NATIONAL BEST SELLER
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.
- Retail Price:
Members Save 10% Club Price
Customers Also Bought
NATIONAL BEST SELLER
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.)
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-02-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Set mostly in the L.A. area during a rainy day in May, our first heroine in this metanarrative of typographical trickery is the precocious 12-year-old Xanther, who embarks, with her stepfather, Anwar, on a trip to get a dog—instead, they find a kitten dying in the rain and Xanther’s desperate attempts to save it are intercut with unspooling story fragments. There’s Anwar’s past as developer of a mysterious game engine, his vanished partner Mefisto, and copious hints that reality itself might be a dream or program. Other story lines include the cyberpunk adventures of two programmers in Marfa, Tex., on the run from their own creation; a dogfighter named Victor on the verge of encountering a miracle; a repentant criminal in Singapore; an ace detective named Oz—and so forth. The narratives pile on (each with its own signature font), though none of them of contain any real significance or a three-dimensional character. Danielewski’s (House of Leaves) interest is clearly not in storytelling, but in faux profundity; hence the book’s multitude of wise-sounding quotations, random punctuation, fake code, blank pages, cheap pop-cultural citations, and The Matrix–aping techno-clichés make for familiar reading indeed. (May)