Posted by Madison
I like any book that forces the reader to look at the form and function of a text, to analyze prose in a different way. I don’t know who remembers reading “The People of Paper” by Salvador Plascencia (early book club days), but Bats of the Republic reminds me a little of that because the pages must be tangible to really understand the book. As a librarian, I’m an advocate of literacy in ANY way: I always tell patrons that audiobooks and ebooks are not cheating! But there’s something magical about a hidden DO NOT OPEN letter halfway through the book that just can’t be achieved on audible.
Mark Z. Danielewski’s “House of Leaves” and “S: Ship of Theseus” by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst are other examples of books like these. Also, here’s an article someone wrote with TEN books that “break the prose mold” (see Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore on this list) if you're interested in reading more with this format.
Zeke is in line to be Khrysalis, demonstrative of chrysalis, meaning 1. a transitional state or 2. insect pupa, especially that of a butterfly or moth.
Zadock refers to his witchy aunt Anne reading his tea leaves, “She and all her Sisters share the oracular gifts of the Auspex, for better or worse it is hard to say” (p. 53). The word auspex means: omens derived from the observation of birds. She seems to have something similar to Bran Stark's raven eye. It’s also worth noting the mimicry of names between the family charts: Zadock Thomas vs Zeke Thomas, Elswyth vs Eliza, Bartholomew Buell vs Henry Bartle, Louisa vs Leeya.
On p. 59 McMarrow is reading a book during battle and a musket ball pierces right through the book, saving his life. Was this book "The Sisters Gray"? The one Henry Bartle checks out in his daughter's name to get her attention? Eliza writes "It has a hole in it" when writing her letter to Leeya (p. 75).
Books like these are works of art and every bit of the page seems important. I think the little green M M M ‘s on each page are representative of bats. They also mimic the green zigzag pattern on Zeke’s shirt where he sewed the envelope inside of a hidden pocket (p. 67). I’m not far enough along to make any good predictions but I’m loving the story so far! Happy reading!