Observations: Next stop for a real omnibus edition

 

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The Independent Culture

We're all used to people reading on public transport and possibly, like me, you're always curious about what the person next to you is reading. But with one new book, you won't have that problem.

Simon Okotie's new novel, Whatever Happened to Harold Absalon?, was conceived on Okotie's daily commute from Kilburn to Oxford Circus in London, and much of the book is set in transit, as a detective investigates the disappearance of the mayoral transport adviser. Now Okotie is taking the finished book back to its birthplace by encouraging people to be videoed reading sections of the novel aloud while on buses, tubes or trains, and uploading the results to a website.

“There's something surprisingly liberating about reading aloud on a bus or train,” says Okotie. “Now I've had readings from all over – I've even had one from someone on a bus in New Zealand.”

'Whatever Happened to Harold Absalon?' is published by Salt on 15 October. To see or contribute readings go to simonokotie.com/reading-on-a-bus

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