Unless otherwise noted in the post title, these are not
reviews, per se. They are articles for people who have already seen the film or read the book in question--meaning that there will be spoilers. If you're already familiar with the material being covered, or don't mind the plot being spoiled, please read on and leave a comment.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Recommended Reading: Form-Shattering Fiction Edition

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - Cover Image

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Probably the most well-known novel to be found on this list, HOUSE OF LEAVES seems to exist in a love-it-or-hate-it universe--there is no middle ground. It's a post-modern haunted house tale with elements of Greek mythology tossed in for good measure. Presented as a scholarly discourse analyzing a documentary film which does not exist, complete with footnotes and endnotes added by multiple sources, comprehensive appendices, stacked narratives, various fonts and colors, and text that weaves itself creatively around the page, this is just as much an art project as anything else. There is so much happening both on and below the surface that I find something new to appreciate every time I read it.

Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall - Cover Image

Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
This metafictional mashup of JAWS and MEMENTO was being composed at roughly the same time as HOUSE OF LEAVES, and reads like a more accessible version of that novel. It is more the concepts than the format that makes this book exceptional, but a visual highlight is when it turns into a flip-book, depicting a great white shark, composed entirely of text, swimming closer to the reader.

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen - Cover Image

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
This novel follows a young junior cartographer on his way to the Smithsonian, and the many adventures he has on the way. The margins of this book are peppered with the unlikely "maps" that he draws as part of his daily life.

Frank's World by George Mangels - Cover Image

Frank's World by George Mangels
While not as blatantly form-shattering as the other books on this list, it still qualifies, and I will never pass up an opportunity to share its greasy gospel. This Post-Lynchian fable tells the story of Frank, a man so vile that he ruins the lives of everyone that he comes in contact with. The long and narrow dimensions of the book are perfectly suited for the seemingly endless run-on sentences and paragraphs that go on for days, replete with vulgarities, pop culture references aplenty, and metaphysical rants that will break your brain. It's bizarro fiction for people who don't like bizarro fiction.


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