Tag: Mark Z.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Posted November 29, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Book of the Month, Horror / 0 Comments

House of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiTitle: House of Leaves (Goodreads)
Author: Mark Z. Danielewski
Published: Random House, 2000
Pages: 706
Genres: Horror
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Johnny Truant searches an apartment for his friend and finds an academic study of a documentary film called The Navidson Record. This film investigates the phenomenon of the Navidson’s house where the house is larger inside than the outside. Initially it’s less than an inch difference but it keeps growing. The only problem with all of this is there is no evidence of this documentary ever existing. The book House of Leaves is that academic study (with all the footnotes) mixed with Johnny’s interjections, transcripts from the documentary and anything else.

This debut novel of Mark Z. Danielewski tries to mix a horror novel with some romance and satire but it mainly focuses on just how unreliable a narrator can be. I’ll be honest with you; I struggled to work out if I should review this as a piece of literature or as art, so I’ve done both and you can find my art review. Danielewski has really come up with a unique idea here, it’s almost the literary equivalent of The Blair Witch Project; there is a lot happening on the pages but the reader never gets a full grasp on what is actually happening.

The first 150 pages of this book were quite enjoyable, there were some funny moments and it gave you a real feel for what was going on. But then everything turns completely weird and I found myself raging and sometimes going insane. This is by no means an easy book to read, more of an exploration in the postmodern idea of Post-structuralism. I don’t pretend to understand postmodern literature but it was interest to see what Mark Z. Danielewski does in this book

You’ll either love or hate this genre blending novel; for me, I hated the story. I think my wife got more enjoyment out of watching me rage than I did with reading it. House of Leaves is known as Ergodic literature, which requires the reader to navigate the text in a non-traditional way; this is the first time I’ve seen a book like this. Everyone will have a different interpretation of this novel, so I would love to hear what others thought. Also make sure you check my post about this book as an art form.