I have heard about this book quite a bit. I’m always trying to find something new and potentially scary to read and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski was on many lists that came up. I finally had the chance to buy it and read it. (I like to buy the books I plan to read since I don’t get to my library as much as I’d want to).
If you haven’t heard of this book that’s okay, you’re going to hear about it now. If you have heard of it and are deciding if. you should read it, then yes go read it. It’s been a while since I have fully read this book (about 7 months) so I can be as vague as possible but just in case there might be some spoilers ahead. But the gist of it comes with the words on the page right after the forward.
Reading that I was instantly hit with a sense of foreboding, dramatic I know but that’s how I felt. Then by the time I finished I found this statement to be both true and false. Reading this House of Leaves I feel disoriented, sometimes a creeping feeling around me, not safe in my own home,and not from an outside threat but from the walls of my home. There is so much going on and only one thing happening, one small upon first reading it but not so small when it clicks in your mind what it means.
One piece of advice I must give is to make sure you keep a page marker, like a small post it tag, to keep track of when a sentence splits off for a foot note. The footnotes are important…and unimportant, mostly important, yeah it can get confusing. That’s just the start as well, I hate to think what that poor printer had to go through printing out an nearly blacked out page with X’s, or pages where the words twist and turn and fall around the page, or get boxed into a tiny, tiny section. Of the page. It’s a very artistic book in it’s printing and really helps you feel what the characters are going through..
House of Leaves has made me feel claustrophobic, unsure of my surroundings, to this day I can feel a creeping sensation moving from the middle of my back to the top of my neck. You will at times get confused and people watching you read it (especially when you start turning the book in different directions just to read the words) will look at you like you don’t know how to hold a book. There were a few times where I felt so overwhelmed I needed to take a break, but that’s just me.
But let me get to the meat of this review.
Danielewski has written truly a fantastic book. I have never read anything like it, sure my eyes had been glued to other books as much as this one but something else really stuck out and it was they style of the printing and the particulars of the text. “House” is always written in blue, some things are struck out, others are starred for a narration footnote from the “author”(you’ll understand when you read the book). If anything I do believe if you want something to make you uncomfortable in an empty room I highly recommend this. And by the end for any horror fans, you do see why this book is not for us but at the same time it is (wow I am just a contradicting myself at every turn). An unexpected ending for me but something that I will always remember and I am looking forward to reading it again.
Again I highly recommend this House of Leaves to anyone looking for a good book to read, horror fan or not. This review is the first of many book reviews to come, and it’ll mostly be of the horror genre but I’ll have other genres in there too Maybe even a few movie reviews, again all genres but mostly horror (what can I say I’m addicted).
Are there any particular books you want me to review? Have you read House of Leaves? Will you read it? Let me know and tell me what you think.