Book Review: Only Revolutions

11 Nov 2014 | 01:12

    Author: Mark Z. Danielewski

    Publisher: Pantheon

    On the surface, Only Revolutions reads the way I always pictured a chaotic heroin-induced romp through the annals of American history would read. It’s difficult to decide whether Danielewski is merely reinventing the novel as a medium, or has constructed his own, entirely original platform from which to destroy literary convention with his four dimensional assault on a readership that is anchored to the realities of linear time. The book is printed in a way that it must be read both backward and forward, completing the symmetry that is integral to its concept. The style of printing would confound Gutenberg and delight Heisenberg with its consistent yet barely perceptible alterations.

    Our champions are Sam and Hailey, two youthful kids, who race back and forth across our great land, improbably spanning two centuries, in some doomed and inscrutable attempt to defy time’s inexorable advance. They are constantly fleeing an implacable antagonist known only as “The Creep,” while expressing their mutual undying affection as only carefree, drug-addled teens are truly able to do.

    Expect Danielewski’s next book to introduce auditory and aromatic aspects in order to further shove the paradigm over a post-modern cliff. 

    Reading Sept. 24. KGB Bar and Sept. 25 at Chelsea Barnes & Noble.