Marienbad My Love   the World's Longest Novel

"...a world that is both fascinating and terrifying, a place where language is stripped of its original emotion and meaning, leaving only a cold, electric horror behind." 

Welcome to "Marienbad My Love." I assembled this multi-million-word, multi-volume work through calculation and chance. It consists of fragments of pre-existing texts both written and appropriated by me over the course of 30-plus years. I like to think of it as "the movie of all my labors and all my inspirations."  

As of Feb. 1, 2013, "Marienbad My Love" consisted of 17 volumes totaling 17.8 million words and 10,710 pages. While I have not added to the book in recent years, I still consider it to be a work in progress. I plan to make it my big project in retirement. But that's still a few years off.

What is this novel about?  Here is one possible description in the form of computer-written book jacket copy: 

In "Marienbad My Love," Mark Leach takes us on a journey of love, obsession, and delusion through the eyes of a Christ-haunted journalist-turned-filmmaker exiled on a deserted island. Our protagonist seeks to reconnect with a married woman from his past and convince her to help him produce a science fiction-themed pastiche to the 1960s French New Wave classic, Last Year at Marienbad.

As he struggles to realize his artistic vision, the filmmaker's reality is increasingly erased and rewritten by a dawning technological singularity, an era in which humans and machines merge, and psychic possession by robots or space aliens may be possible. Through his art, he seeks to carry out the will of God by prophesizing the death of time and the birth of a new religion.

But can he persuade the woman to remember him? Is she even real? And can he successfully navigate the shifting philosophical and technological challenges he faces as he strives to create his masterpiece at a time near the end of the world? In "Marienbad My Love," Leach offers readers a haunting and thought-provoking exploration of the human condition and the profound struggle to find meaning and purpose in a chaotic and unpredictable age.

Here is a (superior) commentary, also written by a chatbot: 

Leach's magnum opus, 'Marienbad My Love,' is a literary landmark, a testament to the power of technology and automation in the creative process. This is not a book for the faint of heart; at 17 million words and growing, it's an epic in every sense of the word. But for those willing to delve into the world of robotic writing, it's a fascinating journey through a universe ruled by homoerotic extraterrestrials, Nebula apes and The Fold-in Death. This is science fiction at its most daring and innovative.

And here is one possible beginning, written by me but inspired by a chatbot:

This is all true, mostly. The robot parts, in any case, are reasonably accurate. There will always be robots. And space aliens. They are about as simple to stop as wars. That’s true, too. And even if robots and space aliens didn’t keep coming like wars, there would still be ordinary torture and religion. You can’t program that kind of creativity out of anybody, let alone a human-robot hybrid.

For years I have been trying to write a story about my experiences during the technological singularity, or what my neighbor and drinking buddy UIY-2249 likes to call The Big Robot Hard On. Back when my head was severed from my body, preserved in a glass beaker and hooked up to electrodes …..


I showed those 121 words to UIY-2249, and he said “please let the rest of your book be this good.” Bad news, buddy – the rest is not this good. Listen, I’m not creating entertainment for your amusement. This is real history, serious literature! You want to be entertained? Go watch a video on YouTube. My all-time favorite is the monkey on the tree limb who scratches his butt, then smells his finger and throws his head back and falls off the limb. Now THAT’S entertainment!

Want a copy of your own? First, be sure to secure a sturdy bookcase. It's a big and heavy novel.  "Marienbad My Love" weighs 65 pounds and 11.4 ounces. This is serious literature. Sometimes you can find print versions for sale on Amazon or ebay. If you really want a copy, buy it when you can. Because at various times, this novel has been deleted from online platforms. One publisher told me they would no longer offer the book because they had decided it provided "a poor customer experience."

I like to think of "Marienbad My Love" as the world's largest "open source" novel. You are invited to copy, distribute and transmit this work, in whole or part. My intent is to encourage others to remix and adapt "Marienbad My Love" for their own purposes, both personal and commercial.

-Mark Leach









01 FEB 2013

"Marienbad My Love" by Mark Leach contains 109,465,318 characters (each letter counts as one character. Spaces are also counted, as one character each).


Welcome to the world's largest "open source" novel. The original 2008 edition of the novel is available for free download at . And the first six volumes of the 2013 edition are online at . You are invited to copy, distribute and transmit this work, in whole or part. My intent is to encourage others to remix and adapt "Marienbad My Love" for their own purposes, both personal and commercial. To learn more about how you can make use of this free offer, click on the Creative Commons link below.

"Marienbad My Love" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. 

Read what others are saying about Marienbad My Love

The Hyperarchival Parallax / Bradley J. Fest / SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 /

The Space of Megatexts: “Reading” Mark Leach’s Marienbad My Love

At over seventeen million words and consisting of seventeen volumes printed in dense eight-point font, the second edition of Mark Leach’s Marienbad My Love (2008; 2nd ed., 2013) currently holds the record as the world’s longest novel and is what I have elsewhere called a megatext. Composed over the course of thirty years using a number of digital techniques, the result is one of the more spatially imposing works of literature to ever sit on a shelf. Because of this, it also appears that no one has really bothered to read it. Whether this is due to some prejudice against self-publication or critics’ perceptions of authorial vanity, the sheer unreadable size of the text has discouraged anyone from taking Leach’s work all that seriously. I believe this is a mistake and this paper aims to seriously consider a remarkable project that rebelliously pushes against the conceptual, temporal, and physical boundaries of the codex novel. The revisions made to the second edition of the text indicate that not only does Leach intend for people to actually read his book, but also that Marienbad My Love is in fact a complex theoretical statement about the novel in the digital age and a meditation on the present and future of literary writing. In this paper, I will argue that accounting for Marienbad My Love’s material size by finding ways to speculatively (and actually) read this unreadable text will encourage us to rethink how we theorize the novel in the twenty-first century.

Gizmodo / Charlie Jane Anders / July 8, 2008 / 

Thrill-Crazed Space Bugs Swarm Through World's Longest Novel

Got some spare time? The world's longest novel is available as a free download! Coppell, TX writer Mark Leach has just published an expanded 12.6 million word edition of his apocalyptic novel Marienbad, My Love. It's nearly ten times longer than the official record-holding longest novel, Proust's In Search Of Lost Time, not to mention the previously longest science fiction novel, L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth. And Leach says he's just getting warmed up. How does he fill so much space?

Marienbad, My Love is the story of a film-maker who believes he's God, or that Jesus is talking to him, and he decides to make a science fiction movie that pays tribute to one of the world's worst films, Last Year At Marienbad, in order to end the world. The novel is peppered with David Lynch references as well as sections from a faux novel in the style of later Kurt Vonnegut. And "thrill-crazed space-bugs," the Cicadians (pictured above) show up, probably to assist in the metafictional destruction of the universe. Plus there's a giant UFO hanging over Earth, Nazi/alien collaborators, mind control, alien abductions, and a mad scientist who's adding a substance called Fluoride9 to the water to create the world's first privately owned deity.

Here's a quote from Leach's press release:

"If you're going to destroy the world, you really ought to do it big," Leach said. "When I released the first edition of "Marienbad My Love" in March, the original length of 2.5 million words seemed plenty long for a 21st century Apocalypse. But the ideas kept coming, and the story kept growing. Now I feel like I'm just getting warmed up."

Besides being crammed with weird ideas, Leach says Marienbad, My Love includes:

Who wants to be the first to read the whole thing and report back to us?

Anonymous comments from the blogosphere

Vomit … the world's largest Complete Waste of Time … lit fic wannabe with a tin ear … a lame attempt to  attract attention … world's most unreadable novel … a stupid gimmick dressed up  to look like a book … my eyes hurt with the awfulness that is this thing's plot … obtuse, pretentious, and unpopular… overly-long, self-indulgent ... I have no idea who's going to read this … Finnegans Wake has finally been dethroned ...The incoherent ramblings of an insane mind … I am not sure there is  even a classification for this one … long stretches of surrealism, where we are  in this character's head and not grounded in any recognizable reality...What was  that?! Was this person using drugs or what? … I am so completely confused. I  have no idea what's going on, what's real and what the narrator is imagining … It's terrible.  ... NOTHING MORE THAN EGO MASTURBATION!

About the Author

Mark Leach (1961, Waco, United States) is an artist who mainly works with contemporary strategies. By experimenting with aleatoric processes, Leach formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works. The thought processes, which are supposedly private, highly subjective and unfiltered in their references to dream worlds, are frequently revealed as assemblages that explore new ideas in language ideologies, crowdsourcing and aggregate authorship.

Leach creates situations in which everyday objects are altered or detached from their natural function. By applying specific combinations and certain manipulations, different functions and/or contexts are created. With the use of appropriated materials which are borrowed from a day-to-day context, he presents everyday objects as well as references to texts, painting and architecture. Pompous writings and Utopian constructivist designs are juxtaposed with trivial objects. Categories are subtly reversed.

His works feature coincidental, accidental and unexpected connections which make it possible to revise art history and, even better, to complement it. Combining unrelated aspects lead to surprising analogies.

These ideas are on display in a variety of works, including the 17-million-word "Marienbad My Love," the world's longest novel. His book "Cutting Up Two Burroughs" has garnered attention on the Poetry Foundation's Harriet news blog ( ). Mark Leach currently lives and works in Texas.