Introducing theMystery.doc, Part Two

Read from Matthew McIntosh's Sprawling, Ambitious, Multiform Novel

Matthew McIntosh’s theMystery.doc is a vast, shape-shifting literary novel that reads like a page-turner.

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 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.

Read from part one, which appeared yesterday, here.



(Prof Billings Brown 20080416 204155.wav)

………………I got interested in roller skating. And thereby, uh, met a lot of girls in the rinks.

W: Yeah? I wish I would have known that when I was young, Gramps! You coulda taught me some tricks!


W: Yep.

I remember, they had, uh, short intermissions of a strange kind, where they, played, uh, various, uh, dance, melodies, on the organ.

W: Oh, it was organ music?

Organ, yeah.
W: Oh!
And uh… and it was elimination. Where they would play music for more and more difficult… dances until, there was only one couple… left… wheeling, shall we say.
W: Cool!

And one time at the { }

, it was me and my… chick.

W: Nice!

We persevered.
W: Did you get a prize?

Oh… no.

W: Awww…

All for the glory.

Matthew McIntosh
Matthew McIntosh
Matthew McIntosh is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller Well. He lives with his wife on the West Coast.

More Story
Crimes of the Father Sarah was fourteen when she ran an errand to the presbytery, with a message from one of the older nuns to the polished young...