Author Topic: The Familiar (By House of Leaves author Mark Z. Danielewski)  (Read 360 times)

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Offline Variety of Cells

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There's a chance I won't get any replies here because these are daunting books, but they are absolutely worth taking the time to read.  They also beg to be talked about and theorized over, so in the off chance that someone here is interested I thought I'd start a thread. 

The Familiar series continues Mark's crazy and beautiful use of formating that he started with House of Leaves. The way words are displayed change from page to page in the most beautiful, crazy, and meaningful ways.  It's hard to explain, so here's an example from House of Leaves.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Mark takes it to the next level in The Familiar.  A couple examples below. 

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Most pages are not so abstract, but they are rarely normal, and never bland.  They tell many separate stories from different points of view that are only now in the third book starting to subtly connect together. 

And these are 800 page books.  Many of the pages only have a few words on them, or no words at all, but Mark is definitely taking his time weaving this world together.  Mark claims it will be a 27 part series, of which 3 have been released so far.

I'm doing a horrible job of pitching this book.  But while I now love most of the characters and find the plot deeply interesting, talking about it here isn't going to make you want to read it.  It has taken 2,400 pages for me to kind of almost have an idea what's going on.  But the journey has been beautiful, cryptic, touching, magical, scary, and compelling.  If you are willing to put the work in, these books are wonderful.

If you do give them a shot, here's a tip: Don't try to make any sense out of everything right away.  Just keep plowing through, knowing that eventually things will start coming together.  And maybe some things won't.  Still have another 23 books to go.