HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Loading...

House of Leaves (original 2000; edition 2000)

by Mark Z. Danielewski

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,473220362 (4.15)2 / 327
Member:machshop
Title:House of Leaves
Authors:Mark Z. Danielewski
Info:Pantheon (2000), Edition: 2nd, Paperback, 709 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (2000)

  1. 110
    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
    S. by Doug Dorst (Kordo)
  7. 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.
  8. 10
    The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan (ligature)
  9. 10
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (sduff222)
  10. 10
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (AndySandwich)
    AndySandwich: Gravity's Rainbow = paranoia House of Leaves = claustrophobia
  11. 10
    Chunnel Surfer II by Scott Maddix (aaronius)
    aaronius: Another experimental narrative that takes you different places than ordinary fiction.
  12. 00
    Icelander by Dustin Long (sduff222)
  13. 00
    Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges (fundevogel)
  14. 11
    Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber (guyalice)
    guyalice: The mysterious basement and the unending staircase draw parallelisms.
  15. 00
    The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien (owen1218, ateolf)
    owen1218: It seems to have been influenced by this book.
  16. 04
    BLAME!, Vol. 1 by Tsutomu Nihei (Anonymous user)
Loading...

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

English (208)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (220)
Showing 1-5 of 208 (next | show all)
This is by far one of the most... difficult books I have ever read. Not because the story was personally difficult to understand, but there is so much going on that it's hard to keep track of it all. Technically this should be a good thing about a book, but this wasn't the case.
The main story is about a house that is inexplicably larger on the inside than on the outside. One a side way, it also tells the story about Johnny Truant, a guy that has his own story to tell and, at least as far as I could understand, had nothing to do with the house (except for the fact that he was reviewing the comments regarding a book that has been written about it). So far, so good. The problem is that at a certain point of the book both stories diverge to the point that I was asking "so what the hell does this guy's problems have to do with the house?". As the book goes, there are just so many references and excerpts of this guy's story that you simply don't know what the hell is going on.

What is interesting about this book is that initially the story is written in the format of a documentary, with Johnny's comments in the footer, plus lots and lots and lots of references to other books. As the protagonist of the House's story Will Navidson goes deeper into the house, the book starts to lose the format of a "regular book", words start to take different shapes and this gives the story an interesting air of "insanity". At the same time, Johnny's story starts to take a lot more space than just the footer. They start to take whole pages. The story becomes "distorted".

The thing is: I just could not understand what was the need of adding so many references. At a certain point of the story, I simply gave up reading references on the footer because they broke too much the flow of the story, helped me get lost, tired me and made no sense. Some parts of the book were in French and in German and translation was not provided for ALL the passages. The same thing goes for Johnny's story. I wasn't really attracted by him as a character. In fact, I almost felt like skipping all of his parts of the story.

I don't know, maybe I'm too insensitive and cold. Maybe I don't really want a story, maybe all I want are facts. I wanted a scientific explanation for what was happening to the house. And the fact that I did not get this (at least not clearly) frustrated me.

After reading this book, one thing I'm sure of: contemporary literature is just not for me. ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
House of Leaves is about a lot of things - on one hand, the relationship between brothers, between mothers and sons, between husbands and wives. On another labyrinths, both real and imagined, physical and mental/spiritual. It’s about the written word, the authority it has over us, the power to interpret and create, and the terror of empty blank space.

It’s about a lot. I’m sure there’s more that I’m forgetting off the top of my head.

House of Leaves is one of the most interesting and unique books I have ever read. Does that mean I liked it? Eh . . . sort of. As a literary novel it succeeds at being unique and multi-layered, capable of generating hours worth of discussion and debate. As a horror novel - which it is frequently billed as - it fails simply on the grounds of not being scary. In fact it is awfully draggy and I found it quite a chore to get through large parts.

The conceit is that a young man named Johnny Truant came into possession of an unpublished manuscript - a collection of loose papers and letters - written by a dead old eccentric calling himself Zampano. This is House of Leaves, which reads like a non-fiction account of a documentary, The Navidson Report. There is no such documentary, which Truant admits in the introduction, yet Zampano treats the subject as seriously as though it were not only a real documentary, but one that inspired numerous academic articles, books and interpretations, all of which he quotes extensively.

Truant also adds his own footnotes to the text, long stream-of-conciousness ramblings about his daily life, in which he spends a lot of time at bars, getting drunk and high, and trying to hook up with a stripper he is infatuated with. He is also terrified by mysterious feelings and experiences, to the point where he quickly finds it extremely difficult to leave his house.

Zampano’s writing on The Navidson Report slowly reveals the story of the fake documentary, and it is a fascinating one. A well known and respected photographer named Navidson moves into a house with his young family and begins what is supposed to be a video journal about them establishing their lives. However, things take a turn for the bizarre, as the house begins to change on its own. It starts innocuously when the Navidsons go away for a weekend and come back to find a new closet in their bedroom. But then a hallway appears where no hallway could possibly fit. In the hallway is a door to another hallway, and beyond that another and another, leading into a dark, cold labyrinth.

Now, neither Truant not Zampano are reliable narrators. Truant suffers from hallucinations which may or may not be the result of his drug habit or mental illness, and has difficulty holding onto reality. Zampano may not be any more reliable - after all, he is writing a non-fiction report on a non-existent documentary, quoting sources which could not possibly exist.

I found the book to be very interesting. I will admit that I quickly grew tired of Truant’s rambling notes (I’ve never been a fan of stream-of-conciousness) and the Navidson Report is fascinating, but Zampano’s tendency to get bogged down in minor tangential details, while interesting in what it reveals about the complexity of the delusion (if that’s what it is) does get dreadfully boring at times.

About 100 pages in the formatting starts to get very weird. On one hand, this creates an even more immersive experience, but it also makes it difficult and sometimes cumbersome to read.

In the end . . .

The best part (I thought) were the letters from Truant’s mother during her stay in the mental institution. My theory of the whole thing would be that Zampano was never real and everything was made up by Truant, that Karen with the pink ribbons in her hair was meant to be his mother, the growl in the hallway the misremembered roar of his father protecting him, and the maze, the twisted chaos of his and/or his mother’s psyches and/or the institution she was placed in. As Truant says on page 20: “We all create stories to protect ourselves."

other favourite quotes:

”Oh god what constant re-angling of thoughts, an endless rearrangement of them, revealing nothing but shit.” (p.498)

”Come morning I found the day as I have found every other day - without relief or explanation.” (p.504)


I’m glad I read it. It’s different and it isn’t something that would translate at all well into any other medium (movie, audio or ebook.) With so many novels being published these days that read like thinly-disguised movie pitches it is shockingly refreshing to see something that is so aggressively A BOOK - a big, complicated, creative, weird book. I love it for that. House of Leaves can not be a movie, or anything other than a book, it tells you that right in the title. After all, remember that leaves is another term for pages in a book. ( )
1 vote catfantastic | Aug 16, 2014 |
When I read I will often have a thought or read a line and think "that needs to go in my review." The first half of this story I was too lost to think that way, the second half too enamored.

This book defies the conventions reading, it requires you to be more involved, more absorbed.

Danielewski was quoted somewhere as saying that if you wanted to see the movie you had to read the book because he would never sell the rights for a movie. Enjoy it like a really deep, complicated movie.

Let yourself get lost in it for awhile, but don't fall into a void. Don't try to make it logical, don't try to make it real. Just enjoy the way it smashes together fact and fantasy, emotion and logic. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
I enjoyed the formatting of this book as much as I enjoyed the story. As I realized a while back at Barnes & Noble, after I bought The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart at least half just for the cover design and texture, with the choice of ebooks, which are often cheaper than the solid kind, books need to offer something extra that you can't really reproduce in a purely electronic format. Definitely the case with House of Leaves--this is one book that just wouldn't work in another form. While the formatting got annoying on occasion (I'd open the book to one of the particularly screwy pages and just go, what the heck is this?), I enjoyed the novelty of it and how it worked with the story as a whole. Especially interesting was when the shape the words made followed the structure of the house or the movements of the characters--for example, when one character is moving through a hallway which is becoming progressively smaller, the text takes up a smaller and smaller rectangle in the center of each page until the space opens out. And the confusion of the mishmash of Zampano's manuscript, his footnotes, the footnotes of Truant and the editor, along with the strange formatting, is fitting because the subject itself is confusing.

Also, apart from the actual way the book was presented, I loved the way the story worked, too--the reader experiences at least five different stories simultaneously: the story of the Navidson Report, itself a documentary which doesn't, apparently, exist; the story of Zampano, caught in glimpses through his writing and what Truant can learn from the people who read to Zampano; Truant's experiences during his assembly of the manuscript into a book, which he narrates in footnotes which may take up several pages on their own; Truant's past, again through mentions in the footnotes and also through letters from his mother in the back of the book; and then there are the pasts of the secondary characters in Truant's life, along with the backstories of the characters of the Navidson Report itself. I don't know, just the fact of all these stories coming to the reader all at once throughout the book, just the idea of it is something I enjoy. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
I enjoyed the formatting of this book as much as I enjoyed the story. As I realized a while back at Barnes & Noble, after I bought The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart at least half just for the cover design and texture, with the choice of ebooks, which are often cheaper than the solid kind, books need to offer something extra that you can't really reproduce in a purely electronic format. Definitely the case with House of Leaves--this is one book that just wouldn't work in another form. While the formatting got annoying on occasion (I'd open the book to one of the particularly screwy pages and just go, what the heck is this?), I enjoyed the novelty of it and how it worked with the story as a whole. Especially interesting was when the shape the words made followed the structure of the house or the movements of the characters--for example, when one character is moving through a hallway which is becoming progressively smaller, the text takes up a smaller and smaller rectangle in the center of each page until the space opens out. And the confusion of the mishmash of Zampano's manuscript, his footnotes, the footnotes of Truant and the editor, along with the strange formatting, is fitting because the subject itself is confusing.

Also, apart from the actual way the book was presented, I loved the way the story worked, too--the reader experiences at least five different stories simultaneously: the story of the Navidson Report, itself a documentary which doesn't, apparently, exist; the story of Zampano, caught in glimpses through his writing and what Truant can learn from the people who read to Zampano; Truant's experiences during his assembly of the manuscript into a book, which he narrates in footnotes which may take up several pages on their own; Truant's past, again through mentions in the footnotes and also through letters from his mother in the back of the book; and then there are the pasts of the secondary characters in Truant's life, along with the backstories of the characters of the Navidson Report itself. I don't know, just the fact of all these stories coming to the reader all at once throughout the book, just the idea of it is something I enjoy. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 208 (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

Is abridged in

Has as a supplement

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
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

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)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
10 avail.
2825 wanted
1 pay1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.15)
0.5 8
1 36
1.5 10
2 89
2.5 28
3 227
3.5 104
4 596
4.5 122
5 914

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,327,578 books! | Top bar: Always visible