This is something I used to do, but haven’t done in a long time. The contrast below caught my eye and reminded me of this almost forgotten format.
The Red House by Mark Haddon:
But most of all there’s the universe of media—from books and iPods to DVDs and video games—that fortifies everyone’s private world; intrudes upon a week of misadventures, grudges, and unearthed secrets; and illuminates Haddon’s busy approach to fairly sedate material, a choice that unfortunately makes the payoffs seldom worth the pages of scattershot perspective. Characters are well-drawn (especially regarding the marital tensions lurking below facades of relative bliss), but what emerges is typical without being revelatory, familiar without becoming painfully human. The tiresomely quirky Haddon misses the epochal timbre that Jonathan Franzen hit with Freedom, and his constantly distracted novel is rarely more than a distraction itself.
VERDICT Refreshingly, Haddon takes the risk of making the ordinary extraordinary and succeeds; each character is poignantly real and each small trauma a revelation. And the language! Highly recommended.