theMystery.doc (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Told in spurts and seemingly scatterbrained, an author who has been working on an expansive book for many years as a follow up to a bestseller is now trying to piece his life back together after a severe head trauma. He reveals what he can in fragments gleaned from a hidden thumb drive. Not certain of his own identity, he must rely on what he is told by others. The text is interspersed with a mix of film stills, HTML code, and partially blacked-out and blank pages which force you to linger on the last thought or slowly marinate on the current one before delving deeper. This beast of a novel moves at a rapid pace making it very hard to put down. -Allen

— From Fall Booknotes 2017


With praise from Alan Moore and Rachel Kushner, a groundbreaking novel told in an exciting new form, mixing fiction, memoir, prose poetry, and textual art, exploring birth, death, the Internet, and the writing life as they play out in contemporary America and telling the story of a man who wakes up one morning not knowing who he is

Funny, highly inventive, and deeply moving, theMystery.doc is a vast, shapeshifting literary novel that reads like a page-turner. It's a comedy, a tragedy, a big book about America. It's unlike anything you've read before.

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.

About the Author

Matthew McIntosh is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller Well. He lives with his wife on the West Coast.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780802124913
ISBN-10: 0802124917
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Pages: 1664
Language: English