A novel by Geoff Ryman first created on the internet in '96. I prefer the print version, but online it's at www.ryman-novel.com. Famed for being a true hypertext novel, wherein one could start reading at any chapter (first explored by Cortazar in Hopscotch).

253 refers to the number of people who can fit sitting down in a London Underground train. Each chapter describes one person in 253 words and three sections.: first, outward appearance, second, inside information, and third, what they are doing or thinking. The book is about the seven and a half minute train ride from Embankment to Elephant and Castle and includes Fun and Informative Footnotes, Amusing Advertisements, and a Surprise Ending. The Print version also has a very handy Index.

Everything Addicts will appreciate this book, as it is very nodifying.

An excellent side-effect, and indeed the inspiration for this novel, is becoming intrigued by fellow passengers on the bus or train during or after reading this. The author admits that nothing happens in this book, but then, there are a myriad stories happening. There are several people linked directly and indirectly to each other. There are several people amusing, tragic, or insane. You get the bug and look around you and find yourself imagining stories for fellow travellers, and what ifs for where they may be headed. You see patterns in people around you, people who get on at your stop and off at the same one but branch to the right at the exit... You node your ride and connect the dots.

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