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The Familiar, Volume 1 by Mark Z. Danielewski
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The Familiar, Volume 1

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The Familiar, Volume 1 by Mark Z. Danielewski
Paperback $28.95
May 12, 2015 | ISBN 9780375714948

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    May 12, 2015 | ISBN 9780375714948

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“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,
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,

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)

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