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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Only Revolutions

by Ariel (editor), Venice, CA, August 22, 2006

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Six years have passed since The House Of Leaves, written by Mark Z. Danielewski, was published.

This amazing novel, ignoring all the conventions of classical literature, quickly became a cult favorite. By using different page layouts, fonts, long footnotes, and even footnotes inside of footnotes, Mark Z. Danielewski took his readers into a labyrinth, his "house of leaves", from which you could only escape by turning the book upside down, literally. His work has been described as a "satire of academic criticism" and an "existentialist horror novel" by various critics.

Danielewski, a USC alumni, is back after 6 long years and his new novel, Only Revolutions is scheduled to be released on September 12th by Pantheon Books. For more than two years, this book was referred to as "THAT" by its author and many believed it would be the official title when published.
Only Revolutions (in which the 'o's are printed in different colors than the rest of the text) is a road trip novel alternating between the points of view of two characters: Hailey and Sam. They are two teenagers who embark on a journey across America. The book is printed on two sides, one for each character. By flipping the book over, the reader can switch from Hailey's point of view to Sam's. Pantheon Books suggests in a note to read 8 pages of one character's point of view and then flip the book upside-down to read the other's. This sounds very similar to the intricacies of the footnotes in The House Of Leaves.

Amazon has a neat description of the book but it's unclear if it's an official description released by Pantheon Books, an unlicensed description, or an excerpt taken directly from the book. The passage is as follows:

"Sam:
They were with us before Romeo & Juliet. And long after too. Because they’re forever around. Or so both claim, carolling gleefully:
We’re allways sixteen.
Sam & Hailey, powered by an ever-rotating fleet of cars, from Model T to Lincoln Continental, career from the Civil War to the Cold War, barrelling down through the Appalachians, up the Mississippi River, across the Badlands, finally cutting a nation in half as they try to outrace History itself.
By turns beguiling and gripping, finally worldwrecking, Only Revolutions is unlike anything ever published before, a remarkable feat of heart and intellect, moving us with the journey of two kids, perpetually of summer, perpetually sixteen, who give up everything except each other.

Hailey:
They were with us before Tristan & Isolde. And long after too. Because they’re forever around. Or so both claim, gleefully carolling:
We’re allways sixteen.
Hailey & Sam, powered by an ever-rotating fleet of cars, from Shelby Mustang to Sumover Linx, careen from the Civil Rights Movement to the Iraq War, tearing down to New Orleans, up the Mississippi River, across Montana, finally cutting a nation in half as they try to outrace History itself.
By turns enticing and exhilarating, finally breathtaking, Only Revolutions is unlike anything ever conceived before, a remarkable feat of heart and intellect, moving us with the journey of two kids, perpetually of summer, perpetually sixteen, who give up everything except each other."


The highly anticipated book comes out September 12th, and I'm sure it will be flying off the shelves.


About the Writer

Ariel is an editor for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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