Say that you wanted to write the greatest novel of the 1990s, either from a critical or commercial point of view. Say that you wanted to write a book that could communicate all the great issues of the day, from the rise of fascism to the corruption of the mass media, but you also wanted to write an adventure story full of quirky characters and surprise plot twists. And say you wanted to make it really long. What would you write? Well, I have a very specific outline on what to write.
Your main character should be a common teenager, with a common name--- Harry James, for example, with his middle name being the name of his father. And that father is an important figure, because he is deceased, leaving our young teen an orphan. Despite being orphaned, our Harry James is not poor, but is instead the heir to a fabulous fortune. Which comes as small consolation to him, because the issues surrounding his becoming an orphan still haunt him, both psychologically and materially. But of course, all of that is just background: we also see Harry James living his day to day life, where he is attending a large, sprawling boarding school which teaches a very specific skill. The boarding school is full of quirky characters, both amongst the teachers and the student body. Not only that, but it is haunted by ghosts, because our work is both a work of social realism and of fantasy.
Behind the day to day quirky happenings at our boarding school, there is a larger war being waged, since the school is the focal point for a war between various forces, who have agents, double agents and triple and even quadruple agents infiltrating the school. The reasons for this are revealed slowly in the text, as we get background on the social history of the era, which is simultaneously ridiculous and a fairly straightforward analysis of the rise of fascism and terrorism in the 20th century. The major antagonists are a group of secretive terrorists with French names who wear masks and are obsessed with the purity of their culture.
All of which comes to a climax as it is revealed that buried in the tomb of Harry James' mentor figure lies a weapon of incredible power, which the terrorist group wishes to seize so that they can bring about their total rule and the destruction of everything under them. In fact, they DO find this weapon, leading to our protagonist, Harry James, to yell out "Too Late". But behind this seeming plot of a search for the ultimate weapon, lies the actual plan of Harry's mentor figure, which is to remove a solipsism-inducing taint in the soul of Harry, which he acquired during an incident as a baby. From behind the grave, Harry's mentor has come up with a plan to save Harry, although it might destroy him at the same time.
Because underneath all the pyrotechnics of the book, behind hundreds of pages of curiosities and odd incidents, the major theme of the book, so suiting for times, is that all of the political and social movements of our times are an outgrowth of people's struggle to deal with solipsism. The book will suggest that only through love and self-discipline are the ways to escape from a cage of solipsism, and that the alternative to this is a horrifying world of either personal selfishness or fascist terror, or both.
A book like this will have a mixed reception, with many early commentators fixating on the book's amusing and idiosyncratic language, or else on some minor entertaining episodes or unusual characters. Such a book might be criticized as being too intellectual, or not intellectual enough. However, critics and audiences who read deeper will find, over time, rich characters, a very multilayered plot, and allusions and references that make sense only after multiple readings. A book like this will find an audience that will read it again and again. However, even the devoted audience may overlook the fact that their favorite author, seemingly a product of secular culture who would probably be reviled or ignored by many Christians, is actually writing a work of Christian apologetics.