I haven’t been this in love with a book or poet since the Moby Dick, Yeats, and Walt Whitman days. My books are friends, I consume them and take them to bed with me. The books I’ve loved (and still do) are worn and written in. Filled with marginalia. Tattered. They can barely hang unto their bindings. And we have a mutual love for all that.
But not with The Familiar. It’s different. I handle the books carefully. I keep them safe and order more. I have 1 and 2, with 3, 4, and 5 on the way. It doesn’t matter if I ever read them but I will of course. I savor the layout and graphics as much as the prose, the plot, the story. And it’s just darling of Danielewski to include the bookmark ribbon. I love the cleverness of the parts of the whole, the stories within, before, and around the plot. “One Rainy Day in May” and “Into the Forest.” Or is it “wherein the cat is found…” Then “wherein the cat is hungry…”? We’ll find out as we go along and read along and admire and get lost—or found––in the pages where there’s “More than reading.”
Danielewski promises us a total of 27 books in the series. Think on that.
As for the actual plot and story that we follow along, there’s something more, something underneath it all. Maybe something that needs to be put together. Sooner or later I’ll write about that, most likely when I’m done with the reading. I can’t see offering an outline or discription before the end. But I couldn’t wait to talk about the books, love struck as I am. And I can’t see how I could ever be done with these books after I’ve read them. This is a lasting love, even tho it pains me not to write and draw on the pages.
Xanther’s the Zero and Xanther’s the Drain. We’ll see how this all turns out. She (a 12-year-old-epileptic) is our guide throughout the more than 800 pages of each book. At least through the first group of books. We’ll have to wait and see what happens within the next group. I’m not willing to venture a guess.