Sunday, 7 August 2016

Alan Moore's audiobook reader goes on 6,000 mile mission to meet him

Simon Vance is an experienced audiobook reader, known for his dulcet tones which are just right for reading lengthy novels (he's the guy who read a lot of Guy Gavriel Kay's stuff.. His latest gig is an epic one: he is recording the audiobook for Alan Moore's monster novel Jerusalem, which reportedly clocks in at over 600,000 words and 1,200 pages in hardcover (of presumably fairly small print), with an estimated audiobook run time well north of sixty-five hours.

Judging that this was a bit of a special occasion, Vance decided to meet the author and get some insight into the reportedly "difficult" novel, which shifts prose styles every chapter and includes several lengthy sections of verse (one of which extends over twelve pages, which even Tolkien might have balked at) and an entire play. The problem? Vance lives in San Francisco, California, and Moore lives in Northampton, right in the middle of England. And he only had a few days clear in his schedule. Cue a round-trip of 6,000 miles to visit the UK for just two days, only a few hours of which he got to spend with Moore (and he only got that because they have a mutual friend in Neil Gaiman).

Early reviews for Jerusalem indicate that it is a good book but also a massively challenging one, as Publisher's Weekly says:
"In this staggeringly imaginative second novel, Moore (Watchmen) bundles all his ruminations about space, time, life, and death into an immense interconnected narrative that spans all human existence within the streets of his native Northampton, U.K. Reading this sprawling collection of words and ideas isn't an activity; it's an experience... It's all a challenge to get through, and deliberately so, but bold readers who answer the call will be rewarded with unmatched writing that soars, chills, wallows, and ultimately describes a new cosmology. Challenges and all, Jerusalem ensures Moore's place as one of the great masters of the English language."

Jerusalem will be published on 13 September. The audiobook should be out around that time or later.

1 comment:

Ryan Dick said...

600,000 words? Vance will have to work day and night to get that book read and produced by the publishing date!