House of Leaves

22 May

Guess I better just admit that I’m not going to be finishing this book. Which is a pity, because it’s just so cool.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

The reasons I didn’t finish this have nothing to do with the quality. Or disinterest really. This book is a work of art, a masterwork of design.  A multi-layered story that twists around a lot. Heck, I had to get up once to use a mirror to figure out what one part said. It looks like just a gimmick, and on some level it is, but all the weirdly arranged text and odd formatting really does give you a good immersion into the weird frame of mind.

The main reason I just stopped picking it up is that there are two (maybe three? 2.5 for sure) stories in here, and one of them utterly bored me. If it had been just the one focused squarely on the house and the family that lived there, I would have devoured the whole thing.

Yet, I’d still recommend this one. If you can find a copy you should check it out. Reading it is something that will stretch your brain and I still really admire some of the things they did with the text and twisting around footnotes. For example: There is one gigantic long footnote that goes down the left side of every left page for a while. On the right side of the right page there is a upside-down footnote that is a similar thing. This goes on for dozens of pages and when you get to the end of the left footnote you find out that the right footnote is actually attached to the end. So the two of them make this weird sorta-loop surrounding that section of the book.


Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Reading 2015, Reviews


4 responses to “House of Leaves

  1. xjuggernaughtx

    May 22, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Depending on how far along in the book you are, you might just want to power through it. At a certain point, it ends up being much more about the main story with the house. It’s been a while since I read it, but I’d say it was at the two-thirds mark. Something like that.

    If you are bored by the story of the young man that found the notes, I agree. I was never interested in him, but I think his stuff becomes less important as it goes on. That’s how I remember it, anyway. Once the mystery of the house really starts to heat up, that becomes the focus.

  2. iisawiisaw

    May 24, 2015 at 1:55 am

    I think I’ll wait for the audiobook.

  3. Aragón

    May 26, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Shit, I never saw this post when it came out.

    I own this book, and I can safely say that you should try to finish it. Even if one of the stories bore you, they all get interweaved by the end, and… Yeah, overall, fantastic book.

    And yeah, the footnotes are a labyrinth by themselves. That’s part of the book, too. Seriously, finish it, because it’s really worth it. The ending is amazing.

    • Griffin

      May 26, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      I’ll probably get around to it eventually. I just tend to wander away from things if they don’t get a good grip on me. I loved like 70% of what I got through, which was about half of the book.


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