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Literature: Only Revolutions
"Yes, maybe it's time to move on. Spare some our hurt before the World retakes what we always elude when we run."

Go, get a blender.

Got one? Good.

Now, add in liberal amounts of poetry, a few freeform jazz riffs, plenty of wordplay, two hundred years of American history, more than a pinch of adolescence, a dash of teenage angst, some love, a spoonful of sex, a dollop of confusion, a can of rage, three teaspoons of yearning and a book's worth of sheer beauty.

Turn the blender on...

You have either created Only Revolutions or a jumble of abstract concepts in a blender.

Only Revolutions (2006) by Mark Z. Danielewski, of House of Leaves fame, follows two parallel narratives spun by sixteen year olds Sam and Hailey. Immortal, they go on a roadtrip across America spanning two hundred years filled with adventure, romance and heartbreaking moments. That is, if you can understand it.


This book provides examples of:

  • Arc Words: A few, including variants of "allways sixteen", "everyone loves the dream, but I kill it" and "boooooooomblastandruin".
  • Chekhov's Gun: The pots of honey.
  • Double Sided Book: A tricky palindrome of a novel, you can start it from either cover.
  • Immortal Immaturity: They are, after all, "allways sixteen".
  • Mind Screw: As with all Mark Z. Danielewski works. However, this one is more complex in the way the prose is written and less the plot.
  • Narrative Poem: Quasi-example. It reads similar to a poem, but it has no meter or joining characteristic, making it fit in the blurry area between a typical novel and a narrative poem.
  • Painting the Medium: Haven't you noticed? The letter "o" and certain words are always typed in green or gold. Also, THE CREEP and all instances of the word creep are always in purple.
  • Post Modernism: Definitely.
  • Title Drop: Near the end of both sides of the book.
  • Unconventional Formatting: It's a Mark Z. Danielewski novel, what did you expect?
  • Unreliable Narrator: Both of them. The same story is woven, but Sam and Hailey's accounts differ, often showing themselves in a sympathetic light.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Sam and Hailey both have this.


One Hundred Years of SolitudeLit FicOrdinary People
One Rose TrilogyLiterature of the 2000sOnly the Super-Rich Can Save Us!

alternative title(s): Only Revolutions
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