Yeah, I worked on a novel for five years that ended up just kicking my ass. It’s called Mr. InBetween. It’s never been published, because it couldn’t be written, or it couldn’t be written by me. I didn’t have the talent, and the wherewithal to pull that one off.
It’s a detective that had a traumatic experience; a genius detective. I like genius detectives, right? You know, like Sherlock Holmes — you know what dry snap is? He got captured in Cambodia, and dry snap — when he was being tortured, somebody went to kill him, and he thought he had died. And his identity unraveled, and that’s what he called it anyway. And he saw that he was really composed of many personalities. And he was able to sort of hold that, and began to behave as if he was 112 people. So, he had different voices he would go in to. None of them were helpful either. They were all obstacles.
So, you can see right away how complex a book that is, where you have 112 — try introducing 112 characters. So, then I cut it down to half of that, and then to half of that half, and even eight is too much; hundreds of pages. But I mean how far did I get into the story? Probably not at all, I was still introducing characters, because it wasn’t enough that he was like that. He formed an organization that was like that. That had — let’s see, I think he had 35 ministers. That’s what they called themselves. They had the minister of grub and the minister of armaments. I mean it was just an absolutely foolish ambition.
My agent said this is what’s called the 50-year-old novel where you decide to put everything you can do into it. So, that was a horrendous — but I mean that’s a horrendous mistake, but in a certain way it was an amazing learning experience about limitations of story and narrative, and it would have made, I think, a pretty good, what do they call, a postmodern novel.1 But it would have never had a conclusion, which a lot of postmodern novels don’t, I guess.