Yet More Self-Promotion

The Internet Review of Science Fiction's August issue contains my review of Mark Z. Danielewski's--best known for the trippy, experimental ghost story House of Leaves--new novel, the even more trippy and experimental Only Revolutions. Like all IROSF articles, the review is behind a subscription shield, but registration is free.


Shahar said…
I registered to IROSF and read your excellent review, which made me once more stare at that copy of House of Leaves waiting for me to pick it up since ages ago.
There's one unclear point in the review. The book is 360 pages, that's actually 180 pages for each narrative, and taking out the "white noise" pages makes it even lower, that doesn't seem to be too long, even for a simple, rather banal storyline. Taking into account that the repetition of parts of the story in the two narratives is part of the book's main point, do you think that each narrative when read on its own is too long?

I may not have been entirely clear when I described the novel's structure, Shahar. Both narratives are 360 pages long. If you start reading the novel from one direction, you'll see that the top half of the page contains one narrative, and the bottom half contains the other narrative, upside-down, so that in order to read it you have to turn the book over and start from the other direction.

But more importantly, I think 'too long' is a term that's subjective not only according to the reader, but according to the novel. House of Leaves, at 700+ pages, is a lot less overlong than Only Revolutions, which clocks in at less than half the page-count and significantly less than half the word-count.

It's possible that when read on their own, Hailey and Sam's narratives aren't as wearying as they are when read concurrently, but since it is necessary to read both narratives in order to to fully comprehend the novel, I'm not sure that this answers my complaint.

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