Author(s): Matt McIntosh
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.
Glued precariously together from the documentary fragments of a shattered culture and a fractured psyche, as with Eliot's Wasteland, Matthew McIntosh's huge and riveting theMystery.doc stakes out its territory in the unbroken ground of a new and unsettling American century. Haunted the same way that contemporary life is haunted - by snapshots and forgotten emails; scraps of dialogue and movie stills - this brave and massively accomplished book is both a savage exorcism and a dazzling celebration of the novel and the human heart, each with their endless possibilities. A transfixing statement in a shimmering new language. -- Alan Moore theMystery.doc may seem capacious but is actually sly, shy, and precise, and Matthew McIntosh is ambitious in the good sense: he attempts something new, with new vitality, and at that, absolutely succeeds. -- Rachel Kushner
Matthew McIntosh is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller Well. He lives with his wife on the West Coast of the US.