Thursday, November 09, 2006

Next Wednesday, The National Book Foundation will announce the winners of the 2006 National Book Award. My hope is that they will give the fiction award to Mark Z. Danielewski’s Only Revolutions, which is one of the five finalists.

I am in love with this book and I believe you should be, too. Nothing compares to it. Nothing. Publisher's Weekly says it's "A pastiche of Joyce and Beckett, with heapings of Derrida's Glas and Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 thrown in for good measure." Ostensibly, it's about a pair of teenagers, Sam and Hailey, who are perpetually sixteen, who travel through time and country. It's 360 pages long, with 360 words per page, and half the story is printed one way and the other half is printed the other way, and you read 8 pages of one story and then flip the book over and read eight pages of the other story, and there are notes on the margin that chart historical events, and it’s in verse, and it’s brilliant, underline it, brilliant!

It makes me so bloody happy that I have a hard time reading it because I am constantly giggling at how ingenious it is. Really. It’s so good that I can barely contain myself, and I worry that my girlfriend might rightly be jealous of my relationship with it.

If you want to become a more enlightened human being, someone who is capable of imagining fiction beyond the tediously boring constraints of conventional storytelling, if you want to experience a true literary experiment that reconstructs the boundaries of the form, you must go right this instant to your local bookstore and buy this book!

Seriously. Help fight the monster of boredom and stupidity.

Click here to listen to Danielewski on Bookworm. Click here to visit the super cool official website for OR.

(I will be posting excerpts as I continue to swim in the prose. If you too are reading, or have recently finished, please share your favorite passages in the comments section!)

From Sam’s section, pg. 3:

I will sacrifice nothing.
For there are no countries.
Except me. And there is only
one boundary. Me

From Hailey’s section, pg. 9:

I’m too multiple to feel.

Also from Hailey's section, pg. 26:

-You cain't own
what you cain't end.