House of leaves book review

After 21 years, Mark Z. Danielewski's debut novel remains a perplexing endure unfavor any other


*

Photograph by Niko Vu | The State Press

"Mark Z. Danielewski"s novel remains as intriguing as when it was an initial publiburned." Illustration publimelted on Friday, March 5, 2021.

You watching: House of leaves book review

"Housage of Leaves" is no ordinary book.

Published on March 7, 2000, the dehowever novel by Amerideserve to writer Mark Z. Danielewski is a winding and also perplexing experience that has defied summary for 21 years.


Some speak to it a horror novel, others contact it a love story, however if you ask me, "House of Leaves" is nothing brief of a terrifying masteritem.

I initially encountered the book in 2017. I was browsing at a neighborhood Barnes and also Noble when I taken place upon a copy of this stvariety book I had heard so much about. Wanting to watch what the fuss was, I sat dvery own and quickly check out the development.

"I still obtain nightmares," the story opens up. "In reality, I obtain them so often I must be offered to them by now. I"m not."

Ten minutes later on, I left the keep via the book in hand and my heart pounding from the bone-chilling pclimbed that had actually operated its means right into my brain and also compelled me to check out better.


The story follows a Los Angeles-based tatalso artist named Johnny Truant, who discovers a mysterious manuscript in the apartment of a recently deceased, blind guy named Zampanò.

The manuscript is an academic criticism of a documentary called "The Navidson Record," which adheres to the family of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist as they move right into a new house, which itself is growing bigger on the inside than on the external.

The twist? The film does not exist, and Johnny can"t discover any kind of document of it. If it sounds prefer a headache-inducing premise, you aren"t wrong.

The story told within "The Navidson Record" is the centeritem of the plot, through the household living their daily resides, periodically exploring the darkened hallmeans that lead into an endmuch less labyrinth of corridors and also stairinstances.

At times, the dense scholastic writing style deserve to gain boring to review, however once the story picks up, points become haunting. Events take on an nearly Lovecraftian aesthetic as you start to think the household is in hazard from their very own house.

However, it is Johnny who is at the heart of the narrative which is why it"s unfortunate his area is the most troubling to acquire through.

Throughout the story, Johnny recounts his misadendeavors via sex, drugs and also alcohol, choose a teenager who just learned what intercourse is. His pincreased is juvenile and his exploits egotistical, inevitably culminating in a section that warrants a cause warning as his psychological state starts to unravel.

See more: The Scorch Trials Book Review, 'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials': Review

But as you dive deeper into his story and learn around his mentally ill mommy, the full picture comes together. Although it took time, I started to feel for Johnny and also his dysfunction, hoping he would certainly acquire out of the hole he keeps digging for himself.

Perhaps this leads to the the majority of extensively recognizable element of the story — its bizarre structure. At initially the abstractions are small.

The word "house" appears in blue ink eincredibly time it shows up (consisting of on the cover), and various narrators are denoted by different fonts – Courier New for Johnny, Times New Roguy for Zampanò.

Whole passages show up upside dvery own and backward, stretching anywhere the page and forcing the reader to physically communicate. At one allude, readers need to decode a letter.

While this may seem like a chore, to those who are willing to put in the effort, they are presented with a rich mystery that forces readers to dig deep to translate it. It took me a small under two years to finish the book, but as I stuck with it, I found myself being sucked into its terrifying world more than I had with any various other book.

Upon completing it in 2019, I couldn"t speak thinking around it.

For a full week, I poured with forums, video esstates and also reviews to attempt and also wrap my head about the experience. In doing so, I discovered myself trying to find a concrete meaning however no such thing ever appeared.

The reality is, tbelow is no clear, singular meaning to the book and Danielewski has mostly avoided providing a set interpretation of the text. This pressures readers to walk amethod through their very own conclusions.


For some it is the story of a man going crazy, for others it"s a story around the perseverance of love versus horrifying odds.

But for me, it was a story of family trauma and also learning to let go of one"s painful upbringing — a declaration that a perchild is more than the pain they"ve sustained. I cried once I finimelted the book, and it continues to be the only book to ever before lug me to tears.

That"s the beauty of the whole thing: It"s open up to interpretation.

Danielewski"s "House of Leaves" is not a straightforward read. Its framework needs physical effort and its lengthy stretches of intense academic-style pclimbed, along with its juvenile narration by Truant, are certain to alienate some readers.

But for those searching for a terrifying book unchoose any kind of other, "House of Leaves" is a creative magnum opus that should be checked out to be believed.