Summary of my reading experience with this novel
I was blown away by the breadth of discussion that this novel created online. The sheer curio of knowledge that Danielewki’s Familiar inspires is enough to keep me mesmerized for hours, following Wikipedia rabbit holes after esoteric literary theory. I found the online community surrounding this novel incredibly compelling. However, I cannot say the same for Danielewski’s novel. When it comes to narrative style, I am a bit of a curmudgeonly traditionalist. I like the soporiphic haze that a gripping narrative can create. Sometimes it’s harrowing, like in Disgrace, but it keeps you reading. The complexity of Danielewski’s form was too distracting, and I was often confused by how much information I was being asked to decipher, having to strike hard bargains about what to stop and devote time to—time that would inevitably bring me out of the narrative. I cannot, however, say that I was not impressed by this byzantine complexity. I just think that the best part of Danielewski’s novel is the discussions and picking apart that you can do with other people over it. What’s interesting about this, in relation to the novel’s character, is that is closely mimics the goal of most modern television dramas, which rely heavily on creating viewer discussions.