Only Revolutions

Only Revolutions

by Mark Z. Danielewski


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375713903
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/10/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 339,715
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.99(d)

About the Author

Mark Z. Danielewski was born in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles. He is the author of House of Leaves.


Los Angeles, California

Date of Birth:

March 5, 1966

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


B.A., Yale University, 1988; M.F.A., University of Southern California, 1993

Reading Group Guide

The introduction, discussion topics, and suggestions for further reading that follow are designed to enhance your group's discussion of Only Revolutions, Mark Danielewski's riveting follow-up to his acclaimed first novel, House of Leaves.

1. Who are Sam & Hailey? Why and how are Sam & Hailey "allways sixteen"?

2. The narrative of Only Revolutions is written in first person present tense. Why do Sam & Hailey use present tense when telling their story? The dedication, “You were there,” is the only instance of second person past tense within the novel. What does this say about the reader? What does this say about the author? About Sam & Hailey? About the connection between the reader and Sam & Hailey?

3. Why are the names of the characters Hailey & Sam? Why is the main antagonist simply called The creep? Why are “Them” never specifically referred to except in an ambiguous third person accusative plural personal pronoun?

4. Why does The creep represent such a threat to Sam & Hailey? Does he have a part in one or both of their past lives? Why is The creep printed in purple? The dates in the History Sidelines are also printed in purple—do you find a connection between the historical events and The creep? Is there a connection between the passing of time and The creep?

5. Why does Hailey's story begin in 1963? Why does Sam’s story begin in 1863? Do you find the novel to be "Chronologically Arranged,"as stated on the copyright page? How can they be experiencing the same events when their lives seem separated by such a span of time? Given that the chronology extends through a period of two hundred years while Sam & Hailey remain "allways sixteen," could they be considered immortal? Ghosts? If their timelessness is merely a claim, how does this impact the novel?

6. Sam is associated with animals, while Hailey is associated with plants. Why is Hailey associated with plants? Why is Sam associated with animals? Each character is shown speaking to their respective kingdoms at the beginning of the text, yet the animals and plants become silent near the end of the text. How does this fact connect to the outcome of each character’s story? What connections can be made between the flora and fauna presented and the characters’ geographical location? What connections can be made between the type of actions displayed by the animals/plants and the procession of seasons in the novel?

7. Both Sam’s & Hailey’s stories begin with a descent from The Mountain and end with an ascent back up The Mountain. What is the significance of The Mountain in Only Revolutions? What Mythological connections can be drawn between Sam & Hailey, their animals/plants, and The Mountain? What Religious connections? Historical? Ecological? Geological?

8. What is the significance of Sam’s Horse? What is the significance of Hailey’s Tree? What incident(s) led Hailey & Sam to begin traveling?

9. Why is Hailey without shoes? Why is she concerned about this? Why doesn’t Sam have a hat? Why is he concerned about this? Is either situation resolved?

10. Sex is an important theme in the book. How is the sexual relationship between Hailey & Sam portrayed? Why does Sam promise to “allways only come outside” (S/H 48.3)? Does this change? Why is Hailey unable to have orgasms? Is this resolved? When and how?

11. What is the significance of Honey throughout the novel? Why do they begin with twelve jars? Hailey is allergic to bees and is hospitalized for it, yet Sam, who seemed immune to bee stings at that point, takes on a similar reaction to bees at the end of Hailey’s story. What does this say about the nature of Sam & Hailey’s union at the “end” of the novel and how it has changed? Though bees represent a danger to both Sam & Hailey, Honey is used for many positive purposes by Hailey & Sam. In what ways is Honey used in Only Revolutions? Currency? Sustenance? An elixir? Given that Honey is a substance highly resistant to bacterial contamination and was often used for purposes of embalming (for its supposed “immortal” qualities), what can be implied by the fact that the only food Sam & Hailey are shown eating is Honey?

12. What is the significance of the “Leftwrist Twist” in Only Revolutions? Why does the stone or jewel of Hailey & Sam’s “Leftwrist Twist” constantly change? Does the quality of their jewelry reflect upon the events of the novel in which they appear? On the state of their union? The first mention of the Leftwrist Bracelets by either character is accompanied by a given valuation: “Priceless.” How does this relate to the fact that the Leftwrist Twists are constantly changing?

13. Consider the models of the automobiles in respect to the given chronology found in the History Sideline of the page and the state of Sam & Hailey’s union. Why are the models of cars used by Sam & Hailey’s constantly changing? Sam & Hailey are never shown using the same model of automobile twice, what does this say about the nature of their vehicle?

14. Why do the names of the diner in St. Louis, and its manager and owner constantly change?

15. Can a connection be made between the appearance of the first person plural “US” and its use as the acronym of the United States in the History Sidelines? Why do Hailey & Sam capitalize both letters when using “US”? Can they be considered their own nation, their own “United States”? Does the phrase appearing on the copyright page, “The Democracy Of Two,” relate to this? Can it be looked at as a critique of America? Is this historical book about adolescence or adolescence of a country? Is it political?

16. The first page of each character’s side has the sentence “Everyone loves the Dream but I kill it” (1.5-6). The last page of either side has the sentence “Everyone betrays the Dream but who cares for it?” (360.12-13). How does this concept of “the Dream” evolve throughout the novel? Do Hailey & Sam betray “the Dream”?

17. Similarly, the first page of Sam’s side contains the passage “I’ll devastate the World” (S 1.11), while Hailey’s contains the passage “I’ll destroy the World” (H 1.11). The last page of either side alters these statements, where each character admits, “I’ll destroy no World.” How does the concept of “the World” evolve throughout the novel? How do the concepts of “the World” and “the Dream” interact and affect each other? How do the characters’ relationship with the world change and why? How does the concept of themselves change? Are they less egotistical and more aware of the other?

18. What do Sam & Hailey mean when they say “We are the time” (243.16)? How can this statement be associated with the phrase “We are at once” (320.15)? How does this relate to the methods and themes of the novel?

19. On page 289 of either side, there appears the phrase “we’re bloodless.” In light of what we know about these characters, how can this be interpreted?

20. Why does Sam stop traffic as a gift to Hailey on page 299? For what occasion does he give her this gift? How does this connect with the themes of the book? What does Hailey give Sam?

21. . At one point, Hailey & Sam refer to themselves as being valueless, and liken themselves to a man-made atrocity. Sam’s: “Because I’m without value. I’m the coming of every holocaust.” (348.1-2). Hailey’s: “Because I’m without worth. I’m the march of every genocide.” (348.1-2). How do these statements connect with the narrative at that point? What does this say about each character’s perspective of their union with the other at that point? What does this say about their perspectives of themselves?

22. In many ways, Only Revolutions is a pair of monologues from egocentric characters caught in the self-centeredness common of teenagers. How does this egocentrism appear? Sam & Hailey’s love for each other often overshadows their egocentrism. In what ways are they in symbiosis? Despite the egocentrism mentioned above, Hailey & Sam are sympathetic to each other and to the various forces that oppose them (the manager of the diner in St. Louis, “Them,” and even The creep). In which ways does this sympathy manifest?

23. The egocentrism of Sam & Hailey could be a cause for the difference in each character’s account. Given that no two eyewitness accounts of any incident ever completely agree, do the differences in Sam’s & Hailey’s accounts make the events seem more or less real?

24. Throughout the text, there are a number of misaligned letters, such as the “a” in “Dream” on each character’s first page. Is it significant that the only letters that appear misaligned are A, B, C, D, E, F, & G? With what are these letters commonly associated? Why are some set higher than the line of text in which they appear, and why are some set lower?

25. In an interview, Mark Z. Danielewski said of Only Revolutions that it is “already a movie.” In which ways could the book be considered a movie? Are there any elements of the book that resemble film or filmmaking? Which movies does it recall? If Only Revolutions is a sort of movie, the dots at the top of certain pages (67/71, 139/143, 211/215, 283/287, 355/359) could be considered “cigarette burns” or reel-change warnings that appear in films. How does this reflect on the narrative of these pages? In which colors do the dots and circles appear, and why? In what ways are the dots appearing on page 359 of either side different from the others? What purpose do they serve that differs from the others?

26. There are many methods of textual arrangement that the author put into the writing of Only Revolutions, such as having 360 pages with 360 words per page printed in 36 lines. Also, the text from either side begins large, occupying the top two thirds of the page (22 lines), while the opposite character’s text fills the bottom third of the page in a much smaller size, and upside down. At the center of the novel, the text for both characters appears in the same size font. The first letter of each eight-page section is part of a continuing series spelling either H. A. I. L. E. Y. A. N. D. S. A. M. or S. A. M. A. N. D. H. A. I. L. E. Y., depending on which side you begin. How do they connect well with the themes of the work? Why do you think the author chose to structure the book in this way?

27. On the inside cover of each side of the book is printed a Concordance full of reversed words. However, besides “BEAUTY, BROOD, CHOOSE, DEVOTION, GRACE” printed within the black circles with the struck words “Found Once Once There”/”Found Once Once Here” ringing them, none of the words appear within the novel itself. What is the significance of those words, which do appear in the novel? Why is it called “The Now Here Found Concordance”? Why is its “title” struck out? The missing words are arranged by categories such as media, sight/vision, religion, race, color, interior, writing/language, etc. What does it mean, in relation to the novel, that words belonging to these categories are missing? Why is the word “house” printed in blue? Is there a connection between Only Revolutions and House of Leaves?

28. Why is the “logo” for Only Revolutions two vertical parallel lines enclosed in a circle? Does this image recall anything? Why is Hailey’s color separated from Sam’s by purple? What does the purple represent? In what ways does this reflect on the characters and the novel?

29. Why does the prefix “al-“ always appear with two “l”s? How does this theme reflect upon the novel? Why do Sam & Hailey spell “feer” with two “e”s? Why do they spell “chear” with an “a”?

30. The page numbers for each side are located within small circles, one in green for Sam and one in gold for Hailey, which are located within a larger circle. The circle for each character begins at the top of the larger circle and makes a full revolution back to the top by the end of the book. How can this be related to each character’s sense of self at the beginning and the end of the novel? The circles are shown revolving around each other. How does this relate to the novel?

31. In Hailey’s narrative, all “o”s and “0”s are printed in gold, while in Sam’s all “o”s and “0”s are printed in green. Because this seems to correspond to the eye color of each character, eyes must have a strong significance in the book. In what ways do you find eyes to be significant in the novel? In the center of the book (pages 177-184 on either side), there are 16 “o”s that are printed in the color opposite from the character’s usual color. What does this imply about the connection between Sam & Hailey at that point in the story?

32. What is your interpretation of the phrase “Expiration Date: Now,” which appears at the bottom of each character’s copyright page? Why is the phrase inverted? Why are the “o”s in this phrase printed in the color opposite of the character on which side it appears?

33. How does Sam’s narrative “end”? Hailey’s? The novel follows a procession of seasons, beginning in spring and ending in winter. Sam’s side begins with “Haloes,” while Hailey’s side begins with “Samsara,” both of which connote a rebirth or a return of some sort. Considering this, is the end of Hailey’s side the end of the novel? Sam’s? Does the novel end?

34. Why is the title Only Revolutions? How do you interpret the meaning of the title in relation to the book? How does the appearance of “Only” in the title alter the concept of “Revolutions” in the title? Does it increase it? Reduce it? Does it focus it? Isolate it? What “revolutions” can be found within the text? Political revolutions? Ecological revolutions? Spiritual?

35. How did you read the book? By the publisher’s recommendation? All of one character’s story, then the other? On which side did you begin, Sam’s or Hailey’s? Did you read the History Sidelines in a particular pattern? Did you read them thoroughly or just skim them to get the general idea? Did you find any connections between the History Sidelines and the narrative? Were the references easily identified as historical events? How do you think different reading strategies might effect the experience?

36. In which genre(s) could this book be classified? Is this a novel, in the conventional sense? Consider the item on the title page:

“Volume 0 : 360 : ∞” / “Volume 0 : 360 : ∞”

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Only Revolutions 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
FocoProject More than 1 year ago
The book is comprised of two stories, narrated by Sam and Hailey respectively in tandem but opposite of each other, so that starting the book from one end will reveal one of the character¿s story, and turning the book upsidedown and reading from the other end, reveals the other characters side of the same story. It is a He-says, She-says type narration, where you see from their own perspective how they see the story unfold. Each one of them is given exactly 180 words per page (half a revolution) and it takes the two of them together to complete 360 that fill one page in its entirety. Though they are only divided evenly at the halfway point (page 180), before that the text starts larger and gradually decreases as the books reach their end. The placing of its content is also meticulously planned, so that as the story unfolds, characters appear at the begining of the book, when they appeared at the beginning (you can see this when The Creep character returns towards the end of the book, and reading it upside down it matches to when he was first introduced in the book.

Playing over a span of about 200 years, in which the reader is given a list of events through history from 1863 through 2063 (from 2006 onward the history columns are blank), the story of Sam and Haley carries out like a road trip of sorts, starting from the moment they meet as strangers and following through their evolving relationship, from which they go from casual interst to deep love.

It is a VERY difficult read, not only in the way it is arranged but also in the fact that it resembles poetry, with a number of obscure words, which make having a thesaurus handy an advantage. In other cases, the thesaurus is entirely useless, because some of the words are actually made up. Simple mispellings underscore the meaning of common words, such as ¿already¿ or ¿altogether¿ which are often misspelled as ¿allready¿ and ¿alltogether¿ respectively. Furthermore, often times Danielewski creates words that need no meaning, because they seem to make perfect sense in their usage.

Coming across as very illustrative poetry, reading this book can be a challenge through out and it takes about 64 pages to truly get into his method of writing, and often times the events are so obscured in the way they are described by Sam and Hailey, that some sections require a second glance over. For this very reason, it is good to take the suggestion of the publisher and read the books eight pages at a time, alternating between Sam¿s story and Hailey¿s story. Even though the points of view over the same accounts may be different, it does help clarify the events themselves, given that each of them uses slightly different slang.

However, this same complexity that makes it such an astonishing piece of work, can also be detrimental so less patient readers. Until one gets used to the writing, trying to figure out what is happening can be frustrating, and even then a lot of things you have to re-read very carefully to understand, often left out for reader interpretation. For this reason alone, I will say I like House of Leaves better, which is a horror, story that complex as it may be, still makes sense. Here, it often turns into metaphors of sorts that make ense. Here, it often turns into metaphors of sorts that make for amazing visuals, but often make it difficult to translate. However, if you wish to exercise your brain, I highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this was a very good book. What attracted it to me was the crazy format. It was a challenge to read, but once you get the hang of it, it's really quite enjoyable. (If you don't mind people staring at you when you flip over the book every few minutes.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
If Danielewski actually had a story worth reading (or telling), he wouldn't completely bury it under page format tricks and nonsense under the guise of 'free verse'
isabelx on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Sam in 1929:Whereupon Polar Bears suddenlyrush among US, slashing, spending,crashing boondoggle rackets andchargé d'affaires. Too many heiresses,not enough air. Sell, sale, sail. AngryBulls stampede for the swamp. Gone.Janes, Jaybirds & Groundgrippersslump stupefiedon the lawn.Then little Hailey sniffs and desnoots:-Ahh chooooooooooooo!Hailey in 1971:When for Hemp buds rush Narks,here among US, cracking, planting,confiscating stash. Clubs and cuffs.Feebies sizzling Draft Dodgers andJoggers. Pro Athletes divingfor the pool. Late.ESTs, Guests & Prankstersslump petrifiedby the lake.But Sam swerves us throughwith a cry:-Catch US on the flip side!Hailey And Sam And Hailey And Sam And Hailey And Sam And Hailey And . . . If you start from one end of this book the story is told from Hailey's point of view, and from the other end it is told from Sam's point of view. The reader is recommended to read "Only Revolutions" in eight-page chunks alternating between their points of view. It doesn't matter which end you start at; either cover could be seen as the front cover, the publication details and title page are repeated at both ends, and my hardback copy even has two ribbon bookmarks anchored at opposite ends of the spine, gold for Hailey and green for Sam, so you don't loose your places.To start with this book bored me, as nothing much (or at least nothing comprehensible to the reader) seemed to be happening and the only reason I didn't give up on it was that it had been a birthday present from my brother. It's more like poetry than a novel, and the story doesn't exactly flow. By the time I had read 104 pages from each end, it was growing on me a bit. I think it appealed to my obsession with symmetry, and it was interesting how H & S see things rather differently from each other, as events in their stories coincide even though Sam's story runs from 1863 to 1963 and Hailey's from 1963 to 2063. I wonder if women tend to start with Hailey's pages as I did, and men with Sam's, and how my perception of the book would differ if I saw events from Sam's point of view first or if I stuck to one story rather than switching between them.Sam And Hailey And Sam And Hailey And Sam And Hailey And Sam And . . . Sam and Hailey are spirits of place, spirits of a young and vibrant country as well as of the ancient land. They are also nature spirits, with Sam having an affinity for the animal kingdom and Hailey for the plant kingdom. They are always 16, always together, and always on the move, filled with lust for sex and violence, life and death, spending two centuries criss-crossing the USA over and over again, firstly by horse or on foot and later in a vast selection of cars and the odd motorbike, before ending up back where they started, ready to begin the cycle againIt struck me just how difficult "Only Revolutions" must be to translate. As well as the many invented words, some words are deliberately misspelled to point towards other meanings, and the word us is always printed as US, to show that Hailey and Sam are the spirits of the United States, all of which would be hard to duplicate in another language."Only Revolutions" took me ages and ages to get through. I started it in early November, put it aside for the whole of December as I was finding it an extremely tedious read, and made a big effort in the new year, finally finishing it yesterday. Overall I am vacillating between fascination with the symmetry of the book and the many patterns to be found within its pages, and considering it a triumph of style over substance.
flouncyninja on LibraryThing 6 months ago
This is a story of two sixteen year olds and their whirlwind journey together, all told in strange unstructured verse. The concept of the book - that everything that happens once will happen again, though possibly with a twist - was an intriguing one, especially in consideration with Sam, the male, being tied to animals while Hailey, the female, only refers to plants. It just would have been a little more effective had it not been so long.This book took forever for me to read. It was an interesting story and the actual writing was often quite beautiful, but there was nothing about it that made me unable to put the book down. I was more interested in the process of how it was written than necessarily how it was going to end. The planning it must have took to have so many parallels, not just in the corresponding page of the opposing story, but also in the other half of the story on the same page. Similar language, story structure, or in some cases, the complete opposite. It's a very compelling piece of work to analyze, though I don't know if I would ever sit down and re-read.The side notes were unnecessary, only enforcing the constant stream of wars and destruction the human race manages on its own. I was glad when the timeline in Hailey's story went past the current date and the lines were missing. The timelines just took me out of the story, but I still felt compelled to read them since they were there.This would be a great book to write papers about, though probably not something for anyone not looking for a challenge.
Snakeshands on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I think I'm one of very few people actually set up to love this book. Obtuse pointless internal rhymes, a romp through history for some vague reason hanging on the Kennedy assassination as fulcrum, an obsessive parallelism as metaphor for love, a total overstuffing of reference as a way of talking about Americanness, and a bunch of Finnegans Wake references--yes, this is one of those things where taste is defined by what kinds of silliness you'll tolerate.But for me, anyway, it's like reading a giant sestina--all these obsessive rules, all these endless rearrangings of a few elements around a wisp of a story: boy meets girl, couple go on road trip, the forces of evil try to pry them apart, tragedy gives the whole thing meaning. For me, all the extra ways you can read parallels (back to front, top to bottom, left to right) are a sign of this book's maniacal artistry.So even though nobody else agrees, I think I'm more likely to reread this than House of Leaves. Some of that book's typographical tricks in the last few chapters just got cheesy to me and took away from the really interesting story. This thing is a seamless whole--a sometimes idiotically simple story, to be sure, but like a jewel, legible from all sorts of glittering angles.Or in other words: Boomblastandruin!
Sean191 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Only Revolutions, like Danielewski's other works, isn't just a book - it's a work of art. OK, I guess all books could be considered works of art since there's an art to writing (some books would be fine art, others would, much less than fine...) Anyway, Only Revolutions is fine art. 360 pages, 360 words to a page, each character has 180 words to a page (I's been a bit since I read). One character starts the story from the future, the other from the past. The book is to be flipped over every eight pages to read the other character's chapter. At the center of the book, they're in the same time, before they head off again in different directions. Really such an interesting book.
finnolbinski on LibraryThing 6 months ago
This should have been a short story. As a 360 (har har) page novel, it was painfully redundant. Not just because it's essentially the same 180-page story told twice from two hardly-differing perspectives, but because both narratives keep cycling over the same thing. Sure, maybe that all works with the 'revolutions' gimmick that Danielewski goes hogwild with here, but unfortunately it doesn't make for a good book. And that's just the thing : the gimmick begins to wear thin after the first two 8-page sections. If it had been, say, a 24-page short story of three sections each, I probably would have enjoyed it. Or if he had changed up the gimmick some throughout, as a breath of fresh air now & then. Danielewski just tried to do too much with too little. One star for a couple of fun phrases here & there and one star for effort.
anamuk on LibraryThing 6 months ago
There is clearly a relationship between, "Ulysess" & "Finegann's wake", & "House of Leaves" (HOL) & "Only Revolutions". Ulysess & HOL are both experimental but readable in the normal way, with a narrative arc pulling you through the difficult bits. The wake & OR go futher. Its tempting to review OR in comparison the wake as they have many things in common but I'll try not to.OR is the story(stories) of a love affair that races through history in a variety of fast cars, across america.Sam is 16, he loves Hailey also 16. Sam's version of the story starts at one end of the book and Hailey's the other. The recommended way of reading is to read 8 pages of 1 then flip the book & read 8 pages the other way, these 8 page chapters(or maybe verses) are handily marked with a Drop capital, oh yes those letters spell something out. Which brings us neatly to the typography, running down the gutter of each page is a timeline usually focussing on deaths interspersed with fragments of quotes, which may or maynot be pertinent to the story which has scattered through it odd changes in type & colour & occasional corner markings. There is also a 180-360 theme an a very neat effect if you zip through the pages flickbook fashion.All this makes OR a challenging read (physically if nothing else) and challenging to review. It's difficult to get started with the story as its mostly free verse (though one reviewer likens it to rap) and the immediate hook is missing, suddenly something clicks and a tale makes itself known. OR is difficult to review, I'm unsure how I feel about it, knowing I haven't got everything out of it, beyond a couple of glosses and the most basic of storylines. I deliberately stayed away from review and spoiler sites wanting to experience it uncoloured. Now its finished I think I'll take a break, read something more straight forward and then dive in another time.
birdmaddgirl on LibraryThing 8 months ago
i don't know what you're doing right now, but whatever it is, stop. drop everything. clear half a day to a day. just do it. lay in supplies. pick up mark z. danielewski's only revolutions. tear-ass through the narrative, because it encourages such behavior, demands it. you will close the book, and it will be lying on your lap looking exactly the same as it did before you opened it. but you will be someone entirely new.only revolutions succeeds at a nigh-impossible feat: it is a modern epic poem. it is a novel. a romance. a history. a myth. it is lewis carroll, jack kerouac, t.s. eliot, vladimir nabokov, ralph ellison. (i am stunned, actually, that no review i have yet seen of this book compares danielewski's diction to carroll's - the wordplay similarities might as well be wet fish smacking you in the face. unsurprisingly, no shortage of joyce and pynchon comparisons.)yes, yes, the presentation of this story is unusual. and people seem to either love or loathe the mobius design. like all the best writing, one reading will not suffice. with that in mind, i jettisoned the historical documentation on the first trip through, referring only to the dates. yes, there is a lot on the page. but it doesn't have to be daunting. sam and hailey's story is timeless and boundless - it is a story as old as human civilization. the narrative is free and uprooted. and danielewski creatively honors that. the work both relies upon and transcends its formatting. i'm looking forward to my second pass, to letting hailey and sam attach themselves to the ebb and flow of events and then cast themselves away. the sidebars (and the typography) allow danielewski to be innovative with this doomed-love story, to superimpose the story of america. the characters are not 'everyman.' they are every possibility. they are the unending potential of a nation that has steadfastly clung to the brink. with these perpetual teens, danielewski paints a portrait of america's national character- of our haughty isolationism, our delusions of grandeur, our energetic whirl of morebetterfasternow, and our tentative relationship to everything outside ourselves.
Humbert_Humbert on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Although the concept and delivery was incredible, I was quite dissapointed with this book/poem. Expecting more from this author of "House of Leaves" I didn't love this novel nearly as much as his debut work. Although it's definately something worth checking out, I became fearful that this talented author will become stuck in a corner of stylized writing, leaving what incredible works he has in him in the dust.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A compelling love story, written in quite a unique format. Danielewski's poetic writing, unconventional style, and beautifully unreliable narrators combine to create quite the work of art.
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Alexa_ More than 1 year ago
I wanted to love this book. The style and the format is beautiful. I was excited to read a different kind of book that would make me work at figuring it out. However, I found that the author got too caught up in trying to make this a "different" book. The poetry just seems like words on a page to me, that only make sense to the author himself. I tried taking things slow to really think about what each sentence meant, but it just turned into me not being excited to read anymore. Even when there were parts that were understandable the plot just was not there and I didn't find the characters as complex as I would have hoped. Only Revolutions is a great piece of art though. Just not literary art.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
indienymph More than 1 year ago
This book although a complicated read (the author suggests reading eight pages from one side of the book, then eight from the other, and so on)the writing style is poetic and original. At times it isn't easy understanding exactly what is happening due to obscure nouns, but this makes the story open to individual interpretation which is interesting. Near the binding of the book on each page is a year with interesting and catastrophic events that occurred within it, as well as famous quotes. I am not sure if they really tie into the story, or what the author intended with them, but they add to the complexity of this novel in a purely original way. This book is a must for fan of original writing style! I also recommend it to poetry fans because the book is surprisingly lyrical. Also a must for fans of the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love_d More than 1 year ago
I couldn't get into this book (books) much as I wanted to. Even with reading just 7 pages from each book at a time and then reading 7 pgs from the other, I couldn't follow the authors point or plot or year. Some of the writing is poetic, but it didn't mesh for me. It is offbeat and unique.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't read this book yet, but the first review is completely unfair. Danielewski's other book, 'House of Leaves' was a magnificent work of literary horror. I've had the book for over 2-3 years now, and it's still one of my favorites which I always come back to for a good read. I think 'Only Revolutions' has potential.