Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
celebrating the release of
published by Grove Press
Join City Lights and author Matthew McIntosh as he delivers a multimedia presentation and reading from his unconventional new novel theMystery.doc. Reviewers have put McIntosh in league with James Joyce, Marguerite Young, Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace, William T. Vollmann, Karl Ove Knausgaard, and others. The Washington Post has written that "at a time when most novels still resemble their Victorian forebears, it's refreshing to encounter a novel that actually looks like a 21st-century production" and this evening’s author event will accomplish the same. Following a live reading synchronized to a projected short film, McIntosh will be in conversation with Peter Maravelis of City Lights, with audience Q&A and a signing afterward.
Funny, highly inventive, and deeply moving, theMystery.doc is a vast, shape-shifting literary novel that reads like a page-turner. It's a comedy, a tragedy, a big book about America. Rooted in the western United States in the decade post-9/11, the book follows a young writer and his wife as he attempts to write the follow-up to his first novel, searching for a form that will express the world as it has become, even as it continually shifts all around him. Pop-up ads, search results, web chats, snippets of conversation, lines of code, and film and television stills mix with alchemical manuscripts, classical works of literature—and the story of a man who wakes up one morning without any memory of who he is, his only clue a single blank document on his computer called themystery.doc. From text messages to The Divine Comedy, first love to artificial intelligence, the book explores what makes us human—the stories we tell, the memories we hold on to, the memories we lose—and the relationships that give our lives meaning. Part love story, part memoir, part documentary, part existential whodunit, theMystery.doc is a modern epic about the quest to find something lasting in a world where everything—and everyone—is in danger of slipping away.
What has been said about theMystery.doc:
"A vast, beguiling . . . postmodern novel of ideas, misread intentions, and robots, told in words, pictures, symbols, and even blank pages . . . A sprawling yarn . . . Like kindred spirits William Vollmann and Mark Danielewski, McIntosh aspires to philosophy . . . Perplexing but often wonderful . . . Provocative and fascinating."—Kirkus Reviews
"theMystery.doc may seem capacious but is actually sly, shy, and precise, and Matthew McIntosh is ambitious in the good sense: he attempts something new, with new vitality, and at that, absolutely succeeds."—Rachel Kushner, author of The Flamethrowers and Telex from Cuba
Books related to this event: