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House of Leaves posted 25 July 2008 in Literature DiscussionHouse of Leaves by ThePrinceofNothing, Candidate

House of Leaves is a book written by Mark Danielewski, and is one of the most intriguing, confusing, terrifying, engaging and at the same time mind-boggling books I've ever read. Since finishing it I've gone back and reread several sections, and I find it rapidly climbing my list of favorite books. Here's the premise, for those who don't know:

The Navidson family first realizes something is wrong with their house on Ash Tree Lane when its dimensions on the inside are larger than the outside. The terrors ensue and eventually culminate when a mysterious, doorless, pitch black hallway materializes out of nowhere in the living room, extending out into their backyard. However, the impossibility lies in what one sees from outside; there is no protrusion, no corridor sitting on the Navidson's backyard. The doorway is a physical impossibility, leading into a seemingly unknown, unfathomable dimension. And its depths are equally unfathomable...

That's the basic idea of the story, but there's so much more to it than that. The narrative style is extremely intricate and oftentimes confusing. Will Navidson was a photo-journalist, so he took video documents of his explorations of the house. The narrative style is as follows: at the heart is The Navidson Record, which is being academically reviewed by a man named Zampano. Zampano's critical essay is in turn being edited by a man named Johnny Truant (the main narrator). Truant's edition is in turn being edited by a group of anonymous, ethereal editors. The book is littered with footnotes, some of which reference real works, others which reference completely fictional ones.

Johnny Truant is an interesting character, and provides a unique contrast to the story of The Navidson Record. He is an extremely unreliable narrator whose sanity comes into question the more he delves into the horrors of Zampano's essay. Furthermore, many of his footnotes are a self-contained story, with Truant going off on tangents when something in Zampano's writing trigger's his memory. His stories are more akin to the style of Kerouac or Thompson, involving tales of travel, loose women, and substance abuse.

All in all, the book is a fascinating read if you're a fan of extremely surreal, obscure material. The book is also an example of ergodic literature, with some pages containing only a few lines, some on which the text is upside-down, and others on which text appears written backwards. It is by no means an easy read, and requires a great deal of patience and determination on the reader's part. But if you have the time and energy, it's a very rewarding experience; and one hell of a dark, scary ride.

Also, be sure to read the appendices. They shed more light on the story. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


House of Leaves posted 25 July 2008 in Literature DiscussionHouse of Leaves by Almighty Tallest, Candidate

I read House of Leaves a few years ago, and it was immediately on my list of favourites. Whenever anybody asks me to suggest an interesting book to them, I mention it. It is fascinating, completely engaging, and one of the most terrifying things I have ever read. No other book has made me sleep with a light on.

His next book, by the way, is interesting as well. Called Only Revolutions, it follows the story of a pair of lovers through their lives. Spanning three hundred years, it is told from both perspectives, with his story eight pages at a time, with hers on the opposite pages. You read eight pages, flip the book and read the next eight. view post


House of Leaves posted 26 July 2008 in Literature DiscussionHouse of Leaves by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

both books sound awesome and i will have to keep my eye open for them. view post


House of Leaves posted 01 August 2008 in Literature DiscussionHouse of Leaves by Curethan, Didact

^^ same.

I loved Vandermeer's City of Saints and Madmen, this sounds similarly intriuging. view post


House of Leaves posted 04 August 2008 in Literature DiscussionHouse of Leaves by jub, Peralogue

House of Leaves is amazing which is unlike anything else you will read. Only Revolutions however is on the fail side of the boat.
Highly, highly recommend House of Leaves. view post


House of Leaves posted 25 August 2008 in Literature DiscussionHouse of Leaves by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

so... i have house of leaves on order now.. can't wait.. view post


House of Leaves posted 27 August 2008 in Literature DiscussionHouse of Leaves by jub, Peralogue

good luck, your thoughts wont be the same again... <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> view post


House of Leaves posted 27 August 2008 in Literature DiscussionHouse of Leaves by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

well that doesn't necessarily sound like a bad thing.

*edit.. came in the post today.. just glancing through it it looks awesome. prob wont start reading it just yet.. but i'm very tempted to not even finish what i'm currently reading... view post


House of Leaves posted 29 August 2008 in Literature DiscussionHouse of Leaves by ThePrinceofNothing, Candidate

You'll probably want to finish the book you're currently reading. House of Leaves is going to require your complete and undivided attention, and you'll get the most out of it if you don't have another story on your mind. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


House of Leaves posted 29 August 2008 in Literature DiscussionHouse of Leaves by ThePrinceofNothing, Candidate

You'll probably want to finish the book you're currently reading. House of Leaves is going to require your complete and undivided attention, and you'll get the most out of it if you don't have another story on your mind. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


House of Leaves posted 31 August 2008 in Literature DiscussionHouse of Leaves by jub, Peralogue

It really is an experience reading this book so make sure you are in the right mood in order to squeeze those juicy bits out - there are many. view post


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