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Other Books (Non-King) > House Of Leaves

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message 1: by Steve (new)

Steve | 247 comments Adding House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski to our books list here. Anybody here read it? If not, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me. King makes a cameo appearance of sorts in it. ;)

message 2: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) | 665 comments I read House of Leaves and really loved it! Very wierd, though. When I read it, my friend that recommended it, told me to save myself some confusion by skipping the footnotes the first time around. I followed his advice, but think I might have missed something. I have to reread with everything now. Looking forward to it!

message 3: by Angie, Constant Reader (new)

Angie | 2583 comments Mod
I'll have to check this out!

message 4: by Steve (new)

Steve | 247 comments Kathy: some of the footnotes provide additional clues, some don't.

There is a repository of information and insights at the discussion group found at; you must register an e-mail to join in.

I don't profess to understanding all of it myself (and I don't wish anyone to try to understand it all, either), particularly the connection of narrator Johnny Truant to the entire Navidson family story, but the rollercoaster ride that this is a blast.

I should also point out that the author's sister is the singer Poe, whose album 'Haunted' released in 2000 is somewhat inspired by the novel as well, and I highly recommend that album as well for listening pleasure.

message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve | 247 comments King, I read Dhalgren and i hated it, but oddly enough skimming through the wiki entry on it, the two novels have some similarities for reasons I will not spoil here. But HoL is far more gripping...sort of 'The Blair Witch Project' of horror lit.

message 6: by Dan (last edited May 27, 2008 06:57AM) (new)

Dan | 34 comments Its deeply unsettling in parts, mainly because it doesn't explain itself most of the time, making you start to use your imagination to try and make sense (or lack thereof) of whats happening.

Don't be daunted by the length, you should fly through it, as most pages are articles or other junk. Though I wouldn't suggest skipping the footnotes (or anything else) as someone mentioned here. It's all there for a purpose and can only add to the author's intended experience of the book.

It's also one of the very few books that I've read that I have actually had a nightmare over. So take what you will of that.

message 7: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) | 665 comments I totally agree with you Dan, I definitely feel like I missed something by skipping the footnotes the first time around. I want to go back and read it all the 2nd time! It can definitely creep you out! My friend that recommended it to me was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he finished. Did it have anything to do with it? Of course not.....but those of you that read the book will understand when I say.....I couldn't help but wonder...

message 8: by Dan (last edited May 29, 2008 01:37AM) (new)

Dan | 34 comments That is unfortunate for your friend.

This may sound like a very clichéd statement to make, but it's definitely a book that you have to keep reminding yourself is complete fiction, if only to save your sanity whilst reading it.

Also, I personally think it's safe to say that House of Leaves will always remain a literary work and will never be made into a film. I mean, parts of it could work, but it would be near impossible to recreate the same atmosphere and the sheer barrage of information that can only be absorbed by reading text.

Good read.

Has anyone read his new(ish) novel?

message 9: by Jay (new)

Jay | 2 comments I read it with the lights on. Seriously, mazes freak me out.

message 10: by Steve (new)

Steve | 247 comments Read Danielewski's follow-up, Only's, well...*interesting*, but not in the same way HoL is. It's not something I'd want to read again.

message 11: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (myfriendjenny) | 9 comments "but it's definitely a book that you have to keep reminding yourself is complete fiction"

I kept thinking I that needed to add 'The Navidson Record' to my netflix queue even though I was well aware it doesn't even exist.

message 12: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) | 50 comments I started HOL and made it through the introduction which definitely set an interesting tone. My hubby is out town this week so I had to set it aside. He'll also be gone next week so I think I'll have to wait until the following week before I pick it back up.

message 13: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 59 comments I'm reading HOL now but I'm only on Chapter 2. Not freaked out yet but I'm sure it's coming!

message 14: by GracieKat (new)

GracieKat | 67 comments I've never read House of Leaves but just a bit of trivia for you all: It was partly used as inspiration for the video games Silent Hill 4: The Room and Silent Hill: Origins. Just thought I'd throw that out there for any game freaks like me!

message 15: by Trudi (new)

Trudi (trudistafford) | 150 comments There is no way to really describe this book other than to say it is one of the weirdest, creepiest reading experiences I've ever had in my life. A story inside a story inside a story, there are footnotes, diary entries and a host of other weird text that you're not quite sure what to make of. I figure you can mine this story for the rest of your life and never "get" everything, but I guess the fun is in the trying. But don't feel like you have to "get" everything to enjoy it. I certainly didn't, but had a blast nonetheless.

By the time I reached the rambling, stream-of-consciousness text, I was skimming and skipping, but the story still had me. When some of the text appears inverted (meant to be read using a mirror), it completely creeped me out!

The main plot is enough to grab you, with or without the footnotes and all the other sleight of hand the author's pulling. Out of a relatively simple concept grows a post-post-modern nightmare. The story draws you in and does not let go. It plays with all of your perceptions and logic. Nothing is reliable (including the very weird narrator) and there is no way to guess how it's all going to end. In that sense, it's very Lovecraftian. So Lovecraft lovers should really enjoy this piece!

message 16: by GracieKat (new)

GracieKat | 67 comments I just ordered it from abebooks and I wished I could have gotten it express. I can' wait til it gets here!

message 17: by Patrick (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 62 comments You sure are in for a treat! HoL is a bright nova star of horror.

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Ok but not alone.

message 19: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 701 comments I just bought this book too!

message 20: by Dj (new)

Dj HoL is my favorite book of all time.

message 21: by GracieKat (new)

GracieKat | 67 comments Margaret wrote: "House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Ok but not alone."

What does that mean? Okay but not alone?

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

if Patrick is calling it "a bright nova star of horror" I'm not reading it while I'm home alone.

message 23: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (brandonsears) Fantastic book, one of my favourites.

I can't say much for Danielewksi's follow up Only Revolutions as I couldn't even begin to read it.

message 24: by Amanda (new)

Amanda M. Lyons (amandamlyons) Argh I hated this book! Wasn't scary and came off contrived to me :(

message 25: by Sheila (new)

Sheila (evilwinterelf) | 11 comments I read this book once, only the story not the notes. I tried very hard to read Only Revolutions but I was unable to finish it. I could never remember which side of the story I was on the next time I picked it up.

message 26: by Steve (new)

Steve | 247 comments Sheila...not all of the notes are important but some do provide more clues as to the purpose(s) of the novel. What the answer is ultimately, I dont know either...only Danielewski knows, and he aint telling.
I did not dig Only Revolutions either.

message 27: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 47 comments I picked up House Of Leaves a few years ago and I've gotten intimidated each time I've opened it. I think it's easier to read than the follow-up? The person who recommended House Of Leaves to me just raved about it so I want to read it. Is it really as difficult to read as it looks?

message 28: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (brandonsears) I didn't really have a hard time reading it..I mean, it took me a while but I still enjoyed every minute of it.

message 29: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I really want to read this book one day... but I feel like it will be a book that I need to devote time and attention to, because of the way it's written... I own it though, so I should get to it sooner rather than later.

message 30: by Sheila (new)

Sheila (evilwinterelf) | 11 comments It's a good vacation read. It is a difficult one to read, but so worth it.

message 31: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Oh no, that's not something I'd try to read on vacation. That's way too much work. I'm already daunted by the format (and half find it incredibly gimmicky - but I'm willing to give it a try. O_o), so that's a no-special-day read for me. I just need to squeeze it in somewhere.

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