Last year, I wrote about a novel called Consolation (by Michael Redhill) which was longlisted for the Booker Prize; it never made it to the shortlist, although it did pick up some other awards including the Toronto Book Award. This month, here comes news on its selection as the ‘One Book‘ to read (we have a similar scheme in Dublin called One City One Book; the book for 2008 will be Gulliver’s Travels!), part of a bigger libraries-and-literacy programme called ‘Keep Toronto Reading‘ run by the Toronto Public Library, and the media coverage and tie-in by one of the city’s newspapers, the Toronto Star, is a very interesting example of how to draw links between books and other forms of media. (Read/see it here).
Now Consolation itself has a strong media sub-theme, as photography plays an important role in the storyline, and therefore it is already well placed for this sort of thing. The Star adds digital versions of some relevant photographs, has a wonderful video (including a book talk and more), and is encouraging readers to compile and submit their own photographs. The library presents a interactive map that again picks up on some of the century-hopping themes of the book in a nicely visual way. The whole thing is a true encapsulation of multi-media in a way that doesn’t seem forced or tokenistic – the cross-platform ideas flows from the text in many ways and, simply, it works.