Frank's Reviews > House of Leaves

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
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's review
Feb 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: thrillers-mystery, 1001-books-you-must-read
Read in August, 2008

FINISHED! (I think). What an amazing piece of work. I say I think I am finished because one could study this labyrinthian book for years and not be sure everything was read and comprehended correctly. A very multi-layered book with several stories woven together in bizaare fashion to form a mind-boggling journey into fear/love/mystery/insanity??? I'm still not sure what this all meant but it was quite a journey getting there. Was the Navidson Record an illusion of the editor, Johnny Truant (who seemed to stretch the truth here and there) or did it all come from the mind of the old man Zampanò? This was sometimes like reading a textbook with all the footnotes and references (both real and unreal).

The "Navidson Record" part of the book was really quite bizarre and reminded me somewhat of the movie "The Blair Witch Project" with the amateur photography, etc. It went from strange to very strange with some humor thrown in -- I especially enjoyed the jokes related by Tom - Navidson's brother - when he was waiting at the top of the endless spiral staircase (especially the one about the dwarves and the nuns - p.259). Then there were all the details about house construction, echoes, labyrinths and the minotaur, Jamestown and the group that was lost in the winter, the Pulitzer-prize winning photo of Delial and the vulture taken by Navidson which was based on Kevin Carter's real Pulitzer-prize winning photo, and on and on.

Johnny Truant's story was also very interesting along with the story of his mother in the mental institution (did anyone decode the letter on page 620?). Like I said, I think I could try to study this book for months, look up more of the footnotes, etc., but I do have other books to read.

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