When Alan Moore announced he'd finished his novel Jerusalem, there was one fact everyone wanted to report.
Comics legend Alan Moore has finished the first draft of his second novel, Jerusalem – and it runs to more than one million words.
For context, that's more than two Lord of the Rings, or about as long as the first three Song of Ice and Fire novels.
Samuel Richardson's doorstopper, Clarissa, runs to around 970,000 words, 200,000 more than the Bible . War and Peace is around 560,000 words long…
Moore added at the time: "I have doubted that people will even be able to pick it up. I'm not averse to some kind of ebook, eventually – as long as I get my huge, cripplingly heavy book to put on my shelf and gloat over, I'll be happy."
But hold your horses, it might not be quite so long. Friend and co-writer of other works with Moore, Peter Hogan, told us,
It's not a million words. Someone misunderstood something Alan said. In reality. It's somewhere over 600,000 words (he did tell me the exact number. which I instantly forgot). Still long enough to keep most people busy for a while. I'm sure.
He's talking about adding the Northampton telephone directory to it, just to bulk up the numbers for the people who might think he's short-changing them.
I first heard about Jerusalem from Alan in 2005. It's been a while. Comparing it to his first novel Voice of The Fire, I wrote,
"Voice" told stories set in Alan Moore's home town of Northampton, over 10,000 years. He mockingly told me, "I feel it was a little too cosmopolitan. So my next novel is set in just three or four blocks in Northampton, where I grew up. It's the most important historical area anywhere anyway."
He's started drawing the cover, something he hasn't done in a long time, and he's enjoying discovering it again.
So, shall we create a Book Club for its publication?