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The Familiar: One Rainy Day in May: 1…
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The Familiar: One Rainy Day in May: 1 [Lingua Inglese]: Danielewski Mark… (edição: 2015)

de Mark Z. Danielewski (Autore)

Séries: The Familiar (1)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
5561933,671 (3.49)16
From the universally acclaimed, genre-busting author of House of Leaves comes a new book as dazzling as it is riveting . . . A page-turner from start to finish, ranging from Southeast Asia to Mexico to Venice, Italy, and Venice, California, with characters as diverse as a therapist-in-training whose daughters prove far more complex than her patients, an ambitious East-L.A. gang member hired for violence, two scientists on the run in Marfa, Texas, a recovering addict in Singapore summoned by a powerful but desperate billionaire, a programmer near Silicon Beach whose game engine just might augur far more than he suspects, and at the very heart a 12-year-old girl who one rainy day in May sets out from Echo Park to get a dog only to find something else . . . something that will not only alter her life but threaten the world we all think we know and the future we take for granted.… (mais)
Membro:icedtati
Título:The Familiar: One Rainy Day in May: 1 [Lingua Inglese]: Danielewski Mark Z.
Autores:Mark Z. Danielewski (Autore)
Informação:Pantheon Books (2015), Edition: 01, 839 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read

Work Information

The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May de Mark Z. Danielewski

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» Veja também 16 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 19 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Language is putty in Danielewski’s expert hands. I choose to refrain from further elaboration until after I read at least the next few volumes (though before the proposed twenty-seven). ( )
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
Unreadable gibberish. Not worth the time. Very disappointed. ( )
  kerryp | Jul 4, 2020 |
It is very misleading to give this a 3 - 3.5 'average' rating as this is anything but an average literary work. That overall score is a hedge--I'd give

2- for the actual story
4+ for the creative and wholly original storytelling elements.

Although I love reading experimental fiction which has much greater reading risk/reward by definition, what Danielewski does graphically and with fonts and sentence structure is fascinating.

There are maybe 6 (or 8?) different story lines in this volume - very different characters, settings, contexts and situations that the author sets up in this first volume ostensibly to connct later.

There's not much meat of story here and even the contextualizing feels somewhat unnecessary. I think I could in one sentence sum up what storyline contributes to the plot, or rather, what I think the plot is building towards. even if I can't tie everything together neatly yet. This single volume was over 800 pages and it feels very unsatisfying - like he barely scratched the surface of the plot when you're done. Or at least, that's what it felt like for me.

Truth be told - reading this is a lot of work for what, at least in this first volume, is not a super impressing, compelling or engrossing story with little reward for the effort. It's dressed to thrill, but underneath - the promise far exceeds the reality. YMMV, but I felt zero emotional impact or connection.

I'm saying that as someone who loved House of Leaves in form and narrative. I loved that. So far, I admire and appreciate, but hardly love this.

What's fantastic and what makes this worth reading for at least a few more subsequent volumes is the visual storytelling experience - the way the text is laid on the page, the syntax structure and pacing, the typefaces/fonts all play a role in shaping how each character and storyline thinks and operates.

There's a preview of the second volume at the end of the first that involves overlapping letters/words making a bird shape and it it...masterful and menacing and simply amazing. Even in the first volume, the text takes literal shape in ways that are beyond comparison.

I've never seen anything like it and it's genius in concept, even if that genius hasn't yet been fully realized in execution. This is truly literature as art - a sort of performance theater/gallery exhibit in book form.

I guess I'm hoping if I stick with it, the execution will catch up to the concept. Or at least, there won't be such a gap in between them. I own the next few volumes, so for sure I'll make it through those eventually.

At this point, I'm not sure I've got the stamina (or patience) for a slow payoff across the promised 27-28(!) volumes.

Other practical things of note:

I highly recommend avoiding the Kindle/ebook version at all costs. I can't see how it would translate translate from page to digital. It'd be an excruciating reading experience for sure.

Beware the weight--the printed book is STUNNING, but seriously HEAVY - uncomfortably so for smaller hands or more senior readers with arthritic hands. I'd lose feeling in my leg from balancing the book or have to shake out my hands from time to time...I've read some thick and meaty books in my day, and the weight of this was like nothing else I could remember either. ( )
1 vote angiestahl | Oct 28, 2019 |
I started rereading this & honestly it's a VERY low 2 stars. There's no way anyone's buying 27 books of this. No way in hell. ( )
  Adammmmm | Sep 10, 2019 |
In other words: I am not original. I am merely a blend of current texts neither influenced nor influential because all that I reveal can at any point be reconfigured via any of the above-mentioned subset voicings.

The above quote arrives two-thirds of the way through the first (and likely my last) volume of the planned 27 volume series The Familiar. The highlighted section reveals the nature of the Narrative Constructs, the explanation behind these mysterious statements and explanations which litter the novel form its first pages. The existence of the Narcons isn't a spoiler, it is barely a plot device. Like so much of this, it is filler or masturbation. It isn't that reader will or won't "get" it. The point remains, why? This vague/arty/lazy situation places the author and reader in a strange predicament.

There is some gorgeous writing here. There are also pages and pages of a single word repeated at different angles: why? One explanation is to delineate something via font and image which language can't. If that is the rub, then stick to film.

There are at least a half dozen plotlines. One expects some healthy fleshing in a 22,000 page project, unless "mewl" and "cry" receive the obligatory 9000 pages of distortion and elongation. Another aspect of this project which pisses me off is when people speak a foreign language Danielewski employs the native graphemes. What kind of shit is that?

As I noted above, there is some touching narrative about the host family some spectacular passages about the monsoon gripping Southern California and I have to give it three stars -- despite my internal rumblings and protestations.

MZD is a Pseud. Spread the word.
( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 19 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
...this book reads less like a novel than an art project put together by a college sophomore after his third joint. The reader is introduced to the first Singapore section with “they saysay she tutor demons, lah. saysay mice dance to her finger snap and a pelesit.” Not long after, the reader is whisked away to Marfa, where the two scientists speak to each other in what sounds like dialogue from Matrix fan fiction. (Danielewski later name-checks the science fiction film, because of course he does.)

Authors do not have a responsibility to write easy books. But the problem with The Familiar isn’t that it’s difficult; it’s that it’s unreadable. Take away the typographical gimmicks, the frequently unfathomable dialogue, and the confusing storylines that pass for a plot, and you’re essentially left with nothing.
adicionado por amanda4242 | editarThe Guardian, Michael Schaub (May 12, 2015)
 

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From the universally acclaimed, genre-busting author of House of Leaves comes a new book as dazzling as it is riveting . . . A page-turner from start to finish, ranging from Southeast Asia to Mexico to Venice, Italy, and Venice, California, with characters as diverse as a therapist-in-training whose daughters prove far more complex than her patients, an ambitious East-L.A. gang member hired for violence, two scientists on the run in Marfa, Texas, a recovering addict in Singapore summoned by a powerful but desperate billionaire, a programmer near Silicon Beach whose game engine just might augur far more than he suspects, and at the very heart a 12-year-old girl who one rainy day in May sets out from Echo Park to get a dog only to find something else . . . something that will not only alter her life but threaten the world we all think we know and the future we take for granted.

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