to come. It certainly deserves to be. Oh how I wish I could have seen the play performed when it was in London it's currently on Broadway with Mark freaking Rylance just to get the full impact of the story. Jez Butterworth's crafted a completely bonkers but highly enjoyable tale, equal parts hilarious and tragic and always very powerful.
It's a vision of the real England of the 21st century in a small town that hangs o Absolutely loved it, I guarantee it'll be considered a masterpiece in years to come. It's a vision of the real England of the 21st century in a small town that hangs onto tradition for the sake of tradition while everyone tries to cope with the changes. Rooster may not be a nice man, and sometimes he's very unlikeable, but he's a fascinating man, a complete powerhouse of tales, delusions and a fool-like clarity that reminded me of Shakespeare's most famous fool, Falstaff.
A man viewed in equal parts with admiration and mockery by everyone around him, he has a view of the world nobody else has and he'll fight to the end to keep it that way. People lament the loss of the England of old but Butterworth questions whether that national identity ever existed. The teenagers that hang around his trailer hoping to score some drugs or alcohol enjoy his company and laugh at his increasingly ridiculous tales the telling of stories is a key element of the play but Rooster is also a cautionary tale, one that none of them want to end up like.
He's the twisted daredevil Pied Piper, one they want to follow despite their common sense. The first two parts of the play are hilarious, packed full of creatively profane language and pop culture references, painting a picture of an England more concerned with parties and drinking than any sense of patriotism. It's setting the story up for the inevitable fall, one that must and will happen.
It's a strange play, often surreal and ridiculous and definitely not for everyone, but there's something undeniably fascinating about Jerusalem. Part parable, part social commentary, part updated Shakespearean tragi-comedy, it's a mish-mash of perfectly organised chaos. There's a cutting intelligence behind the Cheryl Cole jokes and frequent use of the 'c' word, one that exposes the hypocrisy of hanging onto old traditions whilst exposing the real England.
Packed full of iconic English imagery and metaphors, it's one that definitely requires a reread and a national tour please! Dec 11, Warren Ellis rated it it was amazing. I never got to go and see the play when it was on. Joss raved about it on a couple of occasions, so I added the script to my Kindle for a long flight.
It read magnificently: all at once, a celebration and condemnation of Englands old and new. The Green Man gone grey. A wonderful piece of work, eccentric, funny and sharply barbed. Jun 03, Lew Watts rated it it was amazing. After seeing Jez Butterworth's magnificent play, The Ferryman, in London recently, I asked the friend who had urged me to go to recommend another of his plays. Hence, I ordered Jerusalem, read it, read it again, and then forced myself to wait two long days to read it once more.
It is quite simply stunning—achingly sad in places, and outrageously funny in others. Gorgeous writing. Aug 16, Claire Fuller rated it really liked it Shelves: s , corners-of-society , country-england , read-in I did enjoy this, but I think I would have got much more out of it if I'd seen the play.
Mar 20, Declan rated it it was ok. Jerusalem strains very hard for an effect it never manages to achieve, leaving us with the occasional amusing story, but far, far too much time spent with the sort of tedious drugheads whose presence in a play is meant to give us the feeling that what we are watching is 'edgy' and 'daring', but which can't help but be as boring as someone telling us "how out of it I was last night".
The attempt to link the main character to the myths of old England never convinces and the play - which also tries Jerusalem strains very hard for an effect it never manages to achieve, leaving us with the occasional amusing story, but far, far too much time spent with the sort of tedious drugheads whose presence in a play is meant to give us the feeling that what we are watching is 'edgy' and 'daring', but which can't help but be as boring as someone telling us "how out of it I was last night".
The attempt to link the main character to the myths of old England never convinces and the play - which also tries very hard to be relevant to the moment by including many references to recent pop culture - will quickly become outdated. Oct 24, Pauline Butcher Bird rated it liked it. Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa Feb 13, Amy Benson rated it liked it. I guess this needs to be seen on stage and not read. As a text it's really hard to get through, the language is too colourful and the characters too unpleasant.
It's well crafted and pops off the page, but to what end?
Jerusalem review – Jez Butterworth's Rooster Byron is back for Brexit Britain
Why I love Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem
The Jerusalem we have seen so widely feted — from the West End to Broadway and back again, isn't the Jerusalem Jez Butterworth first began. Earlier attempts to "write something that concerned Englishness" were, he told Radio 4 recently, "stuffed birds … they wouldn't fly. There are many things that make this production magnificent: Mark Rylance's thrilling turn as Johnny "Rooster" Byron of course, as well as Ian Rickson's superlative direction, and a supporting cast that seems to relish the licoricey chew of Butterworth's script. But one of Jerusalem's most affecting qualities is, I think, its stirring sense of place. Butterworth's England is simultaneously whimsical and robust. It is the country we recognise, scruffed right up against that dreamy, idealised place of popular imagination — that scepter'd, green, and pleasant land, stewed with an island that is squat and gristly and fierce in a great mingling of giants, William Blake, pet tortoises, morris dancing , bacon barms and Girls Aloud. It's bus stop-drinking, wet sponge-throwing, new estates, over-zealous district councils; but also those deep, dark leaves that canopy the stage, the rich earth on Rylance's hands, the faint scent of woodsmoke and mulch that drifts across the theatre.
Walking past a copse with an abandoned caravan on a particularly derelict stretch of the Norfolk coast this summer, a friend commented: "How very Jerusalem". By which he meant, obviously, not the holy city, but the wooded patch of hinterland in south-west England brought so pungently to life in Jez Butterworth's smash-hit play. It's been a long time since a play had the power to take on its own life as an adjective. Jerusalem, with Mark Rylance as its modern-day high priest of anarchy, taking on Kennet and Avon council on St George's Day in an impoverished rural England still haunted by its ancient myths, has wormed its way into our national consciousness.
I t takes courage to revive a play that was deemed by so many to be the best British stage production of modern times. And even more courage for a lead actor to risk comparison with the original star, Mark Rylance , who won an Olivier and a Tony for his role in it. So the Watermill shows daring in its staging of Jerusalem, which had a sensational run at the Royal Court in followed by the West End, twice, as well as Broadway. The set is dominated by a caravan and a beaten-up sofa with bottles of booze, much like the original. But the intimacy of the space makes the woodland more vivid and darkly oppressive, bringing an anarchic element to the staging: the audience is sprayed with water, cigarette smoke wafts into the stalls, the thump of rave music shakes the ground beneath our feet. Jasper Britton does not — thankfully — channel Rylance but goes his own way. In moments of self-mythologising, he sounds like a pub raconteur rather than the mesmeriser that Rylance became when speaking of coming back from the dead, of talking to giants, of having blood that could never rot in the earth, and this has its own charms.