253? Why 253

This novel happens in London, England, on an underground train.


There are seven carriages on a Bakerloo Line train, each with 36 seats. A train in which every passenger has a seat will carry 252 people. With the driver, that makes 253.

This novel describes an epic journey from Embankment station, to the Elephant and Castle, named after the Infanta de Castile who stayed there, once. This is an example of the verbal imprecision that costs British industry millions of pounds a year.

Numbers, however, are reliable. So that the illusion of an orderly universe can be maintained, all text in this novel, less headings, will number 253 words.

Each passenger is described in three ways:

Outward appearance : does this seem to be someone you would like to read about?

Inside information : sadly, people are not always what they seem.

What they are doing or thinking : many passengers are doing or thinking interesting things. Many are not.

Nothing much happens in this novel. It is ideal fare for invalids. Those seeking sensation are advised to select the End of the Line option.

Do you sometimes wonder who the strangers around you are? This novel will give you the illusion that you can know. Indeed, it can make you feel omniscient, Godlike. This is a pleasurable sensation. But please remember that once you leave 253 , you are no longer Godlike. The author, of course, is.

253 happens on January 11th 1995, which is the day I learned my best friend was dying of AIDS.


Journey Planner
Car 1 passengers
Car 2 passengers
Car 3 paggengers
Car 4 passengers
Car 5 passengers
Car 6 passengers
Car 7 passengers
The End of the Line
Another One Along in a Minute
Home Page


This site has been written, encoded and uploaded by Geoff Ryman . Send him an e-mail message at Ryman.Worksltd@btinternet.com.