“You’re unlikely to have ever read anything quite like this.”
From the author of the international best-seller House of Leaves and National Book Award–nominated Only Revolutions comes a monumental new novel as dazzling as it is riveting. The Familiar (Volume 1) ranges from Mexico to South-east Asia, from Venice, Italy to Venice, California, with nine lives hanging in the balance, each called upon to make a terrifying choice. They include a therapist-in-training grappling with daughters as demanding as her patients; an ambitious East L.A. gang member contracted for violence; two scientists in Marfa, Texas, on the run from an organization powerful beyond imagining; plus a recovering addict in Singapore summoned at midnight by a desperate billionaire; and a programmer near Silicon Beach whose game engine might unleash consequences far exceeding the entertainment he intends. At the very heart, though, is a twelve-year-old girl named Xanther who one rainy day in May sets out with her father to get a dog, only to end up trying to save a creature as fragile as it is dangerous… which will change not only her life and the lives of those she has yet to encounter, but this world, too—or at least the world we think we know and the future we take for granted.
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
Do you think there’s nothing new under the sun anymore? Think that today’s short attention spans have killed off literary ambition? Well think again, for Mark Z. Danielewski has returned with One Rainy Day In May, the first part of his twenty-seven volume project, The Familiar.
No that isn’t a typo. Twenty-seven volumes. (One Rainy Day In May itself isn’t short either.)
Danielewski was responsible for the horror classic House Of Leaves; how much of The Familiar will be similarly horror focused is frankly anyone’s guess at this point. But given the twisted realities and strange creatures that populate the first volume, it’s safe to say they’ll be a fair amount of the dark and uncanny taking place. And that you’re unlikely to have ever read anything quite like this.
“A classic work of modern gothic horror!”
One summer night in 1955, a boy and his cousin plunge naked into the moonlit waters of a rural quarry. Only one of them emerges.
Just as he had promised he would on that fateful night two decades earlier, Miles Teagarden–now divorced and a struggling writer–returns to his family home in Arden, Wisconsin. But the landscape he once knew so well has turned eerie and threatening. In the small town, his erstwhile friends and rivals, even his blood relatives, view him with suspicion. Their paranoia seems justified when another beautiful blonde teenage girl goes missing—much as his cousin Alison did all those years ago. Miles feels a sinister force is at work, gathering strength. As the anniversary of the tragic night approaches, he begins to fear that Alison will find a way to make their date . . .
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
The news that If You Could See Me Now is being reissued is one horror fans might greet with both joy and bafflement: joy that it is to be more widely available again but bafflement that such a good book ever went out of print. Whilst not as well known as his later Ghost Story, Peter Straub’s If You Could See Me Now is a classic work of modern gothic horror.
As a teenager, Miles Teagarden was infatuated with his cousin Alison shortly before she died. Now twenty years later he is returning to their home town of Arden because of a pact they made to see each other again in the town ‘no matter what’. This Wuthering Heights style scenario is combined with a modern horror story told by an unreliable narrator, to produce a novel both chilling and deviously deceptive.
A book about ghosts both in the real and metaphorical sense, If You Could See Me Now was the first book to suggest just how big an impact Straub was set to make in the horror world. If you only know Straub from his more recent work, rectify that immediately by ordering this book now.