I don’t know if this is kosher to talk about but it’s something that really caught my attention. As we all know the city of Khaufpur is a fictionalization of the real life city of Bhopal. Likewise the characters are all fictional and which of course makes the story fictional as well. And yet, it’s presented as a true story… which basically makes it a fictional story based on real life events that’s presenting itself as non-fiction. Of course such a blurring between real life and fiction is deliberate on the part of the author.
This is exemplified by the “Editor’s Note” at the very beginning of the story. There at the very bottom it gives a linkto the city of Khaufpur’s website. Before I had even read a page of Animal’s story I had opened my laptop and checked out the website. I think it’s an extremely nice touch to help bring to life the city of Khaufpur. Not only that, it provides rich grounds for inside jokes. Take the third entry in the Matrimonial section for example, “Jaanvar 19, Private Eye– ‘How a person looks it’s not so important as what is in the heart. I am a sincere person what about you?”’
But it’s not all just fun and games. The Classified section has a number of different subcategories each with an ad or two, except for the Health category which has fifteen. Of course, all of them can be connected to the chemical explosion in some way.
I spent a fair amount of time noodling around on that website and it got me wondering, why don’t most books do this sort of thing? In this age of tweets and constant internet connection is it viable for books set in modern settings to have these (fake) websites to elaborate upon the world the story takes place? In what ways could this idea be expanded upon?