Isabel's Reviews > House of Leaves

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
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Dec 03, 11

Read in November, 2006

Multi-layered literary horror story. There are the original investigations into the impossible passages and rooms that have appeared within the Navidson House in rural Virginia, documented on film by Navidson and his collaborators. Then we have the blind eccentric Zampano's notes about the film and quotations from the many books and articles about the house that have been published. Finally we have Truant's notes on his investigations into Zampano, the film and the house. Strangely neither Truant nor anyone else seems to have heard of this 'famous' case or the film about it, and Truant may have thought that Zampano had invented the whole thing, if it weren't for the strange things that have started happening to him since he came into possession of Zampano's trunk of papers after the old man's death.

Unfortunately both Navy and Karen are very unsympathetic characters, so I couldn't have cared less whether the house destroyed them or whether they managed to repair their very rocky relationship, although the discussion of their relationship in the footnotes make it seem that the academics know nothing about relationships at all. Johnny Truant is more a more sympathetic character, although rather too fond of boasting about how much sex he is getting.

The further into the book you get, the more awkward it is to read. You have to keep turning the book upside down and sideways, and some pages include windows into a text that is written as a mirror-image (although I skipped most of those), while footnotes reference other footnotes which reference still further footnotes, as well as some sentences being written one word per page.
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