Lois Leveen

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October 15, 2014

Can One Page Reveal an Entire Book?

What can one page tell you about an entire novel?

According to Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian cultural theorist, if you are trying to decide whether to read a novel, you should flip it open to page 69 and read that page. If you like it, chances are you'll like the novel. If not, then no.

Does it work? According to the Guardian, you can try it as a reader on everything from Great Canonical Works to Pop Trash, to varying (but maybe equally revealing and useful) effects.

I was recently asked to take the Page 69 Test not as a reader but as an author. Flip to p. 69: what does it tell you about your book.

As it turns out, page 69 may be the shortest page in Juliet's Nurse. So what, if anything, can it tell you about the novel as whole?

A lot. Find out precisely what over at the wonderful blog The Page 69 Test.

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