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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
9,511246304 (4.13)2 / 400
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. 140
    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. 80
    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (Torikton)
    Torikton: Danielewski and Wallace both satirize academic writing by playing with footnotes.
  3. 91
    The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall (Liyanna)
  4. 50
    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. 30
    Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (fundevogel)
  7. 30
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (AndySandwich)
    AndySandwich: Gravity's Rainbow = paranoia House of Leaves = claustrophobia
  8. 20
    S. by Doug Dorst (Kordo)
  9. 20
    Vellum: The Book of All Hours by Hal Duncan (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For a sincere ambition to figure out what the hell is going on.
  10. 10
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (sduff222)
  11. 10
    The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan (ligature)
  12. 10
    Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: Great experimental works where you get something different from the book depending on the order in which you read its pieces.
  13. 10
    Chunnel Surfer II by Scott Maddix (aaronius)
    aaronius: Another experimental narrative that takes you different places than ordinary fiction.
  14. 00
    Icelander by Dustin Long (sduff222)
  15. 11
    Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber (guyalice)
    guyalice: The mysterious basement and the unending staircase draw parallelisms.
  16. 11
    The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien (owen1218, ateolf)
    owen1218: It seems to have been influenced by this book.
  17. 04
    BLAME!, Vol. 1 by Tsutomu Nihei (Anonymous user)

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English (235)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (246)
Showing 1-5 of 235 (next | show all)
Well, it's stylish and all, but the substance isn't there. All form, no function. There is a lot going on in this book, and not all of it good. It is a story by Zampano, put together (and footnoted at length) by Johnny Truant, and it's all about a documentary called "The Navidson Record" by Will Navidson. All of it concerns a house, and the word house is written in blue ink throughout this book. The main story is okay, the footnote story about Truant is not, and the endless other footnotes are not worth the time or ink. And all of the stuff at the end is just useless. I kept thinking as I read this that it had better be worth all the effort at the end, that the story was good enough to justify how difficult it is to read. But honestly, it isn't. I really think that if the author had only put in the Zampano story, he would have had something. But he went for this stylish mish-mash format, and for me, it didn't work. ( )
1 vote Stahl-Ricco | Oct 3, 2016 |
Haiku Review:

Someone impressed his
Lit prof but not me with his
Wasteful pretention.

Like this haiku review? See two others. ( )
1 vote gaialover | Aug 16, 2016 |
I cannot make up my mind about this book.

I might do a proper review, at some point but a. I have no idea what to feel about it, and b. my boyfriend can see this and hasn't read it yet and I don't want to spoil it for him; though I'm not sure if I could.

Waaargh. ( )
  thebookmagpie | Aug 7, 2016 |
My expectations might have been too high before reading. I'm a little disappointed; was this not touted as the new Gravity's Rainbow? The documentary material all seemed contrived, gimmicky. Trying to out-Borges Borges. ( )
  derridada | Jun 25, 2016 |
I am at a crossroads on if I enjoyed this book or if it was only decent. I did truly love the concept.
I cried at the ending, the narrators troublesome life struck home with me. I felt for him deeply.
The idea of a house constantly changing on and on into infinity and people getting lost inside it- and not being able to thoroughly explore it or explain it- that part was totally amazing and original, I enjoyed that part. It really was a metaphor to a man and womans marriage.
I loved the idea of two stories in one, and how a love story (or 2)intertwined into horror.
but what I didnt enjoy was the psychotic irrelevant ramblings in the cliffnotes- and at some points they went on for pages which I ended up just skipping over, I felt those were a waste of paper and time- it only added a mass confusion... some people enjoyed that part but I was not a fan, I really like clear and concise story lines! There was no need for the rambling, but I can see how the idea of it all was intertwined with the old man is indeed CRAZY. ( )
  XoVictoryXo | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 235 (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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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
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English


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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:30 -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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