Literature

If (the novel) arrives

Well, it appears that my little experimental novel If is now available on Amazon.com.

Thanks to the great Joe Taylor at Livingston Press for giving this novel a shot, and for all his support behind the scenes. And a big thanks to JK at the The Kugelmass Episodes for invaluable comments on an earlier draft. Without the generosity of these two people, I don’t know where the novel would be today, if it existed at all. Also, thanks to our recently married friend (congratulations!) at mangolandia for the superlative blurb.

Print

As mentioned in earlier posts, the novel has an unusual structure — one that may be familiar to readers of Borges’ The Garden of Forking Paths, or to those who read a certain series of children’s books in the 1980s in which the reader makes a choice at the end of every chapter… If the threat of being sued for trademark infringement were not lurking in the background, I might even say that this novel is the world’s first literary ______ ____ ___ _________ novel (where the missing blanks might or might not be filled by a familiar series title).

Things being as they are, however, the best I can offer you is the text from the novel’s back cover:

if back cover as printed - for NB blog-0001

What Do You Choose?

In this experimental novel, YOU are the STAR
and must make
A CHOICE
—at the end of EACH CHAPTER—

Your choices will decide what happens next!
—and what kind of book the book becomes—
A MYSTERY? A LOVE STORY?
A REALIST ACCOUNT OF VISITING A PRISON?

You Are Free To Choose!
All manner of desirable lives await!
Including:

Homeless life. Romance in Paris. Vision questing. Blue collar labor. High school drama sports. Raising a Christian family. Derangement of the senses. Presidential politics in Appalachia. Adventures of a ladies’ man. Join a gang of hoodlums. Metaphysical mystery in the English countryside. Punks in an art school warehouse. Death in Thailand. Life as a wandering saint—

You are free to become all of these things!

—and in each case—

YOU WILL FAIL.

IN ADDITION
as an added benefit
of your journey
you are assured of receiving

NO WISDOM.

*

“This is the most ____ book I have ever read.”
Ankur Shah, author of Sometimes We Walk Alone

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