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House of Leaves (2000)

by Mark Z. Danielewski

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,918328358 (4.11)2 / 519
Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children. Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices. The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.… (more)
  1. 172
    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. 91
    The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall (Liyanna)
  3. 50
    The House on the Strand by Daphne Du Maurier (PandorasRequiem)
  4. 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.
  5. 30
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (AndySandwich)
    AndySandwich: Gravity's Rainbow = paranoia House of Leaves = claustrophobia
  6. 20
    S. by Doug Dorst (PaulBerauer)
  7. 20
    The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan (ligature)
  8. 20
    Vellum by Hal Duncan (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For a sincere ambition to figure out what the hell is going on.
  9. 31
    Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (fundevogel)
  10. 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.
  11. 10
    Dave Made a Maze by Bill Watterson (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: Both works deal with a strange and deadly labyrinth that's bigger on the inside.
  12. 10
    Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (hubies)
    hubies: Piranesi is not scary, but in both books there is this mystifying, unpeopled world of impossible (and perhaps infinite) house-like space. Also: cryptic diary entries, unstable mind, short film as a plot device.
  13. 10
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (sduff222)
  14. 21
    Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber (guyalice)
    guyalice: The mysterious basement and the unending staircase draw parallelisms.
  15. 10
    Chunnel Surfer II by Scott Maddix (aaronius)
    aaronius: Another experimental narrative that takes you different places than ordinary fiction.
  16. 00
    House of Stairs by William Sleator (Cecrow)
  17. 00
    Icelander by Dustin Long (sduff222)
  18. 00
    You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann (amanda4242)
  19. 00
    The Way Inn: A Novel by Will Wiles (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Another book with a protagonist who is deeply unsettled by the seemingly infinite building he is living in.
  20. 12
    The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien (owen1218, ateolf)
    owen1218: It seems to have been influenced by this book.

(see all 21 recommendations)

Romans (45)
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» See also 519 mentions

English (317)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (328)
Showing 1-5 of 317 (next | show all)
2nd Read [5/5] "beneath all that peudo-academic hogwash lurked a very passoniate man who knew how important it was to say 'fuck' now and then..."

On my first read Truants story.. didn't gel. This time around i immediatley thought he sounded like Sal Paradyse from [b:On the Road|70401|On the Road|Jack Kerouac|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1413588576l/70401._SX50_.jpg|1701188], then he started with his stories and he sounded like Dean Moriarty from the same... and then the stream-of-consciousness kicked in. So now i'm on solid ground, Lovecraft Melville Keruoac got it.

Its funny, the House (Navidson Record) remains the same, fixed by its framing. But everything else twists around it. Truants story felt quite different and i don't think its just the Keroauc angle i was operating from. I completely misremembered how his story ends too... although in my defence on that there are a LOT of options as to how his story did end...

Anyway, the book is less of a rush on a reread but feels deeper.. like drowning rather than being hit by a train. What a terrible way to end a review ;) .

1st Read [4/5] I'm not going to give in to the hype, this book isn't perfect. I felt that Truant's story could have ended with a little more closure. However while not perfect this is an excellent read and definitely something i will read again.
Don't get intimidated by the text layout, it's a far easier read than it might look and if you do feel a little lost at times you'll probably find your feelings matching perfectly with those of the characters.
This is a Weird tale in the classic sense of the word, its got some very lovecraftian elements to it. I also have to say its quite lurid. One of the main characters has a very sleazy sex life, adults only!
One of the many interesting things about this horror tale are the footnotes, which analysis and add many additional levels to the story, something like the discursions in Moby Dick but not as mind numbingly boring.
This story or rather stories (since there are really three interweaving plots) didn't terrify me to the depths of my soul but it did get inside my head which isn't something many stories can boast of.
I read this in a library and liked it so much i bought a copy, plenty of reread value on this one. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Very enjoyable read. ( )
  tpitts6 | Nov 10, 2021 |
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is a 2000 Pantheon publication.

A manuscript, a tattoo employee, an odd transformative house- unusual occurrences, and a mind-bending ride through obsession, love, and horror is all rolled into one long, strange trip!!

I read this book a very, very long time ago. I didn’t get it hot off the presses- but it didn’t take long for word of mouth to reach me.

I’d heard about how very strange the book was, but I wasn't sure if it was a book I would enjoy- but when I saw a copy of it in my local bookstore one day, I picked it up and started thumbing through it. I was instantly intrigued and purchased it on the spot.

It took me ages and ages to read it, though. It was tedious, heavy, literally and figuratively, and absolutely bone chilling.

The history of the book is interesting too- and I can see why it became a ‘cult’ classic. It is by far one of the weirdest books I have ever read.

But, let me tell you- to this day, I still remember segments of this book like I just read it yesterday. It’s a massive book- and while many people will not have as much trouble keeping everything straight- I had to read it at a snail’s pace. I think it took me a nearly a month to read it, maybe longer, if my memory serves.

The story is one that has been analyzed and interpreted every which way- and is another reason it is still read and discussed today- over twenty years after it was published.

What brought me back to this book after all this time? I usually try to read a favorite/classic horror story in the month of October. I have a ‘Flashback Friday’ feature on my blog, and I normally promote my yearly classic via that platform.

Sometimes, though, I find that I will have to write a review because I read the book long before Goodreads, blogs, or writing online reviews was a thing. I did rate the book- but never got around to adding a review…

Until now.

That said, I don’t think I have the time for such a dense and challenging book at this time, and have decided to re-read a different book instead.

I did want to go ahead and leave some remarks for this book as I may want to revisit it in the future.

Overall, this book is a real mind trip, and it seems that folks either love it or hate it. It is controversial and provokes lots of theories and mixed feelings. It seems, too, that readers who devoured the book twenty years ago were more taken with it than those reading it for the first time today. I’m not sure why- although I have a few theories, but that’s a story for another day.

Still, I would recommend it as a ‘Halloween’ read, if you have the time to invest in it. It is a long book and will require your undivided attention. Nothing is spelled out for you – it’s up to you to decipher everything. Despite its age and various execution hindrances, (some will love it- others may find it gimmicky), it will keep you busy, and on edge, I might add on any long, cold, dark night. Your senses, brain and imagination will get one heck of a workout. ( )
  gpangel | Oct 7, 2021 |
I have no idea why I kept reading this book other than I wanted to know how it ended - and it wasn't a satisfying ending. Gave it 2 stars because I was interested enough to continue but now that I'm finished, I did not like it at all. I can see why some think it's interesting, but it was just too much for me with not enough reward at the end. ( )
  ToriC90 | Oct 4, 2021 |
I don't know what to think... ( )
  _Marcia_94_ | Sep 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 317 (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 (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Danielewski, Mark Z.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fuentecilla, EricCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santen, Karina vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuenke, ChristaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vosmaer, MartineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
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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
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(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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Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children. Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices. The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
A blind old man, a young apprentice working in a tattoo shop, and a mad woman haunting an Ohio institute narrate this story of a family that encounters an endlessly shifting series of hallways in their new home, eventually coming face to face with the awful darkness lying at its heart.

The “1st Edition” was on-line; thus, the first printed book is the 2nd Edition.
Haiku summary
One creepy closet,
Holds plenty of shoes, coats and
Navidson Records
Is it fact or fake?
Academia amok,
At the heart: nothing.

(Charon07)

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