logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: house-of-leaves
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2016-08-27 14:53
House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski

If you're still trying to think of books for the Halloween Bingo game, House of Leaves would be an excellent choice for a number of squares. 

 

I read it a while back, but for some reason I hadn't added it my Booklikes shelves. I stumbled across my paperback copy this morning. (To be honest, I'm not sure how I'd missed it earlier seeing as it's bloody enormous).

 

Haunted houses, things that go bump in the night, unreliable narrators... what more do you need?

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2016-07-03 08:41
House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski

I gave myself a re-read because I'm well ahead of my reading target this year. 

 

This time around, I read it out of order, going along with the skips and jumps the book suggests everywhere (e.g. "see chapter XI", "Appendix II-C", "page 345" or whatever).

 

It's an interesting experience but I don't think it's a particularly good way to read the book for the first time. I had all these dim memories of what happens in the book but I never seemed to get to the point where I read them, instead only stumbling across hints and after-the-fact mentions - that endless deferral of meaning a nice metaphor both for the endless lightless corridors of the house and for the way the text itself gives us no direct access to the film at the heart of it. To get Saussurean for a moment: we don't ever experience the thing, only interpretations of the thing.

 

The ending felt weirdly abrupt and simple, like Danielewski ran out of steam and went "fuck it, I'm just going to finish this thing now". Of course, that could equally be Zampano saying that, in which case it's a deliberate authorial move and not a failure.

 

It's all a lot of fun to think about: I'm a huge Gothic fan and I love the way Danielewski plays with the conventions of the genre so knowingly. Fittingly for a book framed as commentary, I think a lot of its (literal) twists and turns are useful for thinking about what other Gothic novels are doing too.

 

Reading House of Leaves was quite an academic experience this time around. I enjoyed it.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-02-14 16:08
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski

 

House of Leaves is an experience. I've decided not to go into the plot, because it, (they?) really can't be fully explained in such a limited venue as a book review. Depending on how you look at it, there could actually be 5 different plots going on, perhaps more, and again: limited venue.

 

After mulling it over for a few days, I find that I'm comfortable saying the following:

 

1. The portions of the story dealing with the house itself were my favorites. I think these sections were truly scary-among the scariest I've ever read. I've seen other reviewers say they weren't that scary and I've been thinking about why that is. All I can come up with is I guess it depends on what scares you most. If it's a guy with an ax or a ski mask, or maybe Hannibal Lecter, then perhaps this wouldn't be that scary to you. However, if you're afraid of the big, black, empty and what might be hiding in it, then you will most likely be scared and/or disturbed by this book.

 

2. If you're looking for an immediate pay off as far as scares, this book is the wrong place to look. The building atmosphere, the use (sometimes excessive?) of foreshadowing, plot lines suddenly left hanging while other lines are pursued are just some of the techniques used to keep the reader off balance. This is like the long term con, not 3 Card Monty.

 

3. If you think you're going to come out of a first reading knowing everything there is to know about House of Leaves, I just want to tell you- you're not. There is SO much going on here, it's crazy. Mythology, song lyrics, poems, quotes, codes and themes all combine to create this unique story. I'm not sure it's even possible to "get" everything you're supposed to "get" on a single reading. Maybe it is and I'm just dumb? It's definitely possible. ;)

 

I don't know what else to say, so I'll wrap it up. I recommend this book highly, solely for the experience of reading it. The varied plot lines may or may not appeal to you as I've mentioned, but the experience of reading this book itself is not to be missed. What books have you read that could be called an experience? If the answer is none, you need to read this book!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-02-12 17:05
House of Leaves-Food For Thought
House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski

 

I finally finished this book last night after staying up pretty late. Problem being that after the narrative is finished there's about 200 pages of additional material which I'll probably be sorting through for days. I'm going to need some time to mull things over-there's just so much going on in this book. Maybe by tomorrow, I'll have things sufficiently together to post a review.

 

For now, I can only say that I haven't thought this hard over a book in a long, long, time. I know already that I haven't "gotten" all there is to "get". I'm okay with that, because I do plan on re-reading it at some point. For now, I would be happy getting my head around the main, and my favorite narrative,  The Navidson Record.  

Like Reblog Comment
review 2016-02-09 00:00
House of Leaves
House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski So here is the thing readers, this is the first time ever I am going to say, do not buy this in e-book format. I am still mad days later that Barnes and Noble does not allow you to return purchased Nook books that have been opened/downloaded. I had several comments about the book they sold not actually being the actual book (you miss several key pieces of information if you don't read the book in paperback format that is not replicated in the e-book form) but nope, no refund. So make sure you get this book in paperback form.

That said, I would say that on the 1-5 scale, one being not very scary and 5 being holy shit I am going to have nightmares for the rest of my life I would give this book a 3.5. The mind has never been that scary to me. What has always scared me is what people do to one another. So even though House of Leaves was not the scariest book ever out there. I would say that it is very interesting. And that is really because of the way that Mark Z. Danielewski chooses to set up the book. With hidden text, messages, underling themes, with the way he plays with perspectives, I would say that House of Leaves is the best interactive book out there. Because of the way you have to interact it with it as a reader it causes you to fall more into the story.

Told in shifting perspectives we get the uber of all unreliable narrators out there, Johnny Truant. We find out that Johnny finds a manuscript out of a trunk in a dead man's apartment. What he finds inside starts to slowly drive Johnny insane. Or does it? That's a real question I had while reading. Is it madness when it seems the participant knows that he is crazy and also a liar? We get part of Johnny's life story interspersed with notes by the dead man named Zampano that also includes Johnny doing research on what Zampano has found about what he calls The Navidson Record. We also find notes by "editors" that are included that leave some clue to what has happened to Johnny at the end of this book. So you have a story within a story, within a story, within another story.

For me, I loved everything about The Navidson Record. I was honestly tired of going back and forth to Johnny's story playing out since I wanted to know more and more about the people who inhabited a house that was not just a house. All of the characters in the Navidson Record, Will Navidson and his partner Karen Green and their two children felt real the entire team. I kept holding my breath because the book alludes to things not going well and you just want to make sure that this family ends up okay by the end of the book. It took everything in me to not just skip to the ending.

For me though the writing I thought was really good. There were so many times that I was just over reading about Johnny and how he was "screwed" by some random woman who was always the most gorgeous women in existence was. Considering that based on what Johnny said he looked bad, probably smelled bad, I was wondering were this woman blind?

There is a lot of callbacks to Greek mythology in this book (made me so happy) and I don't want to get into it all in this book, but though at times you feel like you are going to black out from sheer information overload, the book just takes time in describing how something like Echo and Narcissus could come back into play and how it relates to the house. Same thing with the Minotaur and even God. Heck Zampano being a blind man trying to find out a deeper meaning in life through The Navidson Record echoed Home and other Greek philosophers. I loved those parts the best.

The flow though, was not great. The going back and forth between different stories and honestly I could not keep track of who was speaking a lot of the times because my Nook version of this book did not have different fonts like it does in the paperback (reason number one million why you must not buy this in e-book format) so for me it took a lot of going back and forth since we would often segue into a different story than the one I had started.

I thought the setting of the house was perfectly scary. Reading about the different rooms, the corridors, how no sound was found within it really was awful. Likening the house to an unending cave where you could fall and fall forever seriously made me wish for a bright and sunny day outside sitting on the grass.

The ending though I will say I was a wee bit let down. Maybe because I have my own thoughts on what is real and not real about House of Leaves and realizing that besides how the book was set up (very good) that I really didn't think this was that scary of a book and the main protagonist was very boring.
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?