Monday, 24 September 2007

A thought for our November novelists

So, whose book is the biggest? The controversy will soon be put to rest, possibly for all time, when writer Richard Grossman installs his 3 million-page novel Breeze Avenue on a remote mountain in Kaha, Hawaii. Although it is unclear how many words Breeze Avenue comprises, an educated guess puts the count at over 1 billion.
If the book was some kind of page-turner, and you read each and every page in one minute flat, and you read straight for eight hours a day, five days a week, taking two weeks off to read something else, perhaps À la recherche, then it would take you no less than 25 years to finish Grossman's book. It took him 35 years to write it, which means he was writing at a rate of about a page every 90 seconds, on the same timetable.

Makes you wonder what Flaubert was doing all that time, doesn't it? To be fair he wasn't writing it alone. Though that news doesn't exactly make it more attractive.

Anyway, don't worry about where you're going to keep it, and how many Harry Potter volumes you'll have to shitcan to make room. Grossman plans to self-publish only six copies, one in a custom-built reading room and the other five down the car-boot sale to be sold in pieces online as works of art. If all goes according to plan, one virtual copy will be put online for your perusal, where it will take approximately as long to download as a Yahoo Mail welcome page.

Details here. Found via Kottke.