Though less ambitious in scope than his previous novels, “The Fifty Year Sword’’ is a clever experiment in voice and structure, a prose poem consisting of cascading waves of dialogue spoken by five different narrators looking back on a single frightening night. Laid-out with text only on the left side of the page and either blank space or increasingly eerie stitched illustrations on the right, the book, while not the most impressive example of literary fiction, is a compelling piece of art.
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