Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Only Revolutions - kookiejar's review


I actually tried this one before the Challenge was announced. I took one look at the first page and decided to skip it. But, I thought it would only be fair for me to try to do an actual review of it for the forum, so I tried again.

Here's what I could gleen from my second attempt...Sam is 16 and lives during the Civil War. Hailey is 16 and lives in the early 60's just after President Kennedy was assassinated. They meet and interact even through the gap in their timelines.

Time marches on as evidenced by the dates and historical footnotes on the margins of each page, but Sam and Hailey's story moves along as if months aren't zipping by as they talk.

The book is supposed to be read 8 pages at a time (for Sam's story) and then flipped over for the next 8 pages (for Hailey's story), so half the print on each page is upside down. It is written in free verse with copious, well-researched footnotes. However, punctuation, grammar and spelling rules are flagrantly disregarded. The author makes up words to suit his purposes (which is not unprecedented in literature), and for some reason all the o's are a different color from the rest of the text. I found it incredibly annoying. In fact, it may well be the most annoying book I've ever picked up.

Here I've recreated one page from Hailey's story (including the odd colored o's, nonsensical bold face type and capitalizations and made up words). I'll give a cookie to anyone who can make any sense of it...

When Renverse to bole, hundred
ringed, with Frightened
Crown.
Oddly roped for hacks
by savage fr
own:

-O here. Now. Let me go. Please.

Shirpbawkelay!

Str
ong Pith. Tall Phloem.
Great Heartw
ood, Oily Barked with
c
omes of Ever Dust. Perfumes
trampled by Diesel Trucks, chain
sawed, and clear cut
for that SNIDEY CLYDE:

-You cain't own
what you cain't end.


N
otching and atimbering. I dash,
murdering gaps t
o gum his axe
hacking at my
Tree.
Tall Pith. Warm Heart
creeing just t
o stay
a little l
onger except
by vi
olent do's
allready rem
oved.

Yeah, I didn't think so. I'd love to know who decided which books made the NYT list and how that was decided, because this book isn't worth the paper it was printed on.

9 comments:

Wendy said...

Thanks for the laugh, Kookiejar - I'm laughing and then I'm trembling with a little bit of fear because I have this book and was going to try to read it; um, maybe not! I think I'll have to make a go of it, but if the whole book is like that excerpt - it won't take me long to throw it into the yard sale heap. I've had good luck with most of the books I've picked up for this challenge - apparently I had a lapse of commonsense when I bought this one.

Kim said...

Holy cow!!!! No thank you is all I have to say :0) Good for you for attempting it!

kookiejar said...

If you do attempt it Wendy, I wait with breathless anticipation to hear how far you got. I was able to get through 25 pages on each side before I darn near lost my mind. And yeah, every page is exactly like the one I posted *shakes head in wonderment*.

Kim, you are wise to save your sanity. It's not worth the aggrivation

Amy said...

Wow...and to think I was annoyed by the lack of punctuation in "The Road."

This one would drive me bonkers...I will definitely be skipping that one.

Thanks Kookiejar for the heads up!

kookiejar said...

My pleasure, Amy. I'm glad I can save from wasting time trying to parse this one out.

Wendy said...

Rime, as owner of this blog I deleted your comment because of your personal attack on the reviewer. Had you just stuck to why YOU liked the book and thought it had merit, I would have left your comment. I like dialogue here - but with respect for other people's opinions.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This book is for the imaginative. This book id for people who enjoy finding meaning in madness. Reviewer must not read much E.E. Cummings.