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The Fifty Year Sword
by Mark Z. Danielewski


Overview -

In this story set in East Texas, a local seamstress named Chintana finds herself responsible for fiveorphans who are not only captivated by a storyteller s tale of vengeance but by the longblack box he sets before them. As midnight approaches, the box is opened, a fateful dareis made, and the children as well as Chintana come face to face with the consequences ofa malice retold and now foretold.  Read more...


 
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More About The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski
 
 
 
Overview

In this story set in East Texas, a local seamstress named Chintana finds herself responsible for fiveorphans who are not only captivated by a storyteller s tale of vengeance but by the longblack box he sets before them. As midnight approaches, the box is opened, a fateful dareis made, and the children as well as Chintana come face to face with the consequences ofa malice retold and now foretold.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780307907721
  • ISBN-10: 0307907724
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books
  • Publish Date: October 2012
  • Page Count: 285
  • Dimensions: 9.27 x 5.43 x 1.13 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.46 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Fantasy - Contemporary
Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Suspense

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-08-27
  • Reviewer: Staff

This first American edition of Danielewski’s novella, published in a different form in the Netherlands in 2005, has the theatrical quality of a children’s ghost story, complete with stitched-art illustrations (designed by the author), sweeping themes, and fairy-tale tropes. But the tale told by the Story Teller, hired to entertain the children, is nested in the all-too adult story of Chintana, a seamstress suffering through the aftermath of a painful divorce. The smallest daily rituals—opening a can of “bitter tea leaves,” putting on shoes—require terrific force, and she has visions of inflicting violence. At her twin’s urging, Chintana attends a Halloween party at an East Texas ranch, where she comes face-to-face with the source of her marriage’s destruction and discovers the Story Teller’s thirst for revenge. Danielewski (House of Leaves) knows that typographical landscaping can be a narrative tool. With rare exception, he unfurls his tale down one side of the page in quoted speech of different colors representing five orphans whose obscure connection is hinted at in an author’s note; text is juxtaposed or shares space with illustrations. Tension builds visually; some scenes slows to a sentence per page (a trick the author’s fans will recognize), vertically tearing the white space (readers resistant to textual hijinks may be frustrated). More of a narrative poem than a novella, this would be well suited to an oral reading and may be best thought of as an objet d’art that chillingly holds us accountable for our worst thoughts. Illus. Agent: WME Entertainment. (Oct.)

 
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