content by

Jedediah Berry

Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Five Books That Are Also Labyrinths

In his classic story of spies and crossed fates, “The Garden of Forking Paths,” Jorge Luis Borges imagines a labyrinthine manuscript, “a growing, dizzying web of divergent, convergent, and parallel times.” The fictional book of the story is unfinished, not only because its author is murdered before he can complete it, but also because its form is necessarily infinite, encompassing all timelines generated by every decision of every character: an inescapable maze.

Yet the structures of some real books resemble what Borges had in mind. Not only do these novels challenge our understanding of narrative linearity, they invite us to participate in the making of the story, to play along with each reading. And just as with a well-built maze, getting lost in each of these books can be a lot of fun.

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Series: Five Books About…

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