There is a familiar voice narrating the audiobook of Iterating Grace—familiar, that is, if you listen to podcasts, or watch The Daily Show, or if you ever turned on your TV between 2006 and 2010. It is the voice of John Hodgman: actor, writer, podcaster, professional funny man.
The fine folks of Macmillan Audio explain here why he is the perfect person to narrate this audiobook. And we agree. But is he perhaps too perfect?
There is an enduring mystery to Iterating Grace. No one knows who wrote it—including the publishers of the book. Many names have been bandied about as potential authors: Dave Eggers, Robin Sloan, Susan Orlean, Jonathan Franzen (!). Given how far afield the names start to go, it begins to seem odd that one suspect has been left out of the speculation, almost as if people are intentionally avoiding him. He is a published, bestselling author of works that play with the boundary between fact and fiction—and anyone who has read his books knows he is an avowed fan of conspiracies, secret cabals, and funny animals; he is funny; he is Twitter-savvy; he has appeared at TED; he played a computer on TV. And now—as the mystery of Iterating Grace continues to ride a fever pitch of media attention, blogger speculation, and frustrated Twitterers—he has read the audiobook of Iterating Grace. Could the author behind Iterating Grace be hiding in plain sight?
We don’t know—we are as in the dark as everyone else. But once the evidence begins to pile up, it has to make you wonder, no? Almost as surely as the case against Steven Avery begins to crumble, surely as surely as you have to wonder if Finn’s last name is Calrissian. Mr. Hodgman did not accept our offer to lay claim to the authorship of Iterating Grace. Our friends at Macmillan Audio and FSG Originals refuse to confirm our suspicions—and yet cannot outright refute them. But listen to the excerpt here and you decide: does this sound like a gun-for-hire reading a stranger’s work? Or does he sound truly at home in these words?