drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines May 27, 2013 - 7:50pm

by Mark Danielewski. Anyone read it? 

I'm up to page 73, then decided to veer into the appendices. If you've read it, did you do it this way or read lineally? And as for the letter on page 620, did you decode it? 

I know it's not a book club selection or anything, I'm curious to hear how other readers attacked the book. So far, I'm super loving the layers of the three stories, but the decoding required a bit more mental agility than I usually reserve for the end of the day and it's pretty grade 3 stuff, which says more about my faculties than the complicated nature of the text. 


sean of the dead's picture
sean of the dead from Madisonville, KY is reading Peckerwood, by Jed Ayres May 27, 2013 - 8:09pm

I read that book over a weekend about a year ago (how cool am I?), and approached it straight on. It got a little irritating holding a page and searching for which footnote of a footnote was next, but I feel like it was worth it in the end.

also, I went to his reading of Fifty Year Sword in October. Super nice guy. It made me happy to find out he is not a pretentious cock.

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt May 27, 2013 - 8:42pm

I read it twice. Loved it, although the Johnny Truant (I may not have his name exactly right) was a little tiring for me at times. I did decode the letter, I keep the handwritten decoded message on the page so I don't have to go through that again. 

I mostly read it lineally, although I will admit I skipped some of the footnotes, and the Truant sections the first time I read it. Second time I read everything

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts May 27, 2013 - 9:18pm

I read it a month or two ago. Read all the footnotes, though honestly most of the non-story (non-Truant) footnotes are useless. *see "Bogus Article" (19watevs) from Journal McMadeupname or *Arbitrary Listzilla etc. Super fun, though all the actual innovation of it was kinda wee bit half-assed, or maybe tackling this book after so many years of Terry Pratchett and David Foster Wallace and Oscar Waos and Third Policemans, footnote fiction just isn't that big a deal to me anymore personally. What I ended up enjoying out of the book the most was the more joyful metafictive analysis of horror imagery, which again was either really strong in the image or in the analysis, very rarely both.

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things May 28, 2013 - 4:08am

Reading the letters early on helps you understand Johnny. Though it isn't necessary to get the story.

And if you aren't into decoding, this might not be the book for you. That definitely isn't the only place in the book that needs decoding, but it might be the only place that specifically says "decode this."

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated May 28, 2013 - 6:41am

Didn't care for the writing style so never got past page one.

SRead's picture
SRead from Colorado is reading Stories May 28, 2013 - 8:03am

I loved it, and I read it nonlinearly. It definitely challenged me to keep my comprehension in the forefront, so I would remember where I was when I eventually reached the end of the diverging path and went back to the main (if there is a main one) storyline. I don't know if it was the writing style or the fact that I was in a house I'd never been to before, or the fact that I was pregnant when I read it, but it got into my head in a way most books don't.
I got quite a start when I noticed a small door I hadn't seen before in the hallway of my grandparent's new house. It was just a plumbing access panel, turns out. But it's not what you want to see in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom when you're still awake because you can't put this weird book down.

drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines May 28, 2013 - 9:23am

@SRead - That would creep me the fuck out, too! When Navidson first gets lost in the hallway, the tension was palpable. 

@Sean - One weekend?! I salute you, Sir. 

@ the rest of you, glad to hear so many of you are brave readers - this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I think it'simportant for writers to read as much as we can and to read work that challenges rules of convention, format, voice, etc. Or not. Apparently Dan Brown's new book opens with a prologue and a dream sequence. lol. 

SRead's picture
SRead from Colorado is reading Stories May 28, 2013 - 9:52am

Yeah, it was a good thing I was already on my way to the bathroom! Might have left a puddle in the hall.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters May 28, 2013 - 12:30pm

I read it and did so the linear way.  It wasn't tough to follow and for me gave me a really neat understanding of all the different parts.  For instance (SPOILER (maybe)), had I not read all the footnotes about echoes, the part where Navidson's daughter says she wants to play "always" wouldn't have struck me in quite the same way. 

I didn't decode the letter though. In fact, I never even thought about it. 

I loved the tension in that book.  Really exceptional. 


Utah's picture
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry May 28, 2013 - 12:54pm

I was afraid of the dark for a couple days after reading that book.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters May 28, 2013 - 1:36pm

I started nailing tape measures to the wall.