Online Books

I recently had an email from Lauren Fisher who is working on a project with the Telegraph – Alexander McCall Smith (author of No 1 Ladies Detective Agency is writing an online novel on the Telegraph site, called ‘Corduroy Mansions’, with a new chapter written each day. The project started in September, and will finish in February. You can catch up online at

Lauren wrote: €˜Corduroy Mansions’ has been running for a few months, and it’s easy to catch up. You can read the chapters on the site, as an rss feed or email update, as a downloadable widget, or you can follow the project on Twitter The author has just resumed writing following a 2 week break over the holidays, so it is a good time to get back in to the story.

I’ve had a quick look and it is now up to Chapter 76, but they’re short chapters and only take a couple of minutes to read. Even so I’m not sure I can read so much online! This is the modern equivalent of the 19th century serials of books in magazines  – Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and so on.  Will it catch on?

2 thoughts on “Online Books

  1. I’ve been listening since late last year Marg, and I’m up to chapter 74. It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere much, or perhaps its direction has been lost because of the episodic nature of it. But Andrew Sachs (Manuel from Fawlty Towers) is worth listening to. Each chapter takes 7-8 minutes to listen to.
    Just recently though they changed, for the worse, the way you get to the audio file. They have a widget that used to take you straight to the episode but now it takes you to the Telegraph front page and you have to then meander your way to CORDUROY MANSIONS and then locate the audio. Extremely annoying. I’ve commented twice about it on the site but seemingly without effect.


  2. Kerrie, do you think the chapters are too short? I’ve only read the first two and it seemed to be much shorter than chapters in a printed book. I know this is a contradiction – I’m saying on the one hand I don’t want to read long chapters on line but on the other hand just a few paragraphs a day just don’t seem very satisfying to me.


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