Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski
A Novel

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Synopsis

Sam:
They were with us before Romeo & Juliet. And long after too. Because they’re forever around. Or so both claim, carolling gleefully:
We’re allways sixteen.
Sam & Hailey, powered by an ever-rotating fleet of cars, from Model T to Lincoln Continental, career from the Civil War to the Cold War, barrelling down through the Appalachians, up the Mississippi River, across the Badlands, finally cutting a nation in half as they try to outrace History itself.
By turns beguiling and gripping, finally worldwrecking, Only Revolutions is unlike anything ever published before, a remarkable feat of heart and intellect, moving us with the journey of two kids, perpetually of summer, perpetually sixteen, who give up everything except each other.

Hailey:
They were with us before Tristan & Isolde. And long after too. Because they’re forever around. Or so both claim, gleefully carolling:
We’re allways sixteen.
Hailey & Sam, powered by an ever-rotating fleet of cars, from Shelby Mustang to Sumover Linx, careen from the Civil Rights Movement to the Iraq War, tearing down to New Orleans, up the Mississippi River, across Montana, finally cutting a nation in half as they try to outrace History itself.
By turns enticing and exhilarating, finally breathtaking, Only Revolutions is unlike anything ever conceived before, a remarkable feat of heart and intellect, moving us with the journey of two kids, perpetually of summer, perpetually sixteen, who give up everything except each other.
 

About Mark Z. Danielewski

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Mark Z. Danielewski was born in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles. He is the author of House of Leaves.
 
Published September 12, 2006 by Pantheon. 384 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Only Revolutions

Kirkus Reviews

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But there’s a real story here, and a persuasive sense that the couple’s wild ride is a kind of creation myth that mirrors, as it presumes to explain, America’s unruly energies—as Sam and Hailey experience Hailey’s brief dalliance with a macho avatar of military, militant power (“The Creep”), an O...

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The Guardian

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The poems exult at first in frenzied interlocking Seussian sonorities, as when Sam and Hailey flee "through clusters of Clinchers / diving for Dingers, Whangdoodle / Hoofers slumming for lessons, Parlor / Bolsheviks working their Trotzkies, / Drugstore Cowboys skirting & / shirking their Shebas",...

Sep 30 2006 | Read Full Review of Only Revolutions: A Novel

The Guardian

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Only Revolutions by Mark Z Danielewski Doubleday £20, pp360 While doggedly working through Mark Z Danielewski's Only Revolutions, I was constantly reminded of other similarly 'difficult' works, whose invention is such that they require decoding rather than reading, whose obsessive brilliance is o...

Sep 24 2006 | Read Full Review of Only Revolutions: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Each gets 180 words per page, but in type that gets smaller as they get closer to their ends (Glas was more haphazard), so they each gets exactly half a page only at the midway point of the book: page 180—or half of a revolution of 360 degrees.

Aug 28 2006 | Read Full Review of Only Revolutions: A Novel

Book Reporter

As you turn pages and make your way through the tale, these circles revolve around one another, just as Sam and Hailey revolve around each other, just as their stories revolve around each other's, just as the reader is brought in and encircled by their tale.

Jan 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Only Revolutions: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Although Only Revolutions contains a story of sorts—a road narrative told through the Joycean monologues of Sam and Hailey, "Allmighty sixteen and freeeeee"—the book’s real power comes from its design: the characters’ ruminations start at opposite ends of the book and work their way toward the mi...

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Only Revolutions: A Novel

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Michael Manley 18 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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