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familiar

The latest addition to my website is Mark Danielewski‘s The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May. This is apparently the first of a twenty-seven volume series, with the next volume appearing in October of this year. This one takes 880 pages essentially to outline a plot which consists of twelve-year old epileptic girl in Los Angeles, going with her father to pick up a dog as a present for her and rescuing a drowning kitten and going home with it. Yes, of course, there is more to it, with several sub-plots, not apparently in any way related to the main one and loads of post-modernist tricks – graphics, font changes, multiple languages, text shooting off in different directions, annoying multiple nested brackets and the word familiar invariably printed in a sickly pale mauve colour. The story of the girl is sweet, as she struggles with her epilepsy and with her father, inventor of a powerful game engine and always asking questions and not, in fact, her biological father. Oh, and the book is printed on glossy paper and is very heavy, 1.3 kg (3lb 10oz in old money). I don’t think I shall be reading the remaining twenty-six volumes.