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The Fifty Year Sword


The Fifty Year Sword Cover

ISBN13: 9780307907721
ISBN10: 0307907724
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Only 2 left in stock at $17.95!




“The Social Worker had mentioned



                              “but that night

Chintana saw no sign of any more.

    “Maybe the incresiating cold

                                             “or the

peculiar threat of a storm

                                            “or Belinda

Kite’s birthday

                      “had turned parents

from wrestling with seat belts and car


           “—from those oh so

                                            “many lists

of baby sitters tacked conveniently by a



    “Chintana rubbed the violet line

on her thumb as a woman with topaz

clamped on her ears burst past her

towards a small bathroom tucked

under the main stairs.


    “ ‘Such a hateful whore,’ the woman

sputstuttersobbed to Chintana,

                                             “to no one

in particular,

                   “diving for the comforts of

lock and running water.


    “Whereupon Chintana’s thumb

abruptly began to sore a little

                                         “and she

felt bleak,

                “as if a thousand


upon vengeances were dicing her


               “into hail.

    “Though the cause was none too


                 “—the front door just stood

wide open.

                          “Though when it had

been flung so Chintana would never



    “The porch lights were extinguished

too, oddly,

               “and what’s more a shadow

now cut across the threshold,


without moon or stars in the Texas sky

this was an awful impossibility,

                                               “for here

reaching towards her it seemed was a

shadow cast by nothing



the darkness itself.


    “Most would’ve denied the sight with

a turn,

                    “a cry,


“but maybe because Chintana too, day

out and night in, could so easily consider

doing the same,

                       “what would leave these

rooms drenched in silence,

                                       “and blood,

“she welcomed him.


“ ‘The orphans’

                        “was all he said.

“And Chintana showed him the way.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Nicole Farley, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Nicole Farley)
It's enhanced poetry! Read it in about an hour. I love Mark Danielewski, and this is on par with his exquisite artistic formatting presentation.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
huntere.brown, September 20, 2012 (view all comments by huntere.brown)
I absolutely love anything written by Danielewski, but this title is especially beautiful and haunting. I'm so glad there's a widely accessible English edition being released!
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Danielewski, Mark Z.
Fantasy - Contemporary
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Contemporary
Publication Date:
9.32 x 5.3 x 1.16 in 1.46 lb

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The Fifty Year Sword Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Pantheon - English 9780307907721 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This first American edition of Danielewski's novella, published in a different form in the Netherlands in 2005, has the theatrical quality of a children's ghost story, complete with stitched-art illustrations (designed by the author), sweeping themes, and fairy-tale tropes. But the tale told by the Story Teller, hired to entertain the children, is nested in the all-too adult story of Chintana, a seamstress suffering through the aftermath of a painful divorce. The smallest daily rituals — opening a can of 'bitter tea leaves,' putting on shoes — require terrific force, and she has visions of inflicting violence. At her twin's urging, Chintana attends a Halloween party at an East Texas ranch, where she comes face-to-face with the source of her marriage's destruction and discovers the Story Teller's thirst for revenge. Danielewski (House of Leaves) knows that typographical landscaping can be a narrative tool. With rare exception, he unfurls his tale down one side of the page in quoted speech of different colors representing five orphans whose obscure connection is hinted at in an author's note; text is juxtaposed or shares space with illustrations. Tension builds visually; some scenes slows to a sentence per page (a trick the author's fans will recognize), vertically tearing the white space (readers resistant to textual hijinks may be frustrated). More of a narrative poem than a novella, this would be well suited to an oral reading and may be best thought of as an objet d'art that chillingly holds us accountable for our worst thoughts. Illus. Agent: WME Entertainment. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , In this story set in East Texas, a local seamstress named Chintana finds herself responsible for five orphans who are not only captivated by a storyteller's tale of vengeance but by the long black box he sets before them. As midnight approaches, the box is opened, a fateful dare is made, and the children as well as Chintana come face to face with the consequences of a malice retold and now foretold.
"Synopsis" by , The nationally best-selling author of House of Leaves and Only Revolutions has crafted a powerfully chilling novella — a ghost story for grownup readers.

Late one evening at a party at an East Texas ranch house, five orphans gather to hear a story about a quest for a terrible weapon. Before them lies a long black box with five latches. As the owner of the box settles into a curious tale of revenge, the children grow more and more captivated, even as we grow more and more afraid that a new crime may await them all, especially as clocks in Upshur County approach midnight.

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