I walked into my local bookstore yesterday and the very first thing I see is a stand-alone display of Mark Z. Danielewski’s work. The display contains both his bestselling House of Leaves and his new novel, Only Revolutions. The sight of this display, in and of itself, was exciting. It’s nice to see a literary writer, or at least a more challenging one, get the kind of high profile treatment usually reserved for the heavyweights of beach reading.
Then I picked up Only Revolutions. I had an advance copy, but it doesn’t do justice to the incredible design and presentation of the finished product. A preprinted case, four text colors, eight fonts, and the usual Danielewski formatting experiments… this book is beautiful and it’s clear that the folks at Pantheon pulled out all the stops.
The worst thing about the release of this book is that it comes in the middle of the week. Danielewski books should be marketed with a coupon for a free weekend hotel room so you’ll have some piece and quiet. Because you immediately want to dive into the new novel, but it isn’t the kind of thing you can read for ten minutes before bed. You really need to set aside a number of hours in total isolation for the obsession that Danielewski will inflict upon you.
More on this book to come, and as you begin to decipher its exercise in reading, please let me know what you think. But for now, let’s just say that this is the way a book should be launched.
Oh, and if you want an idea of the type of time disintegrator Danielewski is capable of, check out the book’s website.