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Group Read Discussions > House of Leaves- Spoilers

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10095 comments Mod
Spoilers are welcome here!

message 2: by Clara (new)

Clara | 157 comments What are spoilers?

message 3: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) | 382 comments Spoilers are facts, notes, questions, etc. that give away parts of the book. Spoilers may "spoil" a part of the book for someone who hasn't read it before or who hasn't gotten to that part yet.

message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen | 278 comments I have a spoiler request. Since this is quite a large book and it may take a while to read it, can everyone please post the page that they are on prior to writing your thought, question, etc.? That will allow us to check the spoiler thread and skip the posts that are beyond our stage in the book.

message 5: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10095 comments Mod
Sounds good to me.

message 6: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) | 382 comments Good call, Jen!

I just finished the intro. It's definitely set the mood for what's to come, I'm guessing.

message 7: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments *****SPOILERS- FINISHED WITH BOOK*****

Ann, I saw in the other thread that you finished the book the other day. What are your thoughts on the book as a whole? For me it seemed as though the beginning were stronger, far more frightening and suspenseful, than when Navidson actually goes into the new hallway and the massive nothingness.

When the fear was over something minuscule or insubstantial- like when he first noticed the house was an inch or so bigger on the inside than the outside- it seemed far more threatening. Navidson's long walk put a face to the horror (but not really) and stripped it of a lot of its power to frighten. Even still, this stands out as the scariest book that I've ever read. I still wake up expecting to find a new doorway in my wall.

message 8: by Julianne (last edited Oct 07, 2008 08:22PM) (new)

Julianne | 314 comments I JUST FINISHED!

So, here's a few comments I have, that I hope are (at least a little bit) unique to all that's been written before...

1) What's up with the scratches by Zampano's body? Why is that never described? And who is Redwood?

2) Why is "house" always written in blue?

3) How can the entire story of the Navidson record, describing an edited film, be written by a blind man? Did Johnny never pick up on that? To lose your life over something that couldn't be real...

4) Anyone catch a footnote saying Zampano made it up. I refuse to go back through the story but I swear I read it.

5) Anyone know what Danielewski's background is in? There's a story about a baby being born on p. 519, and it is by far the best written short medical description I've seen. If he doesn't have a neonatal medical background (or a respiratory background), someone in his circle of friends/family has to.

6) It was obvious Danielewski was able to put in the book many of his thoughts on society, mental illness, how people interact socially with others...he's got a lot to say that's very thought-provoking, but I moved quickly through it to get back to the story.

I also have some thoughts on the ways he's typed things on the page that I think affect the reader's ability to move naturally through the story, if anyone would like to discuss that.

All that being said, I'm not sure if I liked it or not. It was by far one of the more interesting things I've read this year, and have no doubt I'd learn more if I reread (but I don't reread stories), but as far as horror goes I'll take a S. King or Dean Koontz story over this in a heartbeat.

message 9: by Ann from S.C. (new)

Ann from S.C. | 1395 comments ******SPOILERS-FINISHED BOOK!***************

Yes Logan, I did finish the book. I agree that the beginning was alot more suspenseful, and made you really think. Once they got into the hallway, I kept waiting for something to happen. It did make me a little nervous, wondering what the heck was making that growling noise!

message 10: by Julianne (new)

Julianne | 314 comments *******************Spoilers***********************

The growling was each time the house shifted, right? Like the groan of floors beneath your feet or the wierd sound your heat makes when it turns on and off?

I thought it would be a beast, and that's what killed Zampano. I think I was wrong.

message 11: by Ann from S.C. (new)

Ann from S.C. | 1395 comments ****************SPOILERS*************************OHHHH!!!! I kept thinking it was a monster or something! That's what I liked about this book. It made you think each little thing out.

Logan and Julianne, Have either one of you read Jeff Long? His books are sort of on the lines of this book. Exploring the unknown.

message 12: by Julianne (new)

Julianne | 314 comments No. I'll have to look that up.

message 13: by Jen (new)

Jen | 278 comments On page 105 and have read the mom letters in the appendix.


Just a few thoughts:
* The creep factors regarding the house are brilliant: the fact that the void (?) does not accept the pets, the never-ending staircase (Seriously? They were on it for seven hours and still couldn't see a dropped flare reach the bottom? Freaky!), the compass never settling on a direction, etc.

* The way the story feeds you pieces at a time that slowly come together is genius and really keeps the mind in a state of unrest similar to what Truant is going through.

* Love this line from page 99: "Navidson shows us how a sudden sense of the world, of who or where we are or even what we do not have can be found in even the most ordinary things."

On page 96, the book mentions Karen's illegal excursion. Should I know what that is or does it get revealed later?

message 14: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 33 comments ******SPOILERS-FINISHED BOOK!***************

So I finished and I have to say I am disappointed Maybe I just flew through it too quickly because I wanted to know what was going on, but the ending just didn't satisfy me.

I agree with the others, the beginning was much stronger than the middle/end. The book never really scared me or spooked me, but the beginning was definitely eerie. As the book went on it just got more confusing and less eerie.

I think I would have liked it more if more of the pieces fit together. Or maybe I just didn't get it. Maybe I missed something.

My thoughts on the way he typed things, was to try and give the reader similar feelings to what the people in the house were feeling. The confusion, not knowing if you were upside down or right side up. What was going to come next?... it kept the reader uncomfortable.

message 15: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) | 382 comments *****Chapter 4*****

What's with all the crazy footnotes? Sometimes there are notes referring back to books/magazines/etc. and sometimes there from this guy who did the introduction. It seems like the guy who did the introduction is being affected by the Navidson Record story. Tends to make things a bit confusing when you're reading along NR and then you get this side story from this other guy.

Enjoying the read, just finding I really have to pay attention to keep up. I'm not spooked out yet, but we'll see what happens.

message 16: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments Iki, you've just got to roll with the punches with this one. Trust me when I say that the footnotes are important.

message 17: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) | 382 comments I'm with you, Logan. I just found HOL on wikipedia and am now understanding quite a bit.

WARNING: If you follow this link, you will receive spoilers. Of course, you also learn some pretty interesting things like ticks of the book and translations for some of the non-English text that isn't translated.

message 18: by Jen (new)

Jen | 278 comments Darn you, Ikiwiki! Because it includes spoilers, I won't be able to read the wikipedia information until I'm done. Then I will have to check it and will see a bunch of things I've missed causing me to want to read the book again.

...too many books...

message 19: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) | 382 comments Sorry, Jen! Aren't you glad I warned you it included spoilers, though. Otherwise you may have read it and then been upset with me for spoiling stuff.

I just can't win!

message 20: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) | 382 comments CHAPTER 4

Grrrr...WTF echo! On and on and on about echo and I just don't get it.

Then these long Johnny rants that seem pointless yet I know they'll turn out to be important at some point. At least I hope.

All these footnotes are driving me nuts. I know most of them have to be fake but I still have to read them because I'm anal like that.

And now I've been sent to the back of the book to read these crazy letters from Johnny's mother. The letter where you have to start decoding told me it was time for bed last night so I guess I'll have to pick it back up this evening.

This book is whack! I'm enjoying it; but it is seriously whack.

message 21: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 33 comments LOL! Yeah the book is definitely crazy!

message 22: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 714 comments *CHAPTER 4*

I'm right where you are Ikiwiki and feeling the same thing but I did think the footnote about Johnny feeling like something was behind him was a least creepy and therefore added more to the story. The footnote about meeting the girls and telling them he was a pit boxer and all that other stuff was pointless as far as I could see other than just adding more dimension to Johnny's character.

It's like the whole book it about this descent into madness-Navidson's, Zamparo's, Johnny's and ultimately ours! I feel like I'm laboring over this book. I have to read sitting up straight so I can pay attention. I know others have said they had to read during the day because they were freaked out but I feel like I need to start reading during the day because otherwise I make it through 2 pages a night. I'm really intrigued by the book and the format but I feel like I'll be lucky to finish it before the new year!

message 23: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) | 382 comments Joanie, I totally agree. This book is "work" to read. I'm really enjoying it, but man do I have to pay attention.

I usually like to read books in between commercials of my favorites shows (like House, the Dr. show), but with this book I cannot do it only at commercials. It takes a few minutes to get in, then figure out what's going on, and then find my way back to the surface. It's CRAZY!

message 24: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 33 comments I felt like it was work too. I'm glad I read it, but it wasn't the most enjoyable book to read.

message 25: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) | 382 comments Page 53
The "quick note" about half-way through the page about how if the mushy stuff is getting to you then you might just want to climb in the microwave. Oh my, that was hilarious!!!!

Page 100
I love how Truant really "gets" the use of the F-bomb and the feeling it can convey. Just classic!

message 26: by alicia (new)

alicia grant (shesha34) I gave up just not my cup of tea right now.Too much work to read when all i want is something that flows well.

message 27: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (lmorris) | 91 comments Seeing this book on your list for October inspired me to join this group...I'd read it last year but had no one to ask questions to. Sadly, I no longer remember my questions but it's been great readong everyone's thoughts and questions regarding the madness that is this book.

message 28: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments Lauren, welcome to the group! This book really messed with my head when I first read it and I've been recommending it constantly since then. I was so glad when it was picked as a monthly read so that others could be as creeped out as I was, though now, after reading all the responses, I find myself wanting to reread it.

message 29: by Deb (new)

Deb ****SPOILER--GAVE UP****

I have so many things to say about this book and this "experience", but Where do I start???

I heard about the book thru this group and was really intrigued. A perfect October read. More than most people, I love the creepy/ scary/ horror/ gore/ psychological thriller books and movies.

When I went to the library to get the book out and thumbed thru it, I was even more excited to start reading! All the crazy stuff in these pages! I've never seen a book put together like this one.

Then I began reading. For me, it was a really labored read, tough to get thru, not creepy or scary like I had expected--I really hoped it would keep me up at night.

I told myself I would give it about 100 pages. I am not one to ever stop reading a book that I've started. I came here to read the non-spoiler stuff and readers had suggested to just stick w/ it when others seemed to be feeling the same as I did. I stuck w/ it to 100+ pages, read the footnotes, the appendices when guided to do so, etc.

I really kept hoping it would get better, for me. Then the other night I decided to skip ahead to some of the "fun looking" pages and began reading from there. I got the gist of the story but was no more interested in pursuing it so I went to the spolier page here, read all the posts and I think I'm glad I've given up on it, especially when people are saying the beginning and middle are the best parts. I will be checking out the wikpedia info on it for sure.

The other thing I have to say about it, is that it has consumed me while reading it--maybe that is part of the point? The madness within the book and the characters touching the reader in such a way that you think too much? about too many things. too often. like my need to post about the book and express all of this even though I've decided to stop reading it?
On my lunch break the other day, 2 coworkers stopped in my office at separate times, and asked me what was wrong because I had "a look" on my face. Then I went on to explain that I was reading this bizarre book and trying to figure it out.

It has been a bit like reading a text, as someone here had said, and I think my reading preference is more for entertainment, and escape, than thinking so hard about what I'm reading, like being back in English class and trying to figure out symbolism.

I really look forward to reading others posts and spoilers about it--see??? I am consumed....still. :)

message 30: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 714 comments I haven't given up but I've put it aside. I really want to read it but I feel like I need a chunk of time to really get into it. Most of my reading time is at night after I put my son to bed and lately I just keep falling asleep. I would still love to read it for this month but I don't know if I'll make it.

message 31: by Darla (new)

Darla (silvenfox) | 573 comments I read this book a few years back, simply because Poe (the author's sister and also a musician) used an excerpt from the book in one of her songs. I was intrigued and had no idea what I was getting into. I never thought I'd ever say this about any book, but, here goes.... It would make a better movie. It started off strong, but the rest of it was timidly suspenseful, and sort of like *reading* a documentary, which made it a little bland and long. The actual ideas behind it and certain areas of the book were both creative and entertaining. However, I actually think that if this were filmed and edited together to look like it was actually being caught on the cameras he had installed around the house, it would come off a hundred times better than the book did. That being said, I'm still glad I read it once. It is written in an unfamiliar and sometimes downright strange style, and it did make me pay attention and think about what was being said, I just wish that there was more to it.

message 32: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 1000 comments I ended up giving up on this one. I liked the story line in and of itself but with all the footnotes and a lot of the technical talk, I felt like I was back in school reading a textbook.

I agree with Logan, it was way creepier before they actually went through the doorway. With the quarter of an inch difference between inside and outside, you could really tell that Navidson was freaked out.

message 33: by Catamorandi (last edited Oct 27, 2008 07:08AM) (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) | 1045 comments ***************SPOILERS - FINISHED BOOK ************

I just finished reading it about half an hour ago. I was also very disappointed. I was expecting some real terror here. All I got was really weird. I liked the beginning better also.

Julianne - I was wondering about the "house" in blue also? What is with that? It is weird. The only thing I thought of is that it represents the blueprint of the various houses.

I think the part that scared me the most was the Mom letters. Now that was spooky, to me anyway.

message 34: by Jen (new)

Jen | 278 comments Deb - This book might not be "your cup of tea", so to speak, but it seems like at least you got it. I don't think it is meant to be a typical horror book, so I can see that anyone going into it with those expectations would be disappointed. That said, it's no secret that I loved it.

message 35: by Sherry (new)

Sherry I finished today and thought it was bloody brilliant!

message 36: by Jen (new)

Jen | 278 comments Yay, Sherry!

message 37: by Sherry (last edited Oct 30, 2008 03:25PM) (new)

Sherry Jen,did you prefer one narrative above the other?

I went through different phases where either Johnny's or Zampano's voice was the one I preferred,depending on who's narrative was becoming more suspenseful.

message 38: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 163 comments I finished this like two weeks ago but did not post about it yet. I really enjoyed this book. I also felt that the beginning/middle was better than the end. I was confused a little at first w/ the footnotes but all in all I think reading it all out of order and all the background from them was part of what I really liked about it...It made it a completely different read from what I am used to and I liked that.

message 39: by Jen (new)

Jen | 278 comments Sherry, I would agree with you completely. I started off liking Johnny's more but switched to Zampano's when they were further into the house.

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