Waterstones The Familiar, Volume 1

4.5 out of 5 stars
Waterstones The Familiar, Volume 1
Zoom
 
SCROLL DOWN
TO EXPLORE MORE
 

Price: £24.00

Brand: Waterstones

 

Description: . Waterstones The Familiar, Volume 1 - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

 

Category: Books

Merchant: Waterstones

Product ID: 9780375714948

Delivery cost: 2.99

ISBN: 9780375714948

 
Waterstones logo
 

My website utilises affiliate links when you click my 'Get the best deal now' buttons. If you buy something through one of these links, I may earn a little commission, at no extra cost to you.

 

I have relationships with many of the top online retailers (purchasing, shipping and returns will be handled directly by them) which enables me to offer the best deal online for the Waterstones The Familiar, Volume 1 and many other similar products - which will appear below, to enhance your online shopping experience.

 

For even more great deals on Waterstones Books, click the link.

 

Author: Grog

Rating: 5

Review: I don’t usually bother writing reviews for books, but my experience was so different to most of the other reviewers on here that I decided to put pen to paper so to speak in the interests of balance. Firstly, I found this an intensely enjoyable book to read. The Xanther sections are obviously the core of the book and it seems that all the other parts are linked to those in some way, although in some cases it is not yet clear what the link is. Of course the Astair and Anwar sections are closely linked as they are Xanther’s Mother and (step) Father. The jingjing sections have epilepsy and a cat in common with the core story, but further links are not yet apparent. Some of the other storylines are also based in LA, so the possibility of future links is clear and the Marfa (Texas) storyline is somehow related to predicting the future, which may resonate with the idea of the Familiar of the title being related to a witch’s familiar, which may be something to do with Xanther’s cat. Therefore there are already a number of possible interlinks between the storylines to keep us guessing while we wait for volume two, which may answer some of our questions or may create more. The main characters, although not fully drawn yet, are taking shape nicely. Xanther is intelligent and inquisitive, Astair (Mother) is skittish and a worrier, Anwar (step-Father) likes to help Xanther and answers her questions. jingjing is loyal, but doesn’t trust his mistress. Luther is ruthless but can be interested by his targets, etc. The stylistic games are a signature of Danielewski’s, but as usual they are there for a reason and help make the book such a beautiful thing, that it is hard to not appreciate them. The variation of fonts, the use of colours and the placement of text to illustrate an idea or event are all things that his readers will be familiar with. In this book they are combined to a greater degree than before and help give the reader a little more information than can be got from the words alone. It may seem daunting to think that there could be twenty six more books in this series, but it is quite exciting also. I am definitely looking forward to volume two in October.

 

Author: Peter Lee

Rating: 2

Review: If you could see my bookshelves at home you'd notice several books by Mark Z Danielewski. There are four copies of "House of Leaves", each one slightly different, one also signed. There's a copy of "The Whalestoe Letters", which is an extended excerpt from "House of Leaves". There are two copies of "The Fifty Year Sword", one from the original Dutch release and the other from the more recent reissue. Finally, there is a copy of "Only Revolutions". I've read and loved them all, and "House of Leaves" is one of my favourite books ever. I'm quite a fan of Mark Z Danielewski. When I heard that his next project was to be a 27-volume serial novel called "The Familiar" I couldn't wait to read it. I imagined each volume would be maybe a hundred or so pages in length, the books released perhaps one per month, and as soon as the opportunity to preorder the first volume arrived I immediately did just that. So how is it? Volume 1 is an absolute brick of a thing - well over 800 pages in paperback, and it weighs a ton due in chief to the gorgeous paper used throughout. On first examination the book is utterly spectacular, Danielewski's trademark typographical trickery filling the pages, each of its several narrators getting their own typeface and page layout, and one even seems to get a different type of paper completely. Each "chapter" (the narrators alternate throughout the book from chapter to chapter) begins with an illustration of sorts, and images also appear elsewhere - two pages look like a graphic novel, another two show a mobile phone conversation - and it is clear that the book is a triumph of design. At the end of the book there is an extract from volume two, and if anything that looks even more spectacular. But what of the book itself? I'm afraid, not to mention bitterly disappointed, to say that I really didn't enjoy "The Familiar" at all. Okay, it's the first volume of what is clearly going to be a huge novel (it has been announced that two or three books will be released each year, so this means the whole thing will be complete in around thirteen years time!) and the purpose of this book is obviously one of scene setting and introduction, but I found it to be incredibly dull. Nothing really happens at all, there is no drama, and almost no characterisation. Yes, there are different narrators but none of them are really introduced, and by the end we know next to nothing about them. As for the typography and styling of the book it introduces its own problems. Two characters have their sections punctuated by countless parentheses, used to show their thought process. Essentially a sentence like "I am feeling hungry and am going for some food" would end up here as "I am feeling hungry (not eaten since breakfast(how long ago was that?(five hours))) and am going (walking(it's not far(hope it isn't raining(it's not)))) for some food (fancy a sandwich(BLT?(Actually chicken)) and a cake (carrot? (just sponge)) and something to drink (coffee (black, two sugars) decaf))" which becomes incredibly tiresome very quickly. Others speak in slang or dialect throughout, including one character called "jingjing" whose sections are also entirely printed in lowercase text. It's all very clever, all very artistic, but it doesn't make for a particularly enjoyable read. Even as a huge fan of Danielewski's work I felt that in this book he'd pushed the "style over substance" thing too far, and to use a term from pop culture he seems to have "jumped the shark". Will I be reading the other 26 volumes? I confess I preordered volume two several weeks ago when it first appeared on Amazon, but at the moment I can't say I'm looking forward to it. I really hope he can turn this around and that volume two will be as good as I'd hoped this would be, but at the moment I'm glad to see the back of volume one and I doubt I'll be reading it again, unlike Danielewski's other books. Two stars awarded for the appearance of the book I'm afraid.

 

Similar Products

  • Lovereading The Familiar, Volume 1 One Rainy Day in May

    Price: £21.60

    Brand: Lovereading

     

    Description: The Familiar, Volume 1 One Rainy Day in May. Paperback /softback. By Mark Z. Danielewski.

    Category: Books

     
    LoveReading logo

    Merchant: LoveReading

    Product ID: 9780375714948

     
  • Waterstones The Familiar, Volume 2

    Price: £22.50

    Brand: Waterstones

     

    Description: . Waterstones The Familiar, Volume 2 - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

    Category: Books

    Delivery cost: 2.99

    ISBN: 9780375714962

     
    Waterstones logo

    Merchant: Waterstones

    Product ID: 9780375714962

     
  • Lovereading The Familiar, Volume 3 Honeysuckle & Pain

    Price: £19.80

    Brand: Lovereading

     

    Description: The Familiar, Volume 3 Honeysuckle & Pain. Paperback /softback. By Mark Z. Danielewski.

    Category: Books

     
    LoveReading logo

    Merchant: LoveReading

    Product ID: 9780375714986

     
  • Waterstones Desg Lydan

    Price: £1.99

    Brand: Waterstones

     

    Description: A volume of poems by Geraint Roberts of Cwmffrwd near Carmarthen, a talented poet of the strict metres of cynghanedd, and a familiar name as a winner in the National Eisteddfod volume of compositions and as a chaired bard at local eisteddfodau. Waterstones Desg Lydan - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

    Category: Books

    Delivery cost: 2.99

    ISBN: 9781911584346

     
    Waterstones logo

    Merchant: Waterstones

    Product ID: 9781911584346

     
  • Lovereading Sorry For My Familiar Vol. 10

    Price: £10.79

    Brand: Lovereading

     

    Description: Sorry For My Familiar Vol. 10. Paperback /softback. By Tekka Yaguraba.

    Category: Books

     
    LoveReading logo

    Merchant: LoveReading

    Product ID: 9781638583721

     
  • Lovereading The Temple of My Familiar

    Price: £8.99

    Brand: Lovereading

     

    Description: The Temple of My Familiar. Paperback /softback. By Alice Walker.

    Category: Books

     
    LoveReading logo

    Merchant: LoveReading

    Product ID: 9780753819487

     
  • Lovereading A Familiar Sight

    Price: £8.09

    Brand: Lovereading

     

    Description: A Familiar Sight. Paperback /softback. By Brianna Labuskes.

    Category: Books

     
    LoveReading logo

    Merchant: LoveReading

    Product ID: 9781542027342

     
  • Lovereading Familiar Face

    Price: £15.29

    Brand: Lovereading

     

    Description: Familiar Face. Hardback. By Michael De Forge.

    Category: Books

     
    LoveReading logo

    Merchant: LoveReading

    Product ID: 9781770463875

     
  • Waterstones Northern Lights - The Graphic Novel Volume 1

    Price: £12.99

    Brand: Waterstones

     

    Description: Without this child, we shall all die.' Lyra Belacqua lives half-wild and carefree among the scholars of Jordan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle - a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armoured bears. As she hurtles towards danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, the biggest battle imaginable. The first book in a stunning three-volume graphic novel adaptation of Northern Lights. Waterstones Northern Lights - The Graphic Novel Volume 1 - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

    Category: Books

    Delivery cost: 2.99

    ISBN: 9780857534620

     
    Waterstones logo

    Merchant: Waterstones

    Product ID: 9780857534620

     
  • Lovereading Before Familiar Woods

    Price: £23.39

    Brand: Lovereading

     

    Description: Before Familiar Woods. Hardback. By Ian Pisarcik.

    Category: Books

     
    LoveReading logo

    Merchant: LoveReading

    Product ID: 9781643852959