Title: The House Of Leaves
Author: Mark Z. Danielewski
Page Length: 736 pages
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Synopsis: Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth — musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies — the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.
Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.
The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story — of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.
“This is not for you.“
― Mark Z. Danielewski, The House of Leaves
Why did I chose this book?
I have two main reasons.
The first is as follows:
Truly a beast of a book, I’d say this is one of those you’ll either love with all your being or hate excessively. I really don’t think there’s a middle ground. I’m one of those who love this book, and not – regardless of what some might say – for pretentious reasons either.
I’ve always been quite found of this sort of experimental writing, and I think (along with the one and only Dhalgren) definitely fulfilled what they sought out to do — and that is to bring a different perspective to its readers by taking them out of their comfort zones and making them stop… and THINK.
I applaud books that do this. Whether for the good or the bad, I applaud any book that seeks to make their reader stop a moment and ponder the “what if” (and also the “what the fuck” because that’s just, if not even more, important a question).
This is a horror book, but not in the conventional way you would think “horror.” This is a philosophical book, but also not in the conventional way you would think philosophy. This is a thriller and a suspense, but it needs you input to make it terrifying, to make it come alive… and THAT, I think it sensational.
If you can find the time to ever pick this book up, during the month of October or otherwise, do so. Either love it or hate it, but read it. That’s all that matters in the long run.
As for the second:
Partially because I just love it. Primarily because it’s so controversial. Some say it’s complete bullshit. Others praise and rave that it’s the greatest horror book of its time.
I’m on neither side. I know, shocking, right? Because I do understand where both sides are coming from. This book was definitely made to… impress. But I somehow doubt that’s supposed to lessen its incredible storytelling and horrific components. I read this book and was thoroughly entertained, wholly freaked out, and loving every minute of it. But I could definitely tell when I was being… purposely dazzled by the author. For what? To show off their intelligence? For show how much time and effort and ridiculous dedication went into it? To say “Lookie here at what I did! See how much better it is than all of yours”? I haven’t the faintest idea.
But here’s the kicker.
STILL DOES NOT TAKE AWAY FROM THE FACT THAT THIS IS AN AWESOME BOOK.
Author intents aside, I would definitely pull this one out for any of my hardcore, monster-sized-book-lovers to tackle during this lovely, frightful month of October. I really wouldn’t recommend it unless you planned to be dedicated to unraveling this behemoth in quick succession.
What I love/like about it:
- The utterly… bizarre nature of this book. Open to ANY page and you’ll immediately see what I’m talking about.
- The original and experimental style of writing which I’m always fascinated by
- The MASSIVE AMOUNT OF WORK PUT INTO THIS SUCKER. That includes every footnote, every appendix, every little word scribbled in the sidelines or spiraled out of control on any given page.
- Which brings me to… the typography and interior book design! OUT OF THIS WORLD GORGEOUS.
- The… disturbing resonance that just… lingers, after you’re done reading another section, another page of this creepy ass book.
- The concept. I cannot tell you enough of just how awesome I think it is. Truly.
Warnings or Triggers
All manner of… ugh. Just be careful. It’s a dark, dark world in here.
Every frightful thing you can imagine lurks within. This is a story about everyone’s fears, everyone’s… twisted imaginings and how all that comes together to make… the house of leaves. Asdfghjkl; There’s some fucked up shit in here. Mark my words.
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