Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Whalestoe Letters by Mark Z. Danielewski

The Whalestoe Letters (edition 2000)

by Mark Z. Danielewski

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
367629,545 (3.68)11
Title:The Whalestoe Letters
Authors:Mark Z. Danielewski
Info:Pantheon (2000), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 86 pages
Collections:GT3, Read but unowned, Have read, 2012 (inactive)
Tags:fiction, epistemology, companion literature

Work details

The Whalestoe Letters by Mark Z. Danielewski (Author)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 11 mentions

English (5)  French (1)  All (6)
Showing 5 of 5
Well, this does work better as a stand alone piece! As a companion piece to "House of Leaves" it is almost meaningless. And if you have read the 2nd edition to "House of Leaves", this book is useless, as it is almost entirely printed in that book. Definitely don't waste your money! Check it out from your local library, like I did. It's release feels very much like a cash grab by the author and/or the publisher! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Oct 9, 2016 |
Having read House of Leaves, I found the back matter to be just as interesting as the footnotes, and possibly the main story itself. When I saw a standalone version of the letters from Johnny Truant’s mother to him, I wondered what the point was. I assume to make this book publishable, Danielewski took the liberty of adding some information, including 11 new, unpublished letters.

Within these pages, we see a sine-curve of madness as Johnny’s mother communicates with her displaced son some time after being admitted to a mental institution, and some shorter time after her husband, Johnny’s father, dies in an accident.

Taken by itself, it paints a sad picture of a lonely, unstable mother and her self-destructive son occasionally breaking her heart. Taken with the rest of House of Leaves, it paints a broader picture of one of the unreliable narrators in the tangled web of narrators in the book. That is, of course, if you can trust the accuracy of what she is writing to him.

I recommend this book only to fans of House of Leaves, especially those who would like to learn more about Johnny, and who found the original collection of letters from his mother to be fascinating. They’re all there, still, as is a bit more information. If this is not you, you can probably safely avoid this book without losing out. ( )
  aethercowboy | Dec 28, 2012 |
While I feel the Whalestoe letters are the heart and soul of "House of Leaves," I think they're better suited to being read as a part of that larger work than here seperately. There are a few "new" letters included in this edition but I didn't feel they shed any new light on the characters or plot. Worth a perusal, I suppose, but a rather unnecessary publication all around. ( )
  bugaboo4 | May 4, 2010 |
The Whalestoe Letters by Mark Z. Danielewski is an extension of his premier novel, House of Leaves. Initially appearing as an appendix to the novel, The Whalestoe Letters (which includes ten additional letters) are those written by Johnny Truant's mother Pelafina H. Lievre during her residence at the insane asylum. Like House of Leaves as a whole, TheWhalestoe Letters is to fiction and literature what thought experiments are to physics; Danielewski seems to write and publish to push boundaries and test waters for no other reasons than curiosity. While I would argue that the experiment of House of Leaves is very interesting, his subsequent publications are less successful. The (limited) success of The Whalestoe Letters is that it makes me want to go back and read House of Leaves once again. ( )
1 vote Luxx | Dec 16, 2009 |
Protagonist: Pelafina Lièvre
Setting: the Three Attic Whalestoe Institute in Virginia in the 1980s
Epistolary fiction

First Line: Beside the fact that she was of fierce intelligence and beautiful at that, she was mad.

Written as a series of letters from an institution for the mentally disturbed, Pelafina Lièvre reaches out to her son, Johnny, in the only way she can. For the uninitiated, the first half of the book can make you wonder why on earth she's in there. Then the chilling sentence comes about not taking her medication. What follows is a psychotic break that's chilling in what it reveals. This is a little masterpiece. ( )
  cathyskye | May 18, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review

Is an abridged version of

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375714413, Paperback)

Between 1982 and 1989, Pelafina H. Lièvre sent her son, Johnny Truant, a series of letters from The Three Attic Whalestoe Institute, a psychiatric facility in Ohio where she spent the final years of her life. Beautiful, heartfelt, and tragic, this correspondence reveals the powerful and deeply moving relationship between a brilliant though mentally ill mother and the precocious, gifted young son she never ceases to love.

Originally contained within the monumental House of Leaves, this collection stands alone as a stunning portrait of mother and child. It is presented here along with a foreword by Walden D. Wyhrta and eleven previously unavailable letters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:02 -0400)

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
155 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (3.68)
1 2
2 6
2.5 1
3 23
3.5 6
4 22
4.5 1
5 19

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 116,082,648 books! | Top bar: Always visible