In an announcement that threatens to collapse the shelves of the few remaining bookstores scattered across the country, Alan Moore has completed work on the first draft of Jerusalem, a novel that clocks in at over 1 million words. To put that in context, Leo Tolstoy, quitter that he was, only managed to squeak out around 560,000 words for his famously thick War And Peace, suggesting that Jerusalem will prove almost twice as influential as that book.

In the works since 2008, Jerusalem takes place not in Jerusalem, but rather Moore’s hometown of Northampton, England, exploring the area’s history as filtered through Moore’s own fantastical perspective. In addition to requiring that people risk life and limb whenever they try and take it off the shelf, Moore will treat readers to a “Lucia Joyce chapter, which is completely incomprehensible … all written in a completely invented sub-Joycean text.” There will also be a chapter written in the form of a Samuel Beckett play, “a noir crime narrative based upon the Northampton pastor James Hervey,” and “a combination of the ghost story and the drug narrative.” If not driven mad by the process of reading it, the book should make one hell of a complicated doorstop.

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Moore, who has had his share of disagreements with the publishing industry, admits that any worthwhile editor would probably tell him to shave about two-thirds of the book, but they can’t, and anyway he didn’t write it for them, and also get off his lawn. “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’,” Moore said. The book currently has no publisher, but when it is released, it’s recommended you do your back a kindness and get the ebook.

[via The Guardian]