We tend to think of a novel having a big landscape with a great sweep of characters and the story told over weeks, years, even centuries. But some writers have chosen to confine themselves to a very limited time frame.
I suppose the most famous example is Ulysses by James Joyce set on June 16th 1904 when the main character Leopold Bloom walks through his home city of Dublin The BBC wrote a very useful cheats guide on the 100th anniversary. You can find it here.
The controversy over this novel is summed up by these two comments on the BBC site.
Ulysses is the greatest novel of the twentieth century…
Man goes for a walk around Dublin. Nothing happens.
Other ALL IN A DAY novels Saturday by Ian McEwan Set in London on Saturday, February 15, 2003 a day of anti-war protests. (I was there!)
The action of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens all happened in 24 hours, didn’t it? And that reminds me of the television series 24 Hours which just goes to show that a limited time scale does not have to mean short.
While researching this post, I’ve discovered The Mezzzanine by Nicholson Baker. Although I haven’t read it yet, I am intrigued by a story where all the action happens on one escalator ride on one afternoon.
Any other books, films, television you can think of?
Just to finish off this very first post for the ABC challenge I’d like to thank the person who started it all.