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Forums Index -> Best-cellars -> House of Leaves
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:07 am  Reply with quote

Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 17
Location: NY

Has anyone else read Mark Danielewski's "House of Leaves"? I've just started it and it's such a crazy book! I don't know too many books that have footnotes within footnotes that tell stories themselves and that reference books that don't exist. Also there are multiple narrators, a manuscript about a fake documentary, and pages with only one word or sentence occasionally. The font and color changes as well. Sometimes post-modern work is too much for me, but this is great so far... and it happens to be scary as hell!

"Fear death by water"
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:29 pm  Reply with quote

Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 620
Location: WI

Great book. There was a nice discussion with myself, Johnny Truant (guess where he got his user-name), and others a year back or so. But unfortunately I can't find any trace of it (probably with the older web-site, and lost for good).

Clearly HoL is not for everyone and requires patience from the reader. I might've thought the experimental style would've annoyed me, but it worked for me here. The "experimental" stuff was done for a purpose (unlike some post-modern stuff which seems to be weird for weird's sake). I like how you have different levels of narration: the editors who put the book together, Johnny Truant, Zampano, and letters/writings/interviews with other characters. The notion of what to believe is put on its head. And I actually got drawn into the characters, story, and themes. The Navidson Record is actually a pretty cool, compelling, and creepy story in its own right (and the odd-ball word arrangements help with the feeling). And Pelafina's letters are particularly heartbreaking (which Mark Z expanded into a complete book later).

Zampano's academic noodlings can be tiresome, but I think they're supposed to be. It's a bit of a satire on academic writing in general, and also plays into Zampano's state of mind. I don't think you're really supposed to read carefully all those lists and minutia (though there are some cool anagrams/word-games buried in some of them). Actually, there are a lot of things that you can miss the first time - but really subtle references/puzzles that are built in there that people have found, and give you something to think about. But read through the book normally first, then check out some of the buried stuff that people have found.
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