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26 May 2011

Not only indexes hide at the back of the book

My colleague Meredith recently ran a well-received workshop on indexing. This meant I had the idea of back-of-book indexes and glossaries in mind when I read the new novel Player One by Douglas Coupland.

You wouldn't usually expect a novel to have an index. I have seen the occasional novel (usually something historical or fantastical) with a glossary. A Clockwork Orange would certainly benefit from one, with its inventive and Russian-based nadsat teenage slang.

Player One uses thirty (thirty!) pages to present a 'future legend' -- partly reference material for reading the novel, but mainly a list of interesting ideas connected to the novel. The intention certainly seems to be that the reader works their way serially through this legend when they reach the end of the book

So, an index? no. In the back of the book? yes. Interesting? definitely.

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