House of Leaves

Mark Z. Danielewski
Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.


Reviewed: 2020-06-17
I finished this last night. At about 1:30 in the morning. Honestly, I have no idea how to even begin a review for this book. I kind of have the same panicky feeling I had when people would see me reading and ask what this book was about. I started blurting out incomplete sentences and even stammering all the while. I knew there was no way I could convey the brilliance of this book in just a couple light-conversational sentences. I think that might be the same case here, so my apologies in advance.

Okay, I've been sitting here for awhile trying to get my thoughts together, and I realized I'll have to get the book out and go over the insane amount of notes I took while reading this to make any sense. And while I've gotten pretty good at pretending to work while I'm actually playing around on Goodreads, I'm not that good...yet.

I think I went through an entire thing of Post-Its, that are now sticking out of the book every which way covered with crazy quotes and questions. (Here, I'll sneak a pic for a visual aid)

I don't think I've ever gotten so involved in a story before. Frantically taking notes, decoding a 3 page letter, and getting out of bed at midnight last night to play a sequence of notes on the really made me identify with Johnny's obsession. This book really isn't one of those supernatural/gory/monster horror novels, but more of a oh-my-god-I'm-losing-my-mind horror, which to me is one of the scariest things of all.
Reviewed: 2019-11-17

Bought because Olivier talked about it when I described to him the "Ship of Theseus"

Physical copy required as this is a "reading experience" playing with color, typos, ...

It's described as the first "experimental novel"

Note that it's a huge book to read, written quite small.


The reading experience is enjoyable. The story is easier to follow, more "interesting" than the "Ship of Theseus" although by being so odd, the "Ship of Theseus" has other qualities.

I really enjoyed it at first. Especially when it started to become a bit fantastic. It made me feel uneasy, almost like when reading Maupassan's "Horla".

But then it stopped. Did not get this feeling anymore. And the book is very long. Which in the end gives a so-so impression.

I guess I was quite excited at the start but it ended up being too much for me in a way.


Still to be recommended if you have never tried this kind of novel.

A the start of the book, I would definitely have recommended this one above the "Ship of Theseus", now I don't know anymore.

Reviewed: 2017-05-14
Hmm. I've been "currently reading" this book for almost a year! It's interesting, but very challenging. Think: Ulysses for the 21st century. :-p
Reviewed: 2015-07-06
(Untitled Fragment)
Little solace comes
to those who grieve
when thoughts keep drifting
as walls keep shifting
and this great blue world of ours
seems a house of leaves

moments before the wind. (page 563)
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