The Fifty Year Sword3 star

 

 

An Adult Fairytale

By Mark Z. Danielewski

Pantheon Books, $26.00, 285 pages

Chintana is reeling in the wake of her husband’s infidelity, abrupt departure and request for a divorce. When invited to a party, her husband’s mistress greets her. Together, they find themselves with five orphans, all engrossed by a storyteller by his accounts of his adventure to find a specific weapon, the title of the book. The result is a sort of fairytale within a fairytale.

“All I have to offer is right here to see, but if you scare easily you should leave.”

Compared to his award-winning cult classic The House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski’s latest book The Fifty Year Sword is a light read that can be easily finished in one sitting. The physical book is lovely with red stitching and colored sketches. The story is told in loose verse stretched across the page accentuating particular words and, at the climax, drawing out the suspense. The effect, although somewhat distracting at times, is ultimately reminiscent of elementary school days when an adult would read a picture book. Despite its playfulness and humor, it is still a delightfully gruesome and mature book. Chintana is reeling in the wake of her husband’s infidelity, abrupt departure and request for a divorce. When invited to a party, her husband’s mistress greets her. Together, they find themselves with five orphans, all engrossed by a storyteller by his accounts of his adventure to find a specific weapon, the title of the book. The result is a sort of fairytale within a fairytale.

Reviewed by Sarah Hutchins

Buy On Amazon