Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Match Game

Let's play a game. See if you can match the writer to the fact:

1. Officially recognized as history's most prolific novelist for writing 904 books under six pen names.

2. More than once wrote a 35,000 word novel overnight.

3. Currently holds the world's record for longest novel title at a whopping 290 words.

4. Penned a 1.5-million-word opus that is widely considered to be the longest novel in English.

5. Used 70 different pen names to write 850+ books.

6. Composed one of the earliest novels in human history.

7. Wrote a 110,000 word novel in 21 days without electricity, running water, paper or pen.

A. Davide Ciliberti
B. Murasaki Shikibu
D. Marcel Proust
E. Mary Faulkner
F. Lauran Paine
G. Prentiss Ingraham

No Googling now -- answers will be provided in comments at the end of the day.


  1. 5 - E
    6 - B
    7 - C

    Well, guessing ... I know two people in that list. ;)

  2. 1. C
    2. C
    3. C
    4. C
    5. C
    6. C (due to freak time-travel accident)
    7. C

  3. #7 is PBW but I don't know the rest.

  4. When I first read it, I thought they were all Proust. Amazing man. A few don't fit all that well, but there you go.

    Of course, he didn't write in English, I'm not sure he had 6 pen names, though he certainly had a few.
    I really have no idea. I won't guess because I've been googling (cannot be left on tenterhooks like that!), but although I have a literature degree, I've only heard of a couple of those. Just goes to show, doesn't it?

  5. The only one I know off the top of my head is #7. I remember you posting about that. I still think it is absolutely amazing that you could do that. I wish I remember the novel title...

    Thanks for brain break now it is back to studying...Someone remind me why I decided to get my geek degree instead of just staying a happy little arsewiper?

    P.S. Can't wait to read Shadowlight tonight at work on my ereader ;)

  6. 1. C
    2. G
    3. F
    4. E
    5. D
    6. B
    7. How is this even possible? I would have guessed Ted Kaczynski, didn't he at least have a typewriter? Maybe A?

    Now off to google to see how back I sucked! Thanks for the pop quiz.

  7. Well...one out of seven isn't all that bad, right? I get an F-!

  8. Answers to the Match Game:

    1E. Mary Faulkner (1903-1973) -- South African author who is ranked by the Guiness Book of World Records as history's most prolific novelist for writing 904 books under six pen names.

    2G. Prentiss Ingraham (1843 -1904) American dime novelist of 600+ books, 200 of which were on Buffalo Bill, who also "occasionally" wrote a 35,000 word novel overnight.

    3A. Davide Ciliberti: Italian author who currently holds the world's record for longest novel title: "Per favore dite a mia madre che faccio il pubblicitario lei pensa che sono un pierre e che quindi regalo manciate di free entry e consumazioni gratis a chi mi pare, rido coi vips, i calciatori le veline e le giornaliste, leggo Novella e mi fotografano i paparazzi, entro neI privé saltando la coda, bevo senza pagare, sono ghiotto di tartine e gin tonic, ho la casa piena di oggetti di design, conosco Paris Hilton, Tom Ford ed Emilio".

    4D. Marcel Proust, author of "In Search of Lost Time" a single book which is a staggering 1.5-million-words.

    5F. Lauran Paine (1916-), an American paperback novelist, used 70 different pen names to write 850+ books, mostly westerns but also some mysteries and romances.

    6B. Murasaki Shikibu, aka Lady Murasaki, a Japanese woman who composed "The Tale of the Genji" around the eleventh century in Japan.

    7C. PBW. During the 2004 hurricane season my family and I went through four consecutive major hurricanes which devastated our region and knocked out our power for nearly a month. I wrote Afterburn, a 110,000 word SF novel in 21 days during that time without electricity, running water, paper or pen. In fact, I wrote the entire book on a battery-powered Palm PDA with a folding keyboard with no means of backing it up, printing it out or otherwise saving it (I couldn't even change out the batteries because it had no memory card.)

  9. I'm going to quibble about Proust. Yes, the translation of In Search of Lost Time is probably the longest novel in English, but the novel was originally written in French.

    You could also argue about the extent to which all seven volumes count as a single "work," since the last three weren't completed until after his death. If that's the standard, what about Tolkien's 12-volume History of Middle Earth?