Tree of Codes
Jonathan Safran Foer
Tree of Codes is interesting in it's complexities, it is part novel, part artist book and part poetry. The story itself was made by taking Bruno Schulz's The Street of Crocodiles, Foer's favorite book, and cutting out entire passages, leaving words, sentences or punctuation to make an entirely new story. The end result looks like this -
making an entirely unique reading experience. The pages are fragile and at first glance it's hard to see how this book, still meant to be read in a linear page-at-a-time pace. After a struggle I found that A. putting a sheet of paper under the page I was reading or B. holding the page up so that it wasn't flush with the rest of the book made the experiences much more enjoyable.
The story itself is less important. While I remember being entranced by the poetic narrative Foer carved out I'm hard pressed to remember actual details. Something about a deceased mother and father? I really don't remember much more than that. I don't think I'm alone in this aspect, though. You read Tree of Codes for the process and the story is secondary, though I do remember enjoying it quite a bit. That is my only pet peeve with Tree of Codes, but if anything it has me more excited to read it again than damning it to back of the bookshelf hell.
A Note: Don't be a chump and pay a ridiculous amount for this book. It's awesome but it isn't worth more than it's typical $40 price tag (even then it's pricey.)