Waxing Press

book reviews

Book Review: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

book reviewsIan WissmanComment

If you’re not familiar with House of Leaves, then you basically need to know it’s a book about a critical review written by a blind man of a film that doesn’t exist, transcribed by a man who found the notes in a trunk in an abandoned apartment. The film is about a man whose house has within it, a pitch black labyrinth he then sets off to explore with colleagues and friends.

Book Review: Belladonna by Daša Drndić

book reviewsIan WissmanComment

History is heredity is culture. History repeats itself because it's a genetic inheritance that deteriorates us as we try to push back against it. We try to correct it. In Belladonna, Daša Drndić uses her protagonist, Andreas Ban, a deteriorating retiree, to tell the history of Croatia; it's bloodied past, marred by fascism, antisemitism, and The Holocaust.

Book Review: Lookout Cartridge by Joseph McElroy

book reviews, tastemakingIan WissmanComment

Lookout Cartridge by Joseph McElroy, like a cartridge itself, can only be deciphered for the screen behind our eyes once it has been inserted into our mechanistic, computer-brain to decode and process. The complexity and unique style of its prose, and how it "processes" layers of images will provide the reader with a steep challenge that rewards diligence with evocative scenes and a masterful use of language that mirrors cognition in ways before unimagined.

Book Review: Passing Off by Tom Leclair

book reviews, tastemakingIan WissmanComment

If you you're attracted to Greece and Athens, LeClair paints the life of the Greeks in a unique, non-Romanticized way that the West rarely sees, giving great insight into the culture and its tics. The book has prescience, too, into not only the Greek economic woes we've seen in the past decade, but the true threats of global warming, especially to a place like Greece so reliant on its booming tourism business--what happens when the beaches are gone?

Book Review: The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May by Mark Z. Danielewski

book reviews, tastemakingIan WissmanComment

The Familiar is a singular literary moment in the making that I am not so sure is getting the attention it deserves, so I’ll use my tiny little voice on this remote corner of the internet to profess to you its power. Before I speak directly about Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May, I’ll mention a bit about the series as a whole: I’ve said in other reviews of Vols. 3 & 4 (found on Goodreads) that The Familiar isn’t just a novel in serial, but the development of a whole mythology on par with the classics, codified in our unique 21st century world.