Ian Mathers's Reviews > House of Leaves

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
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's review
Sep 23, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009, favourites
Read in October, 2009

Jonathan Lethem's pullquote about the way he's not entirely sure he isn't still trapped in the book himself probably sums up House of Leaves best, but damn, what an incredible thing this novel is. The back cover praise mentions Borges, Pynchon and Nabokov, and I think all three are warrented. I guess the ending might be a little anticlimactic (although for me it was all about the getting there and the multiple times a reference, phrase or sentence would have me gawking at the book in baffled horror for minutes at a time). This book might as well have been designed to crawl under my skin.

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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Justin I'm glad to see you liked this one so much. I might need to re-visit it at some point.

message 2: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Mathers I'll definitely need to. The way people talk about the significance of the purple sentence in Chapter XXI, for example, makes me think I missed something. And except for the one letter from Pelafina where it's made explicit, I didn't notice any coded sections. Etc.

Plus, by halfway through the book I had totally forgetten what Truant says at the beginning, that even in HIS universe The Navidson Record et al doesn't exist. I want to read it again at some point with that more firmly in mind.

Justin I think it'd be interesting to read some criticism on it beforehand to have some of that sort of stuff in mind. There's no way you can read a book like that once (or twice or more) without missing all sorts of stuff.

message 4: by Jason (new)

Jason I have read this 3 times, the third with an online companion guide, and I am sure there is so much more to the book than I caught in any of those readings. Have either of you read Whalestoe Letters? It is part of Truants letters from his mother. I have read parts of it online and is a nice supplement, but not necessary.

message 5: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Mathers The only Whalestoe letters I've read are the ones in the (lengthy) appendix of HoL itself... I know there's a separate volume of them with more, but I've never seen it.

Justin I think the WL is pretty hard to come by (unless you're willing to pay a pretty hefty price on Amazon or wherever). Danielewski's early books are all like that> I forget if there are two or three.

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