Wednesday, August 17, 2016

House of Leaves

"We all create stories to protect ourselves."
-Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

Admittedly, this book took me a while to get through, not because of the story or the writing, but purely because of the way that the book is written. Not only are there copious amounts of footnotes (that can sometimes be pages long), but the text could be backwards, upside down, struck through, etc. However, I believe these methods add to the nature of the story, which is two stories weaved into one. One follows Johnny Truant, publishing a book left behind by a man named Zampano, becoming increasing more haunted as the story goes on. The second is the actual story that Zampano wrote, which follows follows the Navidson family, who find a new section of their house upon returning from a trip, which is always shifting and changing, haunting those that explore it. The book gets increasingly creepier as the text goes on, furthered by the way that the text is formatted.

The strongest aspect about this book is the way that it is written. It took the author years to write it, and the effort definitely paid off. I think the most fascinating thing about it is the fact that the format just increases the anxiety that the reader is already feeling from the characters. Not only are they exploring this house that is constantly expanding, haunted by the growling, but anxiety is created in the reader because of the complex form, trying to figure out the way the text is connected, intermittently being interrupted by Truant's story. It's fascinatingly complex, and though it took me a while to read, it was definitely worth it. But definitely not for those that don't like horror, because this book is definitely creepy.

5/5 stars.

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