Book Review – House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Posted May 11, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 / 2 Comments

Book Review – House of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Published by Pantheon on March 7, 2000
Pages: 709
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Format: Paperback
Source: Library


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.

Holy crap I finished! If anyone has seen this book in its physical form I’m sure you can understand the need for celebration. (If you haven’t seen this, it’s a beast.)

I’m not even sure what to say about this book. So here are some random statements for you to enjoy.

This is insane. This has entirely way too many footnotes. And changing the font to differentiate between who’s talking? Doesn’t help. Seriously, what is the point in having the word ‘house’ be blue? If I ever move into a house that has some doorway mysteriously appear that leads to some deep, dark, cold hallway I’m not exploring. I’m fucking moving, end of. Who the fuck installs cameras all over their house? It’s like Real World, just in a freaky man-eating house. These guys, especially Lude, have A LOT of sex. But seriously, what’s the point in sharing this with us readers? I really couldn’t give a shit less. And if Johnny Truant is supposed to have stopped showering weeks ago and doesn’t really leave his house or eat real food anymore, and looks like some disgusting hobo how is he still able to hook up with all these hot babes? And how exactly does one go about having sex on a Nordic Track? Nevermind, don’t answer that. Of course! That makes complete sense. You just saw the house eat someone and you decide to go explore again. Sure, why the fuck not? Maybe you’ll get lucky and it’s just not hungry anymore. So, he’s burning that book… is that supposed to be the book we’re reading and if so how did it end up in that old guys house? And I still don’t understand the claw marks in the wood next to his body. Did anyone perform an autopsy? Oh! So we were also supposed to have picked up on clues in this jumbled mess? About your Mother? I can barely understand what the fuck is going on let alone find the CLUES. Is this some type of Freud thing that went over my head? I still don’t get what the growling was.

So, I have one final question: Was ANYONE supposed to understand this or was the author just being cute fully intending on leaving everyone completely clueless?


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