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House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
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House of Leaves (original 2000; edition 2000)

by Mark Z. Danielewski

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,689225349 (4.14)2 / 342
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. 120
    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
    Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges (fundevogel)
  7. 10
    S. by Doug Dorst (Kordo)
  8. 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.
  9. 10
    The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan (ligature)
  10. 10
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (sduff222)
  11. 10
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (AndySandwich)
    AndySandwich: Gravity's Rainbow = paranoia House of Leaves = claustrophobia
  12. 10
    Chunnel Surfer II by Scott Maddix (aaronius)
    aaronius: Another experimental narrative that takes you different places than ordinary fiction.
  13. 11
    Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber (guyalice)
    guyalice: The mysterious basement and the unending staircase draw parallelisms.
  14. 00
    Icelander by Dustin Long (sduff222)
  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)
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English (213)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (225)
Showing 1-5 of 213 (next | show all)
[non e' in vendita nè in scambio] Difficile uscire da questa casa con la stessa anima che avevamo prima di entrare. Qualcosa di noi rimane nel labirinto di scrittura dei 3 autori (dichiarati) del libro, di cui 2 sono fittizi, e dei 1.000 e più autori citati (di cui non sappiamo esattamente il numero dei falsi). Qualcosa invece si attacca agli occhi, che della oscurità hanno seguito note su note, su commenti inesistenti, su cancellazioni, su ablazioni, su rimandi, in loop. Lentamente il documentario si srotola e si compone, emerge potente e pauroso dalle pagine incomponibili, squarcia una ipotesi di cui neppure nelle nostre peggiori notti potevamo ammetterne l'esistenza. Un inchino ammirato al regista per la maestria del montaggio, della soggetto, della sceneggiatura, delle musiche, dei contenuti speciali. Del silenzio e del buio, che segue anche dopo la lettura. Ossessivamente. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Weirdest. Book. Ever. ( )
  polaris1265 | Nov 30, 2014 |
Wow! There is a reason it took me so many months to finish this book. I'll have to think on my review for a time in order to do justice to this very complex story. ( )
  elizabeth.b.bevins | Nov 4, 2014 |
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. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
When I was a kid, I had this fantasy that there was an entrance to a secret passageway through the back of my bedroom closet. It didn't go Narnia; it went a variety of places — sometimes into secret underground lairs, sometimes to the mountains, and sometimes to other places within the house. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski takes a similar concept and turns it into something sinister.

The book (a literal house of leaves) is metafiction horror made up of multiple narratives. There's a tattoo artist who is telling his demented account of things. Then there's a scholarly essay recounting and analyzing the Navidson videos showing explorations of a rather ordinary house that over time becomes more and more extraordinary and wrong.

House of Leaves is old enough to predate many of the internet memes that it would have / should have embraced. For instance, the Navidson videos are shot on super-8 or on camcorders and somehow widely shared (before YouTube, back when most users were still on dialup and video was both expensive to put online and painful to watch because of the lag), enough so to be a thing. These videos are more like grudge ghost infested VHS tape of The Ring, where nowadays, the ghost would just be stuck waiting for a victim for years, possibly decades.

And then there is the carefully reproduced colors within House of Leaves. The author maintains a forum for anyone to discuss the colors or other themes and Wikipedia has some interesting thoughts too. Here are mine, taken with in the context of the book's publishing date, 2000.

Back in the early days of a publicly available internet when the emphasis was on the hyper-text part of HTML, rather than the mark-up language part, web pages consisted of text and links and nothing more. The default colors were blue for the unvisited links and purple for the visited ones. Later as font tags were included (in the precursor days to CSS), the blue and purple colors were still holy, untouchable things, because users might be confused if the link colors were changed. But red was adopted as an IMPORTANT color, to highlight things that needed a viewer's attention.

Astute readers who have a full color edition will see that the house and any synonym for it is rendered in blue. Purple shows up in the story of P. (Pelafina), the tattoo artist's institutionalized mother. And the minotaur's story is done in red. In the parlance of early internet, it tells me that the house, while on the surface, the story, is the part of it never actually visited. The house is either to scary to visit or is an illusion that can't be visited. Johnny's story of his mother with the purple links, while tied to the color of her fingernails and his tattoo ink, is also the color of links visited recently and perhaps frequently. Finally, there is the Minotaur — the half man - half bull trapped below ground in an unsolvable (unless you have enough of a klew/clue) labyrinth. In red, the Minotaur is the IMPORTANT part of the story. To understand the house, one must understand the minotaur. ( )
3 vote pussreboots | Sep 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 213 (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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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
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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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