Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Only Revolutions

Only Revolutions: Mark Z. Danielewski, June 16, 2015 My rating: ♦◊◊◊◊

onlyrevolutionsOnly Revolutions is a bitter disappointment.

Telling the story of lovers Sam and Hailley, who are “always” sixteen and inexplicably transcend both time and location, it is split into two narratives; one by each.

The layout of the book is clever. Start at one end and you get Sam’s account taking up most of the page, with Hailley’s upside down in small text at the bottom. Flip the book and it’s the inverse, leading you through the entire novel twice. There’s some other jumbo jumbo in the margin. The letter O is always coloured green or yellow, dependent on the writer.

The publisher suggests alternating the reading of the accounts, which are in no way divided into chapters or other discernible sections, eight pages at a time. It’s good advice; the symmetry between the accounts is obvious in these well-portioned chunks; complimentary and contradictory.

The issue is that the prose itself is completely incoherent. It literally makes no sense. The occasional profound thought or rhyme might well be worth sticking on a fridge magnet, but adds nothing to the story. Indeed, it’s quite impossible to work out what the story actually is. It feels like Johnny Truant. Danielewski’s drug-addled occasional-narrator in House of Leaves, has gotten utterly off his face and written a whole novel himself.

I love it when authors experiment and do something different, and Leaves is such a respected cult classic that I had high hopes for Revolutions. Sadly, it seems it wasn’t me that was high. It’s utterly unreadable, cannot be understood and a slog of Herculean promotions to make it to the end. This should have been fantastic.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on June 16, 2015 by in 1 star and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare