happy endings

Monday, November 26

imagine your favorite fairy tale -- you know the one, that you've had read to you a million times and then read to yourself a million more -- and imagine discovering it for the first time. imagine that no one but you has ever read it, and that the only way they ever will is if you share it with them. imagine that you work for weeks, trying to find the right way to share it.

now imagine a book that seems to write itself as you read it, a book that feels its way through the story and learns its plot only as you turn the page. a book that has narratives that swirl around each other, touching occasionally only to draw away, until they meet at the end in a thundering crescendo.

now imagine that both those things, your favorite fairy tale and a book that writes itself, are in fact the same thing. meet The Translation of Dr. Apelles, by David Treuer.

if all of the above irritates you, because it doesn't tell you anything about the plot or who the characters are or what they are like, then this book is probably not for you. it shifts around, it changes direction mid-scene, it will not be still. and neither will the characters, for the most part. but unlike many other novels that call themselves things like "experimental" and "post-modern", this novel has no pretensions. it is so simple, and so enchanting.

normally i would try to tell you about other books, similar books. but in this case, i really can't. luckily, The Translation of Dr. Apelles is already out in hardcover. if you can't wait, you can buy it now. if you can, it's out in February 08.

either way, this book is a treasure.