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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
8,997235332 (4.14)2 / 365
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. 130
    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. 81
    The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall (Liyanna)
  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. 30
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (AndySandwich)
    AndySandwich: Gravity's Rainbow = paranoia House of Leaves = claustrophobia
  7. 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.
  8. 20
    S. by Doug Dorst (Kordo)
  9. 20
    Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges (fundevogel)
  10. 10
    The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan (ligature)
  11. 10
    Chunnel Surfer II by Scott Maddix (aaronius)
    aaronius: Another experimental narrative that takes you different places than ordinary fiction.
  12. 10
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (sduff222)
  13. 00
    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.
  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. 01
    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 (223)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (234)
Showing 1-5 of 223 (next | show all)
Well, that was weird. ( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
Well, that was weird. ( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
Probably the best book I read in the last five years (perhaps a decade) ( )
  bloodrizer | Nov 19, 2015 |
Idea: 4 stars
Execution: 3 stars
Navidson record: 4 stars, collapsing to 3 as the book progresses
Truant’s commentary: 1 star
Cutsey and hollow and frequently embarrassing stylistic choices: 1 star
The poems in the appendix: Come on.
Annoyance level at turning a book sideways for no real reason other than the writer thought it’d be kickass, you know, man?: 5 stars
Scariness: 0 stars (I don't think the book is really in the horror genre), although I thought I might have developed carpal tunnel for a second around page 330, which was briefly scary since it was my drinking/smoking hand
Success at meeting its own hopes of grandeur: 1 star
Success at satirizing academic goobledygook: 5 stars
How badly this wanted to be a movie: 5 Kubricks

Let’s say 2.5 stars overall because I liked a lot of it, even if Truant’s commentary read like a blogger who recently fell under the illusion he was the first to discover stream-of-consciousness. Also, fuck how I hated the way the Truant character would end a sentence halfway through a word as though he were actually speaking rather than wri—Oh Thumper your thighs your crimson thighs let me crawl back in mama.
( )
  Michael.Xolotl | Nov 11, 2015 |
The scare tactic adopted by HoL lies in presenting itself as the latest in a sequence of works, each a study of one that came before, originating in a filmed exploration of a very peculiar residence. This residence has the ability to filter its maddening influence all the way up through each of those layers. By that token, this LT review could even constitute part of the chain with a little imagination. The mood is augmented with visual evidence of prior investigators' minds having gone awry as cohesive studies become less organized, studious footnotes become more bizarre, and soon the text of HoL itself is turning upside down, backwards or reverse and passing through different colours in a type-setter's worst nightmare.

There's two ways this novel's bizarre layout and story might mesh; either the story is merely wallpaper and this is a spoof of critical study (because the footnote sources do become ridiculous after a while), or else the layout is meant to make the story more creepy and effective. The emphasis alternates between these approaches, so that it could be viewed and potentially enjoyed either way. I appreciate there's more thought put into the layout choices than is sometimes obvious, as a bit of googling will reveal. There may be more depth to the story as well. I think it might be about the various ways of confronting death and mortality - a house of leave-takings. If I pursue that any further I'll begin to sound like one of the footnotes.

If you can see past the combined distraction of layout and footnotes to concentrate on the story of the house and its effect on those who study it, you might find some scares here. Personally I found the story was interrupted far too frequently to maintain atmosphere, the footnotes too disparate in style and degree of relevance. Alternatively (I would say more easily), you can indulge in appreciating the artistry when it isn't being juvenile. It's a unique experience that's not too taxing, but keep your expectations in check. ( )
  Cecrow | Oct 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 223 (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.)
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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 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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