Leading article: A big ask

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The Independent Online

A book entirely made up of questions is creating a buzz.

The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? by the American writer Padgett Powell seems to have captured the zeitgeist – and understandably. These are uncertain times. We're all asking questions (although some, like the rioting students of Westminster, more insistently than others).

It also probably helps that it is remarkably easy to delve into Powell's book, devoid as it is of any sort of plot or narrative sequence. This could be the novel for the age of the short attention span; the tome of the time poor.

The curious sensation of interactivity that the book creates for the reader is helpful too. We like to vote in television talent competitions. And now our novels are asking our opinion too.

But fascinating as the literature of interrogation is, aren't we really waiting for a book, not of questions, but of answers? Perhaps someone out there is already working on the next literary phenomenon.