Apikoros Sleuth

Limited edition, Moveable Inc., 2007 - 119 pages

Apikoros Sleuth was originally published in 2004 by The Mercury Press. Moveable Inc., which had worked closely with the author in typesetting the original version, then undertook to produce the deluxe limited edition of this remarkable book. The limited edition features oversized pages, premium stock, greater use of colour, and a beautiful cloth binding and slipcase. Only 231 copies were produced, each individually numbered and signed by the author. What has not changed from the trade edition is the intricate and exquisite typography.

The form of Apikoros Sleuth is based on that of the Talmud, in which a central sacred text is surrounded by the commentaries of scholars and sages accumulated over more than a thousand years. This layout evolved through centuries of copying by hand, and features narrow justified columns and dense pages. Using it in a modern design presented several challenges. The narrow columns in particular required more typographic adjustments than usual: for instance, increasing the number of hyphens, which medieval scribes used with abandon but some modern typographers have banished altogether. Every page is the same depth, although the number of words is different in each section of text. A degree of formal symmetry has been maintained between facing pages so that the book can be experienced as spreads rather than single pages. The demands of such a format required flexible interaction between editor, typographers and author, who sometimes changed words or phrases to fit the measure. This continual give-and-take between the restrictions of written English (with its many unbreakable words of six or seven characters), the given copy and the design requirements echoes the spirit of the tale itself.

The text face is Figural, an Expressionist font designed by Oldrich Menhart in 1940 and issued in a digital version in 1992. It has some of the strength and irregularity of nib-drawn forms. The face used for the versals, titles, running heads, folios and attributions is Legacy Sans, designed by Ronald Arnholm and also issued in 1992. It is an attempt to base a sans-serif font on Nicholas Jenson's roman of 1469.

This book is printed on 100t Mohawk Superfine Ultrawhite Smooth, and the title-page spread is on the 110t weight of the same paper. The endpapers are Canson Ingres Tobacco and the cloth is Permalin Sailcloth. Apikoros Sleuth was bound by Anstey Book Binding in June 2006.

Some digital books are EPUBs; others are PDFs protected from editing. The author prefers to avoid selling via the usual commercial monopolies, but requests that readers respect copyright. Please don't steal this book. Contact the author for permission before copying or passing on the PDF or EPUB to friends, students, colleagues.

Note from the author on the plot of Apikoros Sleuth

Several of the rare readers of Apikoros Sleuth having argued that the novel is plotless and the murder mystery unsolved, the author offers a detailed outline of the plot, and the solution to the mystery. Naturally, readers may disagree.

Apikoros Sleuth - the plot
Limited Edition Hard Copy
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Reviews

"An ingenious...reading machine that hugely advances book art".


---X.I. Selene, Montreal Review of Books

"If Dashiell Hammett had written the stream-of-consciousness detective novel he once claimed he would like to and that manuscript had been passed on to Edmond Jabès for severe line editing, then revisited by late-career Samuel Beckett for cooling and quieting, then borrowed by the late poet Jackson Mac Low to undergo various destabilizing textual operations, we might, if we could lay our hands on the resultant hybrid wonder, have some sense of the baffling, polymorphic territory limned in Robert Majzels' stunning antinovel."


---Laird Hunt, The Review of Contemporary Fiction

"The voice of the erudite gumshoe who leads us through the labyrinth of words keeps questioning... the meaning of everything he encounters, as a good Talmudic student/detective/reader should, effectively producing an ethics of reading."


---Noreen Golfman, Letters in Canada