September 23, 2016 11:52 AM - by Alan Moore - Subscribe

Alan Moore's ten-years-in-the-making novel of Northampton and the spirits that inhabit it, mortal and otherwise.
posted by Ipsifendus (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've only just started this, and its a monster of a book, both long and dense, so it may require time to make any progress. I'm curious to know what people think of it.

I was less than twenty pages in before I ran into two terms I didn't recognize, one of which ("third borough" or "thirdborough") I was able to figure out with the help of a google search (it's a kind of constable, apparently). The other is rendered in the text as "Portimoth di Norhan", which google can't help with, but may be a phonetic rendition of an architectural term in some Romance language or another.

All of which is just to say...this could turn out to be something of a challenge, although not as much as, say, "Finnegan's Wake".
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:01 PM on September 23, 2016

I looked at this at the bookstore and was sorely tempted to get the paperback box set. Really looking forward to impressions.
posted by selfnoise at 12:03 PM on September 23, 2016

I've only barely scratched it, but so far it seems quite readable. I suspect that a notepad or marginal notations or bookmarks/tape-flags at the puzzling or seemingly important/pivotal points or some combination of all three may be useful. Moore expressed admiration for David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest in this recent NYT interview, and one of the reading guides for IJ that I saw gave the very helpful suggestion of having three bookmarks for it: one for the main text, one for the infamous footnote section, and one for the page that gave the chronological order for the named (sponsored) year system that replaced the Christian Era year numbering.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:06 PM on September 23, 2016

Incidentally, MeFi's Own jscalzi has an article in the LA Times discussing the sheer length of Jerusalem and how Moore's writing pace stacks up against his own and George R.R. Martin's.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:33 PM on September 23, 2016

I've been ploughing through this all my free time since i got it. It develops into what i found to be a pretty pageturny adventure story in it's 2nd part. Reminding me most of Enid Blyton. Yesterday i started the 40 odd pages of the chapter concerning Lucia Joyce. It's superb dense and I've been translating and puzzling as I go and it's been tremendous fun but tiring in large stretches. I was up early this morning and spent 12 hours at it. I am now a whole 10 pages deep.

I think tomorrow i'll watch the new Ghostbusters movie and chill.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 1:09 PM on September 24, 2016

"Portimoth di Norhan", which google can't help with

A History of the County of Northampton says it's a medieval town court in Northampton: "In one early 13th century deed the court in which the plea of land had been held is called the porthimoth' de Norhant'. No other instance of the use of this term at Northampton has been found; at Leicester and Ipswich the court at which transfers of land took place was called the portmannmot. "
posted by effbot at 2:45 PM on September 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

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