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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?

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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.

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text 2016-06-01 15:57
Last of Book Haul
The Divine Madness of Philip K. Dick (Inner Lives) - Kyle Arnold
The Whalestoe Letters - Mark Z. Danielewski
The Jedi Doth Return - Ian Doescher,January LaVoy,Jeff Gurner,Daniel Davis,Marc Thompson,Jonathan Davis
William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back - Ian Doescher
America's Snake: The Rise and Fall of the Timber Rattlesnake - Ted Levin
Heart of a Lion: A Lone Cat's Walk Across America - William Stolzenburg
Dexter's Final Cut[DEXTERS FINAL CUT][Paperback] - JeffLindsay

I got Divine Madness, Dexter's final cut and Whalestoe letters as well the rest of the Shakespeare Star Wars books which were on clearance.   (So was monuments men, so they were a couple bucks a piece.)

 

I'm considering a couple other books, but I doubt I'll get anything more.   Possibly some more Irvine books, but they don't have Thor which is the one I want most.    They have Cap: First Avenger, and I'm not too eager to pick that up right at the moment.   Age of Ultron is a book I keep eyeing; I'd like to have that in hardcover for the prettiness and because it would be nice to have a collection of those that I choose to buy.   Hulk I'm really not that into, though.    Possibly America's Snake because I love snakes.   Heart of the Lion is something I keep going back to so I'll have to think about that.  I'm really digging some non-fiction now and I don't read much of it, so I think I'll stick to that when purchasing.   No non-fiction on clearance I saw that I really wanted.   There is one Johnny Cash biography that I eyed, but I really am not a Cash fan, so I think I'll pass on that.   Might pick up the Angjelica Houston hardcovers on clearance, though. 

 

We shall see.   

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text 2016-03-03 01:34
I've read 115 out of 880 pages.
The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May - Mark Z. Danielewski

trees talk bark and grow beyond names. flowers outbloom blooms. roots too settle deep or shallow until they overthrown their own reason for being roots.

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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!

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