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House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves (original 2000; edition 2000)

by Mark Z. Danielewski

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,330None371 (4.15)2 / 314
Title:House of Leaves
Authors:Mark Z. Danielewski
Info:Pantheon (2000), Edition: 2nd, Paperback, 709 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (2000)

  1. 100
    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (macart3)
    macart3: Those who read the "House of Leaves" will recognize how the house also consumes people in "The Haunting of Hill House" and the feeling that there is something unearthly inhabiting the house.
  2. 81
    The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall (Liyanna)
  3. 70
    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (Torikton)
    Torikton: Danielewski and Wallace both satirize academic writing by playing with footnotes.
  4. 40
    The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (PandorasRequiem)
  5. 30
    At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien (Fenoxielo)
    Fenoxielo: At Swim-Two-Birds is the grand-daddy of all meta-fiction and House of Leaves owes a great deal to it.
  6. 10
    Vellum: The Book of All Hours by Hal Duncan (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For a sincere ambition to figure out what the hell is going on.
  7. 10
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (sduff222)
  8. 10
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (AndySandwich)
    AndySandwich: Gravity's Rainbow = paranoia House of Leaves = claustrophobia
  9. 10
    S. by Doug Dorst (Kordo)
  10. 10
    Chunnel Surfer II by Scott Maddix (aaronius)
    aaronius: Another experimental narrative that takes you different places than ordinary fiction.
  11. 00
    Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges (fundevogel)
  12. 00
    Icelander by Dustin Long (sduff222)
  13. 00
    The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien (owen1218, ateolf)
    owen1218: It seems to have been influenced by this book.
  14. 11
    Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber (guyalice)
    guyalice: The mysterious basement and the unending staircase draw parallelisms.
  15. 04
    BLAME!, Vol. 1 by Tsutomu Nihei (Anonymous user)

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English (197)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (207)
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
You can't really explain House of Leaves. It's an experience. It's thought-provoking. It's maddening, frustrating, terrifying, and not completely satisfying. It's a most unusual and fascinating. It's a psychological thriller. It's a horror story.

It's a love story.

The novel takes the form of a non-fiction book that examines a film called The Navidson Record, which was written by a blind man, Zampano, and discovered by a young man named Johnny in the author's L.A. apartment after his death. The thing is, the film itself probably doesn't even exist. Yet Zampano writes hundreds of pages describing the events documented in the film, namely the discovery of an impossible dark hallway in a house where none existed before. As the hallway grows in size and scope, Will Navidson becomes more obsessed with the space. Johnny, and by extension the reader, become obsessed as well. Johnny's edits of Zampano's manuscript begin to echo the house explorers' descent into the vast nothingness, with sentences and paragraphs written upside down, backwards, in the corners, and along meandering lines.

What is in that house? Is it some kind of monster? A portal to another dimension? The reflection of the crumbling psyche's of the house's inhabitants? Don't think about it too hard. Navidson did, and well...you'll see. ( )
  kaylaraeintheway | Mar 27, 2014 |
A eerie, nightmare inducing read though I feel like I only grasped about 85% of what the author was trying to communicate. Maybe less than that. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Mar 20, 2014 |
Long horror(ish) novel, plays with: multiple layers of frame narration, formatting, typography, cement poetry and really adopts that love of footnotes that you see sometimes. Was not that scary and ending not phenomenal. Fun read, though time consuming. ( )
  Achromatic | Feb 16, 2014 |
I like the idea of this book more than I like to book itself. At 120 pages, I surrendered.
  curiousgene | Feb 14, 2014 |
It's a book about a book about a movie about a house that's bigger on the inside than on the outside. It's the book it's about. It may also be the house. It's a polarizing thing, this book; either it's about a phenomenon you understand intimately, and those black hallways could be your brain or your veins, or it's not and that makes it almost impossible to understand why people love it.

It's in my veins, so I can put up with infuriating Johnny and try and tease out the story of Pelafina and the unplumbed depths of the mind from this giant book. The structure is interesting, mirroring the story in many ways, counterpointing it in others. But it's the kind of story that becomes tangled up with your life, and that's why it caught me.

The dedication is "This is not for you." I took that as a challenge in 2000. I've been reading and rereading this book ever since. ( )
  iliadawry | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
House of leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski runs to 710 pages: 13 pages of introduction, 535 of text, followed by three appendices and a 42-page, triple-column index.
added by KayCliff | editThe Indexer, Hazel K Bell (Aug 4, 2009)
... let me say right off that his book is funny, moving, sexy, beautifully told, an elaborate engagement with the shape and meaning of narrative. For all its modernist maneuvers, postmodernist airs and post-postmodernist critical parodies, ''House of Leaves'' is, when you get down to it, an adventure story: a man starts traveling inside a house that keeps getting larger from within, even as its outside dimensions remain the same. He is entering deep space through the closet door.

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Danielewski, Mark Z.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Santen, Karina vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuenke, ChristaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vosmaer, MartineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
This is not for you.
First words
I still get nightmares. In fact I get them so often I should be used to them by now. I'm not. No one ever really gets used to nightmares.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Some deep shit -- for readers with thick skins and wide open minds. A schitzoid, barely sober tattoo artist tries to amass his intellect upon the fractured manuscripts of a dead, blind man. Said documents purport the fictitious story/ filming of a photographer's family and their shape-shifting, undulating house. Add in some wanton sex, a need for fumigation, two rambunctious kids, creative typesetting and some unspeakable horror -- and there you have it... HOUSE OF LEAVES.
Haiku summary
One creepy closet,
Holds plenty of shoes, coats and
Navidson Records

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375703764, Paperback)

Had The Blair Witch Project been a book instead of a film, and had it been written by, say, Nabokov at his most playful, revised by Stephen King at his most cerebral, and typeset by the futurist editors of Blast at their most avant-garde, the result might have been something like House of Leaves. Mark Z. Danielewski's first novel has a lot going on: notably the discovery of a pseudoacademic monograph called The Navidson Record, written by a blind man named Zampanò, about a nonexistent documentary film--which itself is about a photojournalist who finds a house that has supernatural, surreal qualities. (The inner dimensions, for example, are measurably larger than the outer ones.) In addition to this Russian-doll layering of narrators, Danielewski packs in poems, scientific lists, collages, Polaroids, appendices of fake correspondence and "various quotes," single lines of prose placed any which way on the page, crossed-out passages, and so on.
Now that we've reached the post-postmodern era, presumably there's nobody left who needs liberating from the strictures of conventional fiction. So apart from its narrative high jinks, what does House of Leaves have to offer? According to Johnny Truant, the tattoo-shop apprentice who discovers Zampanò's work, once you read The Navidson Record,
For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You'll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you'll realize it's always been shifting, like a shimmer of sorts, a vast shimmer, only dark like a room. But you won't understand why or how.
We'll have to take his word for it, however. As it's presented here, the description of the spooky film isn't continuous enough to have much scare power. Instead, we're pulled back into Johnny Truant's world through his footnotes, which he uses to discharge everything in his head, including the discovery of the manuscript, his encounters with people who knew Zampanò, and his own battles with drugs, sex, ennui, and a vague evil force. If The Navidson Record is a mad professor lecturing on the supernatural with rational-seeming conviction, Truant's footnotes are the manic student in the back of the auditorium, wigged out and furiously scribbling whoa-dude notes about life.
Despite his flaws, Truant is an appealingly earnest amateur editor--finding translators, tracking down sources, pointing out incongruities. Danielewski takes an academic's--or ex-academic's--glee in footnotes (the similarity to David Foster Wallace is almost too obvious to mention), as well as other bogus ivory-tower trappings such as interviews with celebrity scholars like Camille Paglia and Harold Bloom. And he stuffs highbrow and pop-culture references (and parodies) into the novel with the enthusiasm of an anarchist filling a pipe bomb with bits of junk metal. House of Leaves may not be the prettiest or most coherent collection, but if you're trying to blow stuff up, who cares? --John Ponyicsanyi

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:33 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

One of the most acclaimed fiction debuts of 2000, national best-seller House of Leaves influenced, and was influenced by, the music of POE, Mark Z. Danielewski's sister. Her highly anticipated new album, Haunted, which includes many songs inspired by House of Leaves, will be released in September 2000 by Atlantic Records.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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