Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Flavor of our Books.

Publishers and authors know that romance novels and ice cream go together. They know that Shakespeare goes better with Camembert and Faulkner is smoother with rye whiskey. Mike Mignola's Hellboy comes alive with a Baby Ruth, and Mickey Spillane and Anne Rice beg for the taste of fresh blood in your mouth.

I asked recently on Twitter about things that became more valuable when licked, and now I can say that books can be added to that very short list as several new authors have published books where the ink and paper has flavor.

Jolene Campbell's Beaver on Mars uses this new technology to add apples, pine, chalk and other flavors to her novel. "Nothing else conveys the mood like taste," she says, licking the page of a frantic chase scene that fills her taste buds with cinnamon.

James Frey's new book, A Million Plus One tastes like shit, actual human feces. When asked which technology he used to get the paper to taste that way, he replied, "I didn't do anything special. My books just taste like shit naturally."

Many publishers are adding this technology to their recent releases, but trends suggest that readers are looking for even more direct ways to incorporate more sensory participation into the reading experience.

One major publisher is said to be working on a device that will, at a predetermined point in the story, either terrifying or suspenseful, will actually slam shut on the reader's tit.

"But we're still in the testing phase," the unnamed source stated.

-- idea stolen from "The Soundtrack of Our Books."

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