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Paperback House of Leaves Book

ISBN: 0375703764

ISBN13: 9780375703768

House of Leaves

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

THE MIND-BENDING CULT CLASSIC ABOUT A HOUSE THAT'S LARGER ON THE INSIDE THAN ON THE OUTSIDE - A masterpiece of horror and an astonishingly immersive, maze-like reading experience that redefines the boundaries of a novel.

''Simultaneously reads like a thriller and like a strange, dreamlike excursion into the subconscious." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Thrillingly alive, sublimely creepy, distressingly...

Customer Reviews

8 ratings

More than a book about a house bigger on the inside

The theme of HoL is a dual universe where characters in either universe somehow unknowingly gain access to materials from the other universe. Many of the referenced articles the book says are real are not real (not from our side/dimension) but there are also real writings referenced which are called fake (not findable by those on the other side.) The book deals with meaning and symbols and the method of story telling. It is full of suspense and relevant tangents as a method of delaying the pay offs. Read with an open mind. And keep in mind, just because it doesn't exist here, doesn't mean it is not real. House is always in blue ink, which creates an other worldliness where your mind sees and recognizes the word house is coming before you even read it. It becomes a menace, a shadow, something out of the corner of your eye, a symbol of the unknown and unexplainable.

4 stars

HOUSE OF LEAVES by Mark Z. Danielewski I don’t know what possessed me to choose this 700+ page tome as my first book for 2024, but I do love a challenge… Reading this was a bizarre (mind f*ck) experience. Not only was the text formatting all over the place (literally sideways, diagonal, upside down and backwards) the footnotes were a separate, tangent filled story on their own. Oh, and if you can read music that comes in handy! This isn’t a book you can read quickly, it demands your attention and patience. You will have to work for the story. In some instances you’ll be flipping back to re-read previous sections. In other chapters you’ll want to add margin notes or fill in blanks. Then the last bit there’s a message to decode. Bless the interwebs for providing the answers for my queries! In short, I enjoyed this. It’s not particularly scary or suspenseful, but I appreciate the author’s meticulous effort in creating such a labyrinthine story. Sure, it’s pretentious and gimmicky, but I didn’t mind it. This book might not be for you, but it was for me. Rating: 4/5 ⭐️


I haven't even finished this book yet and I know it's waiting for me, like a beast in the corner.

Immersive & Unique

I really enjoyed the multiple storylines present in this novel. I have never experienced a book like this before and recommend it to others. I did not find this as difficult of a read as people make it out to be. It’s a book that encompasses many themes, emotions, and can mean something different to everyone who reads it.

My absolute favorite book!

Friends, this book is life changing. I've bought it and given it away at least a dozen times. It isn't a novel it is a force of nature. Psychological horror and true life grit... all three protagonists' stories parallel their exquisite descent into madness perfectly. I may even say Lovecraft would be pleased! Ingore folks who said it was confusing and couldn't understand the characters' stories. The obvious typology makes it reeaally easy to tell who is narrating; Times New Roman (Zampanò), Courier (Johnny), Bookman (The Editors), and Dante (Pelafina). Alsooo, super cool that his sister (Poe) made an album (Haunted) about this book then her music is referenced in the book. By the end I wanted the The Navidson Record to be real sooooo bad! Haha

Lost, and these shadows keep on changing...

How does one describe a book like this? Start here: "House of Leaves" is a book that's bigger on the inside than it is outside. It isn't a book to be read from the first page to the last -- It's more a story to be explored, and it's a story about exploration. In nearly every aspect, how you read the book is a direct reflection of what's going on in the story at that point. The story itself is complex. It's written on one level like an academic text, distant and carefully-worded, but on another level like a person's diary, full of intimate details and rambling passages. The academic portion is by an author we know only as Zampano, and it's an analysis of a film, "The Navidson Record," about a family who moves into a new house, and the house begins to change around them. First it changes in subtle ways, adding a quarter-inch to the interior dimensions without adding anything to the outside dimension. Like the book itself, the house is larger inside than out...MUCH larger, as the family discovers when new hallways are discovered where none should be, and a door appears in the living room which leads to untold depths. The house seems to be unsteady, changing itself from moment to moment, and it begins to consume the lives of the people living in it. As if that's not enough, there's the additional layer of story of the young man who finds the fragments of Zampano's book after Zampano has died, and assembles it, making additional notes on sections, many of which branch into detailed descriptions of his own life and problems. This young man, Johnny Truant, becomes every bit as important to the story as the Navidsons and the house they live in, as elements of that story tie back into his story. And then there's how the story is told, which in this case is every bit as important as the story itself. You'll start the book at the first page and everything looks normal enough. Perhaps you'll notice a few oddities in the early chapters, but for the most part you're still comfortable. Then it starts doing unexpected things. Footnotes refer to additional footnotes which refer to previous footnotes. You may find yourself following one note through several pages, only to find another note leading you back to where you started, moving backward and forward through the book to follow the trail. Then the text itself starts shifting around, pages printed upside-down or sideways or diagonally or backwards... sometimes several of these combined onto a single page. You'll have to physically turn the book this way and that to be able to read everything. Pacing changes with the story as well. Sometimes things are happening fast, and you'll read at a breakneck pace, 50 pages in 10 minutes or less. At other times, you're forced to linger over the same three or four pages for half an hour to catch the nuances of meaning contained there. And all of it, every bit, is tailored to reflect what's going on in the story in how you're reading it. Put simply, this is

A wholly remarkable book, but not for everyone

The other reviews listed here give a pretty good impression of what the book is: its layered plots, its broad scope, its unconventional conventions. And people love it or hate it. A surefire sign of great art is that it arouses passion, and whether that passion is in support of the work or in its derision is immaterial. That's my opinion, but be warned: House of Leaves certainly isn't for everyone.There are a lot of people, traditionalists, die-hard Hawthorne and Melville fans, who will dismiss this novel as a pile of post-modernist putrescence. That's fine -- its very creative and pretty out-there, both in its concept and its approach. Those who do dare to pick it up, be sure to have about a week set aside to be consumed by this thing.It's a dense book. Very dense. I have read it several times, very closely, and I know that I've only seen a third of what's there. Everything has something to do with something else -- there are no insignificant details, no fluff, in this book. And the overall effect of the plethora of STUFF here is remarkable.You may not be sure of everything that's in there, but you intuit it. You start to get the feeling that Johnny Truant warns you about in the very beginning. As you give yourself over to the book, as you get absorbed into its world, Truant's paranoia creeps off the page and into the reader. It's scary because of the layers, and each voice's belief that the story it tells about is fiction; The Navidson house seems an awful dream, Zampanó approaches the film as fiction, Johnny doesn't know what to think -- he's just engrossed in this bizarre world, trying to put it all together and make sense of it, and "The Editors" raise questions as to whether Mr. Truant is even a real person. The reader, meanwhile, takes on much the same job as Johnny, trying to piece it all together, to find some hidden detail that will unlock these stories, tell us whether they really are fictional. As a reader, you start to doubt. The world gets that shimmer. And at the very end, you realize what's been going on. It's scary while it's happening, but ultimately it's pretty darn funny, as well; the real world is just another layer to this book.The book asks more of the reader than any ordinary novel; you have to work with it, jump backwards and forwards to reacquaint yourself with some clue, read with a suspicious eye, sometimes set it aside and think on it. In the end, though, it's a gripping experience that's very repeatable and worthwhile. Like everything in the novel, there's something there -- it's just tough to put your finger on it.

What's with all these stuffy reviewers?

I don't get the nasty tone of some of the reveiwers of this book. I loved it. I could not stop reading it. I was totally taken in by the recurring themes, the metaphors, the language, the characters, the mystery, the bizarreness of the whole thing. The book made me question how I read, what I read, what text means, what words on the page mean and reflect. It was a tremendously moving and disturbing read. Don't listen to all the cranky people who've rated this lower than 4 stars (unless you think you're getting the next Stephen King novel). Buy this book, think about it, let it settle in and mess with your mind a little.

House of Leaves Mentions in Our Blog

House of Leaves in 10 Delightfully Tricksy Stories
10 Delightfully Tricksy Stories
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • March 31, 2021

Do you like surprises? On the eve of April Fool's Day we feature ten tales that will make you ask, "What is even happening?!" Each of these stories—spanning a wide array of genres and styles—has a trick or two up its sleeve.

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