Only Revolutions

A Novel Only Revolutions: A Novel by Mark Z. Danielewski
My review
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I had a lot of trouble getting started with this book. The presentation is fascinating and beautiful. It’s really two books, from two perspectives: Sam and Hailey. Each story takes up half of each page. The publisher suggests you read 8 pages of one, then flip the book over and read 8 pages of the other. To me, this was very confusing because of the dates and the accompanying historical events that are on each page as well. Are Sam and Hailey living in the same time period? Are they some sort of time travelers? Eventually I just stopped looking at the dates, and just read the main text. The stories parallel each other a lot, but do have some differences of time periods (one will have WWI references while the same pages in the other will refer to Vietnam). Eventually, it got to be so it wasn’t so confusing, and I was able to figure out what was happening. The “Only Revolutions” internet forum was also useful for helping me understand what was going on.
The novel gets an automatic 3 stars for being so, well, novel. Because it was so confusing, I ended up quitting on it, so it gets knocked down to two stars. Yes, that’s right, I didn’t finish the book and I’m still rating it. It’s my blog. I understand why critics were raving about it. It’s unique and interesting in the presentation. But ultimately, the story wasn’t enough to make me struggle through the tedious language and free-form prose. I just wasn’t into it.
Next up is The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Hopefully I can finish this one.