What novels have news clippings and press releases in them?
March 3, 2014 7:17 AM   Subscribe

I'm writing the Great American Novel (isn't everyone?). I want to intersperse press releases and newspaper clippings throughout the book, but I'm not sure about formatting (and e-book format raises yet another question).

Do you know of any novels that have this type of break from prose - as if describing an event objectively? I'm looking specifically for excerpts from newspapers as well as press releases - what it looks like on the page. Bonus points for recommendations for formatting - i.e., using two columns for an article in Times Roman, with headline and byline?
posted by adverb to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Marisha Pessl, Night Film: very extensive.

Minette Walters does this in some of her later mysteries, most notably The Breaker.
posted by BibiRose at 7:20 AM on March 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Carrie" by Stephen King does this.
posted by skycrashesdown at 7:24 AM on March 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

John Dos Passos includes newspaper headlines/bits in his U.S.A. Trilogy (or at least in The Big Money).
posted by TwoStride at 7:24 AM on March 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

I can't remember which book I was reading but the e-book format was basically just increased indentation with even margins like a normal newspaper article. Not sure how difficult that is to do in e-book format but is, apparently, possible.
posted by magnetsphere at 7:38 AM on March 3, 2014

Best answer: Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood -- brilliant book.
posted by EtTuHealy at 7:52 AM on March 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips. (Very well-written, based on a real-life multiple murder from the 1930s.)
posted by virago at 8:47 AM on March 3, 2014

Best answer: James Ellroy uses a lot of 'document inserts' in his Underworld USA trilogy, including newspaper excerpts, as well as transcripts, memoranda, and letters.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:56 AM on March 3, 2014

Best answer: The Painted Girls, by Cathy Marie Buchanan. I listened to it on CD so unfortunately I do not know how it is formatted.
posted by Elly Vortex at 9:51 AM on March 3, 2014

Best answer: Next by Michael Crichton made heavy use of this technique.
posted by 99percentfake at 10:12 AM on March 3, 2014

Here and here are lists of many novels which use this technique.
posted by ook at 12:33 PM on March 3, 2014

(The specifics of formatting are probably best left to the publisher, though; their typesetters would almost certainly prefer a simple, text-only manuscript over one containing a lot of custom layout that doesn't match whatever they use.)
posted by ook at 12:37 PM on March 3, 2014

Nicholson Baker's book Human Smoke (wiki, amazon) is almost entirely composed of documents and news clippings.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:28 PM on March 3, 2014

John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar is like this.
posted by zadcat at 2:02 PM on March 3, 2014

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