Only Revolutions

Only Revolutions

Hardback

By (author) Mark Z Danielewski

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  • Publisher: Pantheon Books
  • Format: Hardback | 360 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 234mm x 33mm | 680g
  • Publication date: 15 September 2006
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0375421769
  • ISBN 13: 9780375421761
  • Sales rank: 48,023

Product description

Sam: They were with us before Romeo & Juliet. And long after too. Because they're forever around. Or so both claim, carolling gleefully: We're allways sixteen. Sam & Hailey, powered by an ever-rotating fleet of cars, from Model T to Lincoln Continental, career from the Civil War to the Cold War, barrelling down through the Appalachians, up the Mississippi River, across the Badlands, finally cutting a nation in half as they try to outrace History itself. By turns beguiling and gripping, finally worldwrecking, "Only Revolutions" is unlike anything ever published before, a remarkable feat of heart and intellect, moving us with the journey of two kids, perpetually of summer, perpetually sixteen, who give up everything except each other. Hailey: They were with us before Tristan & Isolde. And long after too. Because they're forever around. Or so both claim, gleefully carolling: We're allways sixteen. Hailey & Sam, powered by an ever-rotating fleet of cars, from Shelby Mustang to Sumover Linx, careen from the Civil Rights Movement to the Iraq War, tearing down to New Orleans, up the Mississippi River, across Montana, finally cutting a nation in half as they try to outrace History itself. By turns enticing and exhilarating, finally breathtaking, "Only Revolutions" is unlike anything ever conceived before, a remarkable feat of heart and intellect, moving us with the journey of two kids, perpetually of summer, perpetually sixteen, who give up everything except each other.

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Author information

Mark Z. Danielewski was born in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles. He is the author of "House of Leaves."

Review quote

KIRKUS REVIEWS 7/15/06 starred review The daunting maze explored in Danielewski's Borgesian first novel, "House of Leaves "(2000), only hinted at the depths to be plumbed in its intimidatingly innovative successor. It's a love story, road novel and paean to untrammeled freedom, presented in dual free-verse narratives spoken by Sam and Hailey, two 16-year-old vagabonds who embark on a mythic and allegorical journey across America, in a succession of variously acquired automobiles, during an expanding time period that stretches from the American Civil War to the immediate present. Rebels and malcontents, they repeatedly indulge in Whitmanesque, Rabelaisian arias ("I'm The World which / The Mountain descends from and / I laugh because it tickles"), while proclaiming their allegiance to nothing but each other ("Liberty and Love are one"), and eluding or battling characters emblematic of entrenched interests, convention and complacency (e.g., "Mad Robber Barons," "Hoovercrats"). The publisher helpfully suggests reading eight pages of Sam's story, then flipping the volume upside-down and reversing it, for eight pages in Hailey's voice, until the two narratives meet in the middle of the book. Further complications arise from chronological enumerations of historical events on each page's margins and versified comments on every page presented, upside-down, at the bottom of said page. Self-indulgence? Surely. But there's a real story here, and a persuasive sense that the couple's wild ride is a kind of creation myth that mirrors, as it presumes to explain, America's unruly energies --- as Sam and Hailey experience Hailey's brief dalliance with a macho avatar of military, militant power ("The Creep"), an Ongoing Party in New Orleans, a farcical hospital stay following an apparent overdose and an escape to the heartland and a climactic encounter with "the peril pursuing US." They're Bonnie and Clyde, Tristan and Isolde, an X-rated Archie and Veronica and perhap