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Only Revolutions: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 12, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
That's because this story accomplishes very little, other than the creative non-linear methods. Of course, Danielewski has concocted a storytelling schema that is truly unique, and I can appreciate the mechanical focus on the numbers 180 and 360, and the running theme of revolutions in the book's graphical layout. You may even dig the main premise about the literally timeless and ageless road trip, while Danielewski's creative language constructions and period slang can be quite likeable.Read more ›
Now six years later, Danielewski has produced his follow-up -- the equally strange, scintillating road-trip novel "Only Revolutions." The format is mind-bending, the characters equally strange -- and Danielewski hasn't lost his touch for the compelling, poignant, the postmodern, and the post-weird.
Hailey and Sam are a pair of eternal teenagers, apparently untouched by time either physically or psychologically ("We're always sixteen!"). They careen through much of American history -- past and present -- in a changing fleet of cars, touching down in various important places and times.
But though they have no responsibilities, Hailey and Sam are not free of cares. As they run through the US, they seem to be enmeshed in the goings-on of wars, parties, exploration and social revolution (the Civil War). Will they escape the oppressive THEM pursuing them, or lose what is most important to them?
For a cult author, there's always a question about whether they can stay fresh and cutting-edge. Fortunately, Danielewski has outrun that particular concern. "Only Revolutions" is written in the same surreal freestyle as "House of Leaves," but the author never forgets to include the story as well.
And as the Escherian plot unwinds ("unfolds" just doesn't fit), it becomes obvious that this is actually two stories: a love story, and a sort of American allegory. They are rebels and free spirits, running up against bizarre characters -- like the multi-military Creep -- who seem symbolic of the nastier sides of our society. Hailey and Sam are the ones who represent the better side of the country.Read more ›
It took me about half the book to start actually following the story. I haven't figured out why plants and animals get two tones of bold-faced text.
I did notice right away the || symbols on the spine, and in the introductions. (These symbols appeared at the beginning in HoL in green, and in brown at the end). I only saw the two teeny ones when I got to those pages.
I am fifty-eight years old and when the type teeny I had to use a lens to see the historical gutters.
I could on and on with specific examples. The book contains a lot of little details all put together. But for what? For MZD to show how clever he is?
I suppose I could read it again right away (like I did with The Familiar Vol. 1), but I have too many books on my TBR pile.
I suppose every fan of MZD needs to have and read this book. Whether you will "get it", I don't know. I didn't.
I've come to feel Only Revulsion for this beast.
I can't tell what happened here, but this is book is a mess. I honestly couldn't finish this thing because I felt that, somewhere, Danielewski was having a laugh at his readers' expense. Lemme give you some background.
Danielewski wrote House of Leaves, one of the most complex and multi-layered novels I've read. And even better, it had a unique and well spun tale in it (several infact, like Russian Dolls, but the House is the main one.) I loved this book. The author even made the book's physical layout as complex and involoved as the story was. At first, the House's layout looked like a gimmick, but no; it actually enhanced th quality of the tale.
Since then he's published a spin off novel and now.... this beast.
As I said, the reason the layout in House of Leaves was not a gimmick is because it actually enhanced the tale. In this book, you have sprawling chaos up one side of the page and down the other, literaly. The tale... a sort of eternal love tale begins in this crazed stream of conciousness that is accented my enlarging and shifting fonts; when you finish with the point of view of one character, you flip the book over and begin reading from the other's perspective. The layout here is a gimmick.
It is a gimmick because not only does the layout fail to improve the text, it renders what is already Near Incomprehensible into A Damned Mess of Words.
I'm trying to find more to write but...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Only Revolutions is a failed follow up to the widely successful House of Leaves. Those familiar with experimental narrative always must ask themselves "why this format? Read morePublished 23 days ago by Amazon Customer
It’s very interesting. So there are two characters, Hailey and Sam. And they tell their point of view of the story on the same page but one of them is upside down and starts at the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Johnny Nys
Look, I'm not going to waste time trying to judge whether or not Danielewski is a "good" writer. Clearly, he has a point of view and communicates it well. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jason E. Waters
I love this book, however, it is published in a very beautiful and clever way that does matter and does make reading the story more exciting in the end. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Danielewski is a very divisive author. People either love his work rabidly or hate it dismissively. If you can't tell, I'm in the former camp. This book is his most challenging. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Nicholai Patchen