A big Web site for a big debut novel

Paul Anderson’s gigantic first novel, Hunger’s Brides, is being called close to unmarketable, at least as anything but a doorstop. Twelve years in the making, the book clocks in at 1,360 pages and weighs 4 pounds, 9 ounces. So, to give frightened potential readers a taste, the author and publisher, Carroll & Graf, have set up one of the most extensive Web sites we’ve ever seen for a book. The site, HungersBrides.com, created jointly by an arts collective and production house in Mexico City called Mundo Canela and a production company in Calgary called New Specs, includes news, interviews, clips of the author reading, reviews, a publisher’s introduction and an area called “The Hermitage,” which includes extensive information about the real-life character around whom the plot revolves—Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the 17th-century Mexican poet and nun whose vow of silence at the age of 40 was signed in her own blood. And last but not least, it offers a photo montage of safe reading positions (as seen here) for the monstrous tome.