Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

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Only Revolutions

Mark Z. Danielewski's new novel, Only Revolutions, will be published in September.

That's a page from it. The book is about teenage lovers called Hailey and Sam, and it is printed on two sides--one side tells the story from Hailey's point of view, and when you flip it over and you get Sam's side. Above is Hailey, below is Sam.

I've been wondering what it is that Danielewski would do after The House of Leaves and I have to say that I'm not sure about this. I loved House of Leaves and it was always going to be a touch act to follow, but teenage lovers? The cover references Romeo and Julliet and Tristan and Isolde and that just sets my shit-o-meter off. And while I don't want to hassle the entire thing, the covers aren't reassuring me none here, either.

Worse, however, I must admit that I found that sample page there to be nothing but wank. Seriously. You walk a fine line with the wank when you do experimental things, I assure you, so there's always a chance that you'll jump that line and end up sailing through this world of one handed ideas and prose dressed up in some clever concepts, and shouting, "I'm doing something important, important!" but really, a monkey has been doing the same thing for years. On a certain level, you have to admire Danielewski for what he has done, and for giving a first page (assuming it is a first page) that at first glance is an incomprehensible jumble.

I'm signing on for Only Revolutions, because even if it is all wank, I'm sure it'll make an interesting use of the page and the forms across it, which I'm always interested in seeing. But I kind of hope that my first impression here is not going to turn out right.
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