MZD's The Familiar discussion

Volume 2: Into the Forest > Volume 2 Summary - Spoilers!

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Michael (last edited Jul 09, 2016 09:43AM) (new)

Michael Kuehn Here is a sketch summary of V2 I put together for my own use, but perhaps other readers here will find it useful before starting V3. I've assembled it first as a plotline or character by character summary; within each, however, I've added [ ] bracketed chapter numbers and titles so you can review both by character or by chapter. I've also tried to highlight some of the connections that are now beginning to appear in V2. These are not thorough summaries, just sketches of what I think is most important.

THE FAMILIAR, VOLUME 2 Into the Forest Mark Z Danielewski

[ ] = Chapters (201) = V2 page number

1. ASTAIR [orange]
[1] Mother's Day: Deep sleep, dreams, dreams of Dov, and Xanther, and cats (52). Wakes up, but where's Xanther and that sick animal?

[8] (shed)): early morning, Astair makes coffee, gets the kids up – in other words, not much happens (209). Tells friend Taymor about her advisor, Llewyn Fabler. Taymor tells her about HomePorn. “The cat is just gone.”

[17] Eldon Avantine: (415) Buys a book on cats. Then goes to see her “advisor” about her thesis paper – Eldon Avantine. She is told to scrap her thesis and write about a cat (430).

[24] The Reunionist: “The cat is just plain spooky” (599). Astair picks up Xanther from school – she appears ill. Astair sees some strange relationship between cat and daughter (-duh!!).

2. XANTHER [pink]

[2] 078*371*636: Xanther is worried about the cat's health, and they go to see a vet, Dr Syd Lactnod (96). Numbers are found on the animal, but a scan shows that number as relating to a deceased animal, and a dog, at that (104-105). An "ancient" kitten?

[9] Stones Upon His Eyes: Xanther experiences a “hot-achey thing” when she's away from home... but the thought of home with her kitten soothes Xanther (234). The evil Dendish Mower - “Mary Ellen's pointing Xanther out to Dendish!” (237). Xanther is home and suddenly the cat appears, seemingly out of nowhere (247). (-What's with the stones?)

[15] The Killing Machine: Xanther feels strongly that there is someone out there who loves the kitten, and that she should find the true owner (336). They make the rounds to various shelters to post her LOST flyer... at the last shelter, while Anwar fills out a form, Xanther wanders and suddenly all the cage doors fly open. Xanther finds herself in the killing room, where animals are put to sleep (361).

[23] Hunger: She dreams of roaming over “a soft floor of packed pine needles or new snow...” (565). Confronted by Dendish, Xanther “opens” all the lockers (telekinesis?), like at the shelter (consciously?), and Dendish gets the blame.

[29] Starving: “And know yourself then still blind before the stones of the world.” (779) The little one is starving, weak. Xanther feels that the cat is not near, not in the house. She runs out of the house in search .... right into the path of an oncoming truck.... (-MZD leaves us hanging here!)

3. ANWAR [green]

[3] Birds?: Anwar had a business arrangement with a Mefisto (109). Debug a gaming(?) program, Cataplyst-1. Anwar trying to locate the error in computer code. Enzio. Ehtisham. Kozimo. MOOWK. Kozimo wanted to get close to Mefisto (126).

[13] Due Diligence: They begin putting up signs advertising the found kitten, at Xanther's request (314).

[21] Memorial Weekend: Anwar relives the day at the shelter with Xanther. “No dad. He's not the ship” “Oh?” “I'm the ship.” (536) (-ship in a bottle reference?)

[27] The Same Ghost: Bowling with Ehtisham, Glasgow, Talbot. In parking lot they think they're about to get robbed – and do. Guns drawn, threats. He gets home and tells Astair he has another program to debug, Cataplyst-2. Uploads final product to Enzio server - “Mefisto worked for them.” (714)

4. OZGUR [gray]

[4] Planski: Breakfast with Planski. Fills her in on the Korean market murders. Ever hear of Synsnap-27? She asks. No. You will (143).

[18] Warlock: Mention of FROGTOWN (433) connection to LUTHER's plotline. Then (435), Ozgur gets a glimps of a cat, fleeting, then gone (-Xanther's cat?). Three bodies in Long Beach amidst computer equipment – Yuri Grossman, Eli Klein, Jablom Lau Song (449).

5. jingjing [blue]

[5] be extraordinary: Cat is still missing, and jingjing is out looking for it. Great tian li does nothing but sleep and eat since the cat disappeared.

[11] so it begins: Jingjing continues search for cat (263). Decides to look for Zhong, who might be able to give him some money to buy food, drugs. Ends up buying blue balloon (drug) because he couldn't afford the pink.

[19] smoke: Jingjing goes to a party with some friends, but it paranoid about carrying the blue balloon of drugs with him.

6. ISANDORNO [gold]

[6] Between Nowhere and Nowhere: Crossed over the border into Guatemala (164). Isandorno failed to accompany the crates to The Ranch – The Mayor will be surprised that Isandorno ran (175). One goat, one donkey.

[16] The Mayor: Now Isandorno is with the Mayor at one of the Mayor's zoos – and surrounded by animals. The Mayor talks about how people will pay to be able to kill these animals (385). Isandorno is told by the Mayor that he will stay on the ranch and be a guardian to arriving Teodor Javier de Ignacio Salazar (402). Otherwise known as “Teyo.” [connection to LUTHER]

[25] A Picnic: Upset over the LA deal gone bad, The Mayor takes Isandorno to the home of Cutberto (accountant?) and when everyone least expects it, throws Cutberto's child into a deep fryer (667), obviously suspecting him of participation in the LA deal gone wrong.

7. LUTHER [purple]

[7] Frogtown: In Frogtown, Luther's “biggest deal” is about to go down. Meeting with representatives of Teyo. Guy named Memo shows up, but Juarez believes he's a cop – shoots him, and all hell breaks loose. Drug deal gone wrong. Somehow Juarez seemed to know it was coming. Saved Luther. Cops show up and Luther and Juarez run for it (206).

[14] Pikachu: (325) Luther, Lupita, Tweetie, Chitel – out selling drugs. Memo isn't dead from last “deal” gone wrong – He's in the hospital, and it turns out Memo worked for Teyo. Luther thinks: “He knows Teyo first will want to hear what went down.”

[20] Better Forgotten: Luther getting ink from Piña (482). Luther becomes paranoid as he keeps seeing young women dressed similarly around town – wonders what is goiong on. Chapter ends with: “What's not gotten is better forgotten.”

[28] The Loyal Hawaiian: Luther is flown to Hawaii to meet with Teyo. He's wined and dined. Teyo needs his help. He wants him to kill Memo before he talks to much.

8. SHNORHK [brown]

[10] Clinic: Patil and Shnorhk discuss changing his job from Independence Taxi to Uber. Shnorhk wants none of it. Wife Patil wants Shnorhk to go to the clinic to check out his cough, which has been bad lately. He lies, tells her he's going, but when he arrives he finds that it closed early (260).

[26] “Left it in cab.”: Goes to Mnatsagan to play music. Mnatsagan asks Shnorhk where his box is, and he tells them in the cab. But when it goes to the cab, it's not there, and he lies and tells them it's at home. According to V1, the boxes contain testimonies of survivors from the Armenian genocide.

9. CAS / ORB [maroon]

[12] A Stranger: (278) Cas looks into orb, sees a child, mouths the “parental shout,” “Xanther.”
(284) Marnie arrives, sent by the Sorcerer. The orb? A computer he built (293)

[22] The Bath: Realic S. Tarnen “Clip 4” (549). Clip #1, Clip #6. Deakin, Marnie, Bobby, Cas, Sorcerer – cast of characters. The Orb detonates!

[30] My Love: In the moment before detonation, the Orb revealed “only two awful eyes.” (Xanther's?) (812) Earlier the Orb had seen Xanther, “who went from spinning rainbows to brewing storms” (815). And Sorcerer shows up – now that they've run away after the Orb detonation. “Merlin's dead” Sorcerer tells them. And then – Sorcerer IS Mefisto!

Connections beginning to emerge
I've tried to place the "linking" person/place/situation between the two characters/items that are being connected, as in Teyo being the linking figure between Isandorno and Luther. However it really doesn't hold up for #2, as the Orb connects Cas to Xanther, but it's only a one-way connection.

1. Anwar – Mefisto/Sorcerer – Cas/Wizard
2. Cas/Wizard – Xanther – Orb
3. Isandorno – Teyo – Luther
4. Ozgur – Frogtown – Luther

message 2: by L (new)

L Thank you, this is great! I had started to compile one when I read it but stopped halway through...

message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Scuffling (ianscuffling) | 96 comments Luca wrote: "Thank you, this is great! I had started to compile one when I read it but stopped halway through..."

Why'd you stop? Just get distracted?

Where V2 improved upon V1, V3 outshines both, btw. Something to look forward to, and to egg you on deeper into familiarity.

message 4: by L (new)

L I didn't stop the book, just the summary! Had a lot to do.
I can't wait to read V3! I think I'll begin reading it in max 2 weeks...

back to top