Author(s): Mark Z Danielewski
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.)"
Thrilling and magnetic. . . . . "The Familiar: Volume One "is a boldly original, gorgeous, and suspenseful work of literature. . . . Thoroughly encoded with the language of our design-conscious, cinema-saturated, tech-centric era. We re fluent in it because we re living now. Laura Collins-Hughes, "The Boston Globe" A new novel by Danielewski requires a new way of reading. . . . Reading ["The Familiar"] . . . as one approaches the pilot to a new TV series, "Volume 1" becomes a revelation, a thrilling, compulsive reading experience. . . . A tour de force, less a novel than it is an experience. . . . The next volume episode can t come soon enough. Robert J. Wiersema, "The Globe and Mail" (Toronto) Danielewski has somehow created a format, an experience, that mimics the best of the digital future we ve been told to expect, while exploiting the best of print, that which we ve been told to mourn. . . . The reader is called upon to commit, to actively participate and engage in the unconventional structure and its relationship to the sprawling, eight-plot narrative, but also to enjoy: as serious as this all may seem, "Volume 1" has a playfulness, a mischievousness, not unlike a cat." Allison K. Hill, "Los Angeles Daily News" As our society gets more technology-weary, it s nice to see books like"The Familiar: Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May"break the mold and tell a story in a new and innovate way exclusive to physical pages between two covers. Andrew Munz, "Planet Jackson Hole" (Wyoming) [Danielewski is] America s foremost literary Magus. . . . He transmutes the pages of base books into rare new forms and formats. . . . ["The Familiar: Volume 1"] is a remediation of television series like "Twin Peaks" and "Breaking Bad" . . . [and also] resembles Altman-inflected movies . . . or the time and place-skipping novels of David Mitchell. . . . I m definitely in for Volume 2. Tom LeClair, "The New York Times Book Review " Excellent. . . . It reminds you of the novel s unknowable potential. Danielewski does this better than anybody. It s like he crinkles up a page with words and then straightens it out and pastes it into the book, so that only the most important words remain legible, while teasing you to try to figure out the blurry, scarred sentences hiding in the margins. . . . I love Xanther, "love "her, and I can t stand the thought of something bad happening to her, and, yes, I ll keep reading this series as long as her story continues. S. Tremaine Nelson, "Green Mountains Review " A herculean achievement. . . . The wild visuals render beautifully on an e-reader, but suggest that the medium of physical books is not entirely replaceable. This book may even have a chance to become this age's equivalent to Marcel Proust's "In Search of Lost Time." Danielewski's certainly not aiming any lower. Zach Borenstein, "Everyday eBook" [Danielewski is] the most aggressively avant-garde popular writer working today. . . . "The Familiar: Volume 1 "is as much a narrative story as it is an experiment in visual and typographical forms. . . . It all adds up to something between a graphic novel and a novel-novel. Cady Drell, "Newsweek" I found it helpful to think of"The Familiar"as less of a book in the traditional sense of the word, and more as a piece of experimental visual art. . . . If you re a"House of Leaves"fan like me, then this is a book you cannot miss because there s simply nothing else like it. Jefferson Grubbs, Bustle.com "The Familiar "[is] Danielewski s most ambitious narrative undertaking yet, which is saying a lot. . . . More than any other contemporary writer, Danielewski has blown the door wide open on novelistic experimentation.. . . [He] has shown, emphatically, just how much formal experimentation can truly"enhance"a narrative experience. . . . His books are freewheeling adventures into intricate depths and wide expanses, and they ve helped usher in a new era of the novel. Jonathan Russell Clark, LitHub.com "The Familiar "is performance art as well as book. . . . "The Familiar" will be a delight to fans of "House of Leaves" . . . This, like all of Danielewski s work, is a verbal structure made for puzzle solvers. Lydia Millet, "Los Angeles Times" Incontestably the shortest 880-page novel you ll ever read. . . . It flies by with the breakneck surrealism of lived experience. "Los Angeles Magazine" The"House of Leaves"author is back with yet another text-art riddled story. The story begins one rainy day in May, when a 12-year-old named Xanther is hesitantly studying up on math while riding in the car with her dad. . . . Xanther's story is the nexus for a score of others, and the author's fragmented means of storytelling proves as fresh and compelling as ever. "The Huffington Post," 18 Brilliant Books You Won t Want to Miss This Summer Most everything about this vast, elusive, sometimes even illusory narrative shouts tour de force. "Kirkus Reviews" (starred review) This novel goes beyond the experimental into the visionary, creating a language and style that expands the horizon of meaning . . . [and] hints at an evolved form of literature. "Library Journal" (starred review)"
MARK Z. DANIELEWSKI was born in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles.