This gets very complicated and requires a certain amount of patience, participation, and appreciation for multiple storylines in differing formats. The two terms that come to mind are “marginalia” and “ephemera”. The book incorporates both, though they appear as printed reproductions or facsimiles. If you like a challenge, you have an opportunity to become intimately involved with a variety of characters inhabiting very different times and places. The book may be a tough sell if you like your novels to be straightforward and in a traditional format. On the other hand, if you frequently read Internet blog comments, and comments to comments, the story line in the marginalia will come fast and easy. Reading the margin comments necessarily leads you to the text of the novel. Personally, I feel it’s the ephemera that’s the most difficult to engage with. I have plenty of old photos, scraps and mementos of my own without sifting through pieces collected by fictional characters. But the unorthodox, bordering on outlandish, presentation of this book caught my attention enough to set aside the usual non-fiction titles and review it. In the end, the book crosses many borders, offers plenty of intrigue, and can be a lot of fun.
--Rosemary Szczygiel, Hilliard Branch Library
Find S. in the Nassau County Public Library System catalog.