Love Watching Madness 2021-03-19T09:16:37+00:00

Project Description



“He was falling, but not over the brink. He was falling into the voice of the waterfall. It’s roar was his love-trance. His bones rumbled in it. If he dared let go of the side-rails, he was certain he could reach up and swirl this roar with his hands.
He stared down at the glassy green wave that raced below his feet. This was surely the point of no return. Nothing, nothing alive at least, could resist the force of this ruthless acceleration.
Where in God’s name has all this water come from? How many drops are here?
He was near to tears with the democracy of it. It was the all, all, all. All those tiny drops of water, joined together in one leviathan leap of faith. What a sublime power they created.”


Should the sky flash mercury, should lightening grow across the heavens like the roots of a tree, this might come close to how I felt as I strolled arm in arm with you, my darling, on Marlborough Street, the two of us nearly aloft in the moony magic of that evening in a year that has dropped to the bottom of a well. On that night the stars were silver and an ample moon beamed heaven. It was a prodigious evening, one of those rare times when love buffed everything. Hearts thumping, longings thrumming, hope roaring, we were a noisy twosome. At that time there was so much I did not know about you. But having watched you now for all these years, listening to your thoughts and witnessing the doings of your daily life; observing how you chastise yourself; how you are sometimes vain, sometimes hard, sometimes careless, I have come to know you intimately, as the diamond knows the glitter. Darling, you are to me a never ending play, the mate of my soul, the apex of my swinging swing, the bend in my elbow, the lines on my palm, my other step, the exhale to my inhalation, the gift I am still unwrapping.

But how I miss touching you.”

One man’s obsessive longing to live and die at the same time

Love Watching Madness is inspired by the true story of Francis Abbott, a reclusive artist searching for his lost love beyond the perilous brink of the mighty Horseshoe Fall at Niagara. Francis hangs in the mists swirled up by the massive waterfall, suspending his nearly naked body on the line between life and certain death. Is he mad, or is she calling his name?

It is the summer of 1830 and Francis Abbott has hidden himself in a secluded hut on Goat Island, a pristine paradise teetering on the tumultuous edge of the  Horseshoe fall. A rickety pier hop-scotches from the shore of Goat Island across lethal rapids to the brink of the waterfall. Protruding from the end of this unsound walkway is a single beam that projects four yards beyond the waterfall’s deadly rim. Francis walks to the tip of this suicidal beam and lowers himself until he is hanging by his hands over the watery abyss—a man of sticks in a universe of crashing crystal. What is he thinking as he hangs there? If on earth there be a paradise of bliss, is it this, is it this, is it this?

Love Watching Madness is the story of Francis’ quest for the last frontier—a place where he believes ‘the here’ and ‘the there’ meet, and where the faces of lost loved ones might be glimpsed in flashes that happen only at this dividing line between life and death. Epic in scope, Love Watching Madness is an evocative and astonishing novel that explores the entanglements of earth-bound pleasure, imperishable love, and the refusal to be separated.


Truth in Fiction