The acclaimed author of Watchmen has recently finished his second novel, Jerusalem. Two interesting facts about it: 1) it's not set in Jerusalem, but Northampton, England, and 2) at over one million words, it's almost twice the size of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. Moore has said he doubts people will even be able to lift it.

The book sounds both appropriately grandiose and insane for a Moore novel. It's basically about a historical look at Moore's hometown of Northampton, but with a not insignificant amount of fantasy, and done in an extremely wide variety of styles. Chapters include:

• One about Moore's brother in the fourth dimension

• A crime noir about local pastor James Harvey, the "father of the Gothic movement"

• A combination "ghost story" and "drug narrative"

• A chapter written like a Samuel Beckett play, "because the author once visited the town to play cricket"


• A completely "incomprehensible" chapter about James Joyce's daughter Lucia, "all written in a completely invented sub-Joycean text"

• And something about "a savage, hallucinating Enid Blyton", the children's book author

And goodness knows what percentage of Jerusalem's one million words these take up. I imagine there's a lot more madness in there that we won't know about until someone publishes it — if some publisher is insane enough to print a million-word book in this day and age.


Because they'd best not ask Moore about trimming it down. As he told the New Statesman in 2011: "Any editor worth their salt would tell me to cut two-thirds of this book but that's not going to happen. I doubt that Herman Melville had an editor – if he had, that editor would have told him to get rid of all that boring stuff about whaling: 'Cut to the chase, Herman'."

[The AV Club via The Guardian]