The book of Revelation is arguably the most controversial book of the Bible. It has been used, and abused, in a wide variety of ways over the centuries and stands out as nearly unique in scripture.
But in history, it was not at all unique or confusing. In fact, Apocalypses belonged to a recognized genre, and the more we understand about that genre, the better we can understand the book of Revelation itself. Because each genre of literature is meant to convey a different sort of truth a different way. No one reads a poem the same way as a dictionary, so the genre of Revelation should change the way we read it.
For more information on apocalypses, I highly recommend reading some for yourself. The two best websites I have found for them are these: