Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry (1973)
By B.S. Johnson
The novel wasn’t originally on my list, but someone else here read it and made it sound appealing to me. And voila, the blog is showing fruits.
I thought the book was great. A little more meta than I usually like, but the self-reference as created text (ick, I thought I wouldn’t be writing statements like that after College) made sense. My favorite instance:
Meanwhile, they were both perfectly happy. Well, this is fiction, is it not? Isn’t it?
Think about that for a while, and if this kind of thinking appeals to you, then hie yourself to the nearest book-purveyor and read it. As Johnson often points out, it is a short novel.
And, just for fun, here are some words I had to look up: exeleutherostomise; fastigium; sphacelated; trituration; helminthoid; cryptorchid; eirenicon; sufflamination; ungraith; brachyureate; theodolite.
But don’t let that turn you off. The double-entry conceit, as laid out in the terms of its inventor, the 15th-century Tuscan Monk, Fra Paciolini, makes overly perfect sense for the likes of Christie Malry and moves the book along nicely. Not only that, but the individual reckonings are an ingenious way of letting you reevaluate what happened before.
Hie yourselves and read, I say.