Read House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski Free Online
Book Title: House of Leaves|
The author of the book: Mark Z. Danielewski
Edition: Turtleback Books
The size of the: 456 KB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: March 7th 2000
ISBN 13: 9781417709045
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 1537 times
Reader ratings: 4.3
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~*~*~*UPDATE, September 2017*~*~*~ It's been nearly ten years since I wrote this review and I continue to be amazed by the response to it. I'm totally blown away by all the chords I've struck and nerves I've hit with this dumb thing over the years. I'm frankly a little embarrassed by it and I've toyed with the idea of just taking it down all together, but I think I'll leave it up because it seems to spark conversation. I would just like to reiterate that it's been ten years since I wrote this and I don't know that it actually reflects the way I would feel about the book if I read it now, so please don't yell at me about it - I don't even know how I could possibly respond. I can't remember the book all that well and I double can't remember why I felt the way I did about it. I think there's actually a pretty good chance that I might like this if I were to read it again.
I'm sorry younger me was a little brash. I'm also sorry for calling out Radiohead the way I did. I still don't care about them, but I also don't care if you do!
I wish there were someway that a sigh could count as a book review.
House of Leaves is a really, really damn good story. It's about a guy named Johnny Truant who finds a manuscript in a dead man's apartment. Said manuscript is entitled the Navidson Record. It's essentially a dissertation on a documentary of the same name, by and about a man named Will Navidson and his family. Navidson lives in a house that is larger on the inside than it is on the outside, sometimes only a small fraction of an inch larger, sometimes miles.
After a quick bit of research Johnny figures out that the Navidson Record, and pretty much everything related to it, does not exist. Johnny becomes obsessed with the whole thing and it drives him crazy.
I think it's a really great story. However, House of Leaves is the perfect definition of bullshit.
You see, it's got an experimental narrative. People will tell you that it's hard to follow, but those are probably the same people who told you that the Matrix required multiple viewings to understand. The book is written by a fictional character named Zampano, he is the dead man I mentioned above in my synopsis of the story. Johnny Truant, who is more or less the books protagonist, chimes in via an introduction and constant foot notations that he's added to Zampano's work. Most of his foot notes however meander off into him rambling about things that have happened to him in his day to day life (mostly fucking a million super hot babes). It should also be noted that the Zampano character has made a retarded amount of foot notes. See, not that complicated.
What really got my goat here is all the goddamn, cutesy little "look how clever I am I"/"I'm a major in art and a minor in lit" bullshit. It starts off simple enough with that kind of stuff. Every time the word "house" comes up the text is blue, no matter what language (and there are several), no matter what. That's a kind of cool little thing, I'm ok with that, but then Danielewski decides that he's going to masturbate from page 119 to page 709. There are annoying text blocking boxes in the middle of about thirty pages that contain text in them that is so clipped and cut off that you can't read it. You have to turn the page sideways and upside down continuously for hundred page stretches at a time, and these pages tend to have a small paragraph at the very best (often times only one or two words), making you flip through the pages very fast. There are footnotes all over the fucking pages making it a big pain in the ass to know what you are supposed to be reading and in what order. Then at the end he has the fucking gall to imply that there are hidden messages encoded throughout the book and you should go back and find them. It is a seriously frustrating book to read.
There is no doubt that House of Leaves is extremely clever, and it's undoubtedly the most exhaustive work of fiction I have ever read. The foot notes alone, which I gather are 98% referencing material that does not really exist, are impressive. Danielewski really worked his ass off on this and it shows. I respect House of Leaves, I cannot stress how much I loved the story, but I pretty much hate the book.
This book looks at you with this smug fucking smile on it's face, daring you to say that you don't like it, knowing that masses of people are going to go along with it because they don't want to look stupid. That's what this is. It's the fucking Radiohead of books. Well, House of Leaves, I am not stupid and I'm calling your bullshit. Fuck you.
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Read information about the authorMark Z. Danielewski is an American author best known for his books House of Leaves, Only Revolutions, The Fifty Year Sword, and The Familiar series.
Danielewski studied English Literature at Yale. He then decided to move to Berkeley, California, where he took a summer program in Latin at the University of California, Berkeley. He also spent time in Paris, preoccupied mostly with writing.
In the early 1990s, he pursued graduate studies at the USC School of Cinema-Television. He later served as an assistant editor and worked on sound for Derrida, a documentary based on the life of the Algerian-born French literary critic and philosopher Jacques Derrida.
His second novel, Only Revolutions, was released in 2006. The novel was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award.
His novel The Fifty Year Sword was released in the Netherlands in 2005. A new version with stitched illustrations was released in the United States 2012 (including a limited-edition release featuring a latched box that held the book). On Halloween 2010-2012, Danielewski "conducted" staged readings of the book at the REDCAT Theater inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Each year was different and included features such as large-scale shadows, music, and performances from actors such as Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad).
On May 12, 2015, he released the first volume, The Familiar (Volume 1): One Rainy Day in May in his announced 27-volume series The Familiar. The story "concerns a 12-year-old girl who finds a kitten..." The second volume, The Familiar (Volume 2): Into the Forest was released on Oct. 27, 2015, The Familiar (Volume 3): Honeysuckle & Pain came out June 14, 2016, and The Familiar (Volume 4): Hades arrived in bookstores on Feb. 7, 2017, and The Familiar (Volume 5): Redwood will be available on Halloween 2017, accompanied by a nationwide tour.
He is the son of Polish avant-garde film director Tad Danielewski and the brother of singer and songwriter Annie Decatur Danielewski, a.k.a. Poe.
House of Leaves, Danielewski's first novel, has gained a considerable cult following. In 2000, Danielewski toured with his sister across America at Borders Books and Music locations, promoting Poe’s album Haunted, which reflects elements of House of Leaves.
Danielewski's work is characterized by experimental choices in form, such as intricate and multi-layered narratives and typographical variation.
In 2015, his piece Thrown, a reflection on Matthew Barney's Cremaster 2, appeared on display at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Official "Yarn + Ink" apparel inspired by his books House of Leaves and The Familiar is now available through his official website, Amazon and Etsy.
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