Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Familiar, Volume 1

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

Published May 12th 2015 (my birthday!)

First Sentence
"First sentence..."

Publisher's Description:

From the author of the international best seller House of Leaves and National Book Award–nominated Only Revolutions comes a monumental new novel as dazzling as it is riveting. The Familiar (Volume 1) ranges from Mexico to Southeast Asia, from Venice, Italy, to Venice, California, with nine lives hanging in the balance, each called upon to make a terrifying choice. They include a therapist-in-training grappling with daughters as demanding as her patients; an ambitious East L.A. gang member contracted for violence; two scientists in Marfa, Texas, on the run from an organization powerful beyond imagining; plus a recovering addict in Singapore summoned at midnight by a desperate billionaire; and a programmer near Silicon Beach whose game engine might unleash consequences far exceeding the entertainment he intends. At the very heart, though, is a twelve-year-old girl named Xanther who one rainy day in May sets out with her father to get a dog, only to end up trying to save a creature as fragile as it is dangerous . . . which will change not only her life and the lives of those she has yet to encounter, but this world, too—or at least the world we think we know and the future we take for granted.

(With full-color illustrations throughout.)

Dear Reader,

I first have to give the publisher a HUGE hug for sending this ARC to me. Second, I want to scream because I just found out this is going to be 27 volumes long and this book is a little over 800 pages. I'm not sure if I want to jump down this rabbit hole but since I already started... I'll definitely give the next volume a go. If you've read anything by this Author, you know his drill... break down everything in the book and you'll find a reference. Some say coincidence, others say brilliance. I should also mention that this volume contains nothing "horror" related (as far as I could tell). This isn't to say that the volumes coming out won't be adding a little terror.

For those of you that aren't familiar with Danielewski, let me give you a little ride down his crazy train. Checking on the forums for those of us lucky enough to read this ahead of time, and you'll find post after post of possible connections. These connections could be huge, like the point of the certain characters but can also be so slight (almost laughable) like how the number 27 comes up in various ways (27 volumes, a character being age 27, or even a building been 27 floors). As you can see, this is the type of book/project that you have to devote yourself to. 

I'm really curious to see how this book will do because without any familiar feelings of how the Author works, a reader might get lost. This book is like reading a first chapter... you get a glimpse at the world, the characters and a slight hint of a plot TOWARDS the end, but nothing more. You won't be driven by plot, or even characters... this book will be a gigantic task and a ridiculous time commitment (27 volumes!!) However, I'm in. I wasn't terribly impressed with the lack of excitement and I was completely confused for the better part of the book, but I'm intrigued. When the Author does his thing, you can tell he put SO much into it. One of my favorite chapters was narrated by a computer program. I loved every single minute of that. The innovation is here and I want to take this magic carpet ride... I'm just hoping I don't crash and burn. Will you hop on?

 Happy Reading, 

P.S. - My review might change after getting more into the volumes... I haven't decided yet, or maybe my ratings will rise and fall depending on where he goes with it all. We shall see.

P.P.S - Much love for Akitas <3!!!

The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May

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