The Fifty Year Sword


The Fifty Year Sword New Arrivals
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Product Description

"The nationally best-selling author of House of Leaves and Only Revolutions has crafted a powerfully chilling novella--a ghost story for grownup readers. Late one evening at a party at an East Texas ranch house, five orphans gather to hear a story about a quest for a terrible weapon. Before them lies a long black box with five latches. As the owner of the box settles into a curious tale of revenge, the children grow more and more captivated, even as we grow more and more afraid that a new crime may awaitthem all, especially as clocks in Upshur County approach midnight"--

Editorial Reviews

A sometimes arid, sometimes entertaining ghost story for grown-ups by pomo laureate Danielewski (House of Leaves, 2000, etc.). Chintana is in a bad mood. A talented seamstress, she's just been divorced, ";forced/to acknowledge,/yet again,/to yet/another insitrusive customer,/her husband Pravat's surprising/departure."; The odd portmanteau ";insitrusive,"; apparently a blend of ";insistent"; and ";intrusive,"; is emblematic; Danielewski likes nothing better than to make up words, with some coinages better than others. (The world flat-out does not need the verb ";reconsiderate.";) The odd hiccup-y breaks and caesuras also attest to Danielewski's method, which is to break what ought to be prose down into a sort-of-poetry--not terribly good poetry, that, and oddly punctuated, but still inhibiting a reader tempted to skim and speed. Chintana is stuck in East Texas, that grim place of horrors, her time spent in a house that has had more than one spectral guest in the past. Here, as with House of Leaves, Danielewski distinguishes speakers with quotation marks of different colors; even there, the jumble of words, matched by fugitive images, lends itself to a certain confusion, the printed effect of listening too closely to the dialogue of Robert Altman's Popeye. The story, as it is, has its charms, including the implement of the title, a very dangerous weapon that is powerless to produce a visible wound until its recipient turns 50: ";Just as/quickly too he slid behind/me and I/felt a sting between/my shoulder blades/and then a fire and a cold and a sudden/something/seep of hurt."; The spectral events and unspectral revelations that follow are sure not to improve Chintana's mood. After all, she's already feeling ";desacreated."; Like House of Leaves, likely destined to become a cult favorite. Harmless fun for those who aren't fans already. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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