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3.4 out of 5 stars8
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 21 October 2008
In a show that often has aliens as the enemy it is good to read a book were man is the culprit - or is he? It's the late 60s and the summer of love has brought with it a suave of new drugs. What would happen if a drug like LCD got onto the market that would make your visions real? It seems that this may be happening as The Doctor, Sam and Fitz arrive on Earth to find that someone called the Revolution Man is using telekinetic powers to cause anarchy. Can the Doctor and his companions stop the Revolution Man before he brings about WW3 and alters Earth's timeline forever?

'The Revolution Man' is a flawed book with a very interesting concept. Large chunks of the book are a little confusing as author Paul Leonard tries to describe the sensations of a drug trip. Despite the muddled writing the actual concept is great. The idea of men being Gods is always interesting and shows that people can be as damaging as any alien. I also liked the structure of the book. Set in three parts over the late 60s and early 70s the book messes with the narrative of the characters. Fitz in particular grows as a character as whilst the Doctor and Sam zip forward in time to the next event, he is left to live in real time. Therefore, the Fitz that Sam knew at the start of the book is changed by the end. I liked this idea as it was a very efficient way of developing experience and depth to an otherwise shallow character.

As a slice of pure science fiction Leonard's jumbled writing style means that 'Revolution Man' is never better than average. However, the interesting concept and different narrative structure made it a worthwhile read.
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on 31 May 1999
This novel is spread out over three years in the late '60s. The Doctor's foe is this novel is the 'Revolution man', an international graffiti artist (whose most threatening act is to leave his mark in public places). He is enabled to do this by abusing Om-Tsor, a drug with the capability of really distorting reality. Paul Leonard does some nice philosophising about the TARDIS' telepathic circuit, but then everyone in this book seems to be a philosopher. While this may be true of the age, it actually makes for a truly dull book. Paul Leonard should have called it 'Doctor Who in an exciting adventure with the Dialectics!', since he uses the latter word a little bit too often. Now, I'm all for using high theory in contemporary fiction, as long as it's done in an entertaining way. Paul Leonard could learn a lot from Lawrence Miles here.
The characterisation is also flat and colourless. New companion Fitz goes through the Himalayas and back, but it's hard to feel anything for him. Uncle Sam is shown to be absurdly trigger happy. The resolution is quite silly, never mind the new excuse for a guilt trip. All in all, 'Revolution Man' is competently written, but lacks both excitement and stimulation.
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on 19 December 2013
Paul Leonard is my least favourite of the regular Doctor Who writers with both Genocide and Dreamstone Moon lacking to say the least. His story telling is very fragmented, he struggles to write for the Doctor (preferring to lock him up for the majority of his novels), and has an unhealthy obsession with animal/mineral entities. Therefore I wasn't looking forward to the prospect of Revolution Man, with only the prospect of Fitz spurring me on to read, however Paul Leonard has written a really good novel for once.

Revolution Man's main plot is the aforementioned Revolution Man changing history with the help of a drug, Om-Tsor. The setting is the late 60's which was a time of hippies seeking the ultimate high and also close the era where Fitz is from. Om-Tsor essentially lets you become a God, for as long as your trip lasts, and someone is using it to create chaos under the name of the Revolution Man. The novel is set over 3 years, with Fitz "living" through them normally, and this premise works really well. The ending isn't so great, I won't spoil it but needless to say it makes a 5 star review only 4 stars, and I was very disappointed in it after a truly brilliant novel.

The Doctor is very well done, which given Leonard's tendency to make him vanish for large periods was a rather pleasant surprise. That said he doesn't get a lot to do, but at least he is there. He seems to be enjoying having both Sam and Fitz to look after, and is in his element trying to solve the mystery of the Revolution Man. He also gets to do a lot in the TARDIS which is always nice.

Sam is also in her element, getting to meet a legendry anarchist who inspired her. Turns out he isn't exactly as she'd imagined he would be, but she still gets to argue social/political things with him. Later on she joins another group of fighters, albeit only undercover. To his credit Leonard has actually made Sam pretty interesting, nowhere near in the same league as Fitz, but she still isn't a chore to read like in some novels. Talking of Fitz the 60's setting works wonders for him as it's his close to his era and he actually gets to live it. His relationship with Maddie is also very touching. Fitz is a joy to read, portraying all the humanity under the sun, warts and all. This is only his third novel but already he's one of my favourite companions of all time.

Out of the three novels of his I've read Revolution Man is Paul Leonard's best work by far. The story telling is still fragmented, but as the novel covers three different years it actually works, the Doctor is actually given something to do and the lack of alien worlds means we don't have a sheep like alien race to contend with. Having Fitz around helps drastically, but I feel even without him, this novel would have still worked. The ending does ruin an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable novel though.
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on 14 June 2000
Revolution Man is Paul Leonard's third and by far his best Eighth Doctor Who novel so far. Set on Earth in the late sixties, Leonard returns Dr Who to what got me hooked on the series in the first place - lots of time-travel, a mysterious, ponderous, sometimes manic, always magic Doctor!
Written in three parts, this is a story that gripped me right from the first chapter. The supporting characters are different, well spoken and come across as people rather than characters.
The Om-Tsar drug is a novel idea - although I felt too much about its origins were left unexplained. Perhaps this could be adressed in a sequal...!
I particularly like Fitz's strong storyline - his involvement with Maddie and subsequent maturing was written into the story very well - I just hope its not used as an excuse by future authors to dull-down his inherant cyncacism - his most attractive quality!
The story has plot holes - some holes are even larger than the ones my local council leaves in my high street - but the writing and characterisation is so good, that it hardly matters, and certainly does not detract from enjoying the book.
The Doctor/TARDIS plot develops in this story with a distincyly more morose Doctor reminicent of Tom Baker or Sylvester McCoy's final few TV stories. This book brings all the good parts of new and old Who together in one of the best Dr Who books in this range for some time.
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on 14 August 1999
I'd previously read Paul Leonard's "Genocide" and enjoyed it but this appealed to me even more. I liked the setting of the late sixties and I thought the author captured perfectly the feel of the time. I thought it a very clever idea to separate the novel into three books (titled 1967, 1968 and 1969 respectively) and leave Fitz behind at the end of each of them so that by the time of the book's conclusion we have effectively got an older more mature character who has fallen in love and experienced a committed relationship. The only part of the book in which my attention slipped was three quarters of the way through when he is involved with the Chinese army. And there was a missed opportunity. The doomed sixties world that Mr Leonard describes is an alternative reality. I thought it would have been nice to have had Fitz trying to get his head round the fact that the relationship he had had was with a woman who perhaps never existed. Overall though I'd give this a big thumbs-up along with my four crowns.
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on 28 February 2008
This book was excellent in some areas and awful in others. The Doctor's mysterious concern of having to move the Tardis and the drastic measures he takes against the revolution man stand out as the dramatic highs of the book. However the battle between the giant Fitz and Jin-Ming is just plain awful and absolutly ridiculous. While this book delights at times you can't help but feel that it could have been so much better.
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on 27 July 1999
This book is okay if you have time for a slow ,dull boring book. it is set in 3 parts.The only thing alien is title of the book!other than no aliens ,invasions or even the cosmos to save this time!!!
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on 13 July 2000
Probably the best Eighth Doctor novel pubished up to and including "The Ancestor Cell". "Revolution Man" is a brilliant book which deals with the consequences of choices. Set over three years in the late 1960s, the book focuses on Fitz's recruitment into the Chinese People's Army and the spread of the reality-warping drug om-tsor. There are some similarities to "Seeing I", but "Revolution Man" is just superior. The characterisation is spot on, the plot is excellent, and the climax is breathtaking. Certainly one of my favourites.
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