The Fifty Year Sword, by Mark Z. Danielewski

The Fifty Year Sword. Mark Z. Danielewski. Book Review.

Narrators tell the story of Chintana, an East Texas seamstress who went to a party against her own inclination, and there in the company of five children, with the woman who destroyed her marriage in the house below, heard a disturbing and familiar tale of vengeance.

4 stars

This was a creepy, crafty little horror story. It's an enjoyable, short read, laid out in an experimental style, with interesting language choices and really fitting textile art illustrations.

On the other hand, some of the experimental elements were more distracting than intriguing: the text is full of white space (some of which created rhythm, but much of which seemed purposeless) and the book is full of blank pages. The different colored quotation marks didn't add a single thing to the tale for me. I'd like to see this formatted just a bit more simply, so the story itself can shine.

Good for: Fans of Danielewski will know what they are getting into.


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