Legendary graphic novelist Alan Moore, author of Watchmen and V for Vendetta, has written a new novel so big and heavy he doubts anyone will be able to pick it up. Jerusalem clocks in at a million words. His daughter, Leah Moore, made the announcement on Facebook on Tuesday, adding with a wink that “now there’s just the small matter of copy editing” a book of that length, “and it’s all done.” Again, that’s a million words. For comparison, Tolstoy’s War and Peace is a mere 500,000. The Bible is only 800,000.
So what is Jerusalem about? Well, in part it focuses on “a small area – half a square mile across – of the town where he grew up, Northampton, and explores its history through stories from his family’s past, Moore’s take on historical events, and of course fantasy.” Moore’s tribute to his hometown is rooted in his knowledge of the area’s history. “This town has so much history that is really important. The old castle was ‘bad’ King John’s castle when he was held prisoner there before he signed the Magna Carta.” The novel will also feature a hallucinatory paean to Enid Blyton, “a completely invented sub-Joycean text,” and a section featuring Moore’s brother’s “adventures in the fourth dimension.” Much of the novel’s meanderings and style may have to do with Moore’s experiences with LSD. By his own admission, “at the age of 17 I became one of the world’s most inept LSD dealers. The problem with being an LSD dealer, if you’re sampling your own product, is your view of reality will probably become horribly distorted.” The book has yet to find a publisher or release date, giving Moore’s readers plenty of time to work on their muscles, which will be much-needed.