House of Leaves

House of Leaves
By Mark Z. Danielewski
Published by Pantheon Books
2000

Call it an experimental novel, call it a graphic post-postmodern attempt to recreate fiction, just be sure to call it good storytelling. In House of Leaves the story follows four story-lines in a delicate weaving of 1. a non-existing documentary 2. a criticism of said documentary 3. commentary on the criticism of the documentary and 4. edits on the commentary on the crit.. you get the idea. The book is fragmented yet whole because the stories, though they never really come together, manage to affect each other in a trickle down pattern.

Here is enough of the story to get you hooked: 1. There is a house owned by a photographer and his family that inexplicably changes in proportions (entirely on the inside without reflecting the changes on the outside). A door appears with a hallway that the photographer wants to explore. This hallway turns into a frightening series of shifting tunnels and rooms and crazy things happen. 2. This film is being criticized by an old blind man. BLIND MAN who thinks his apartment is shifting as well. He dies (naturally? creepily?) and his writings are found and put in order by 3. Johnny, a twenty-something loser who parties a lot. He comments both on the old man’s work as well as his own doings (i.e. his crush on a stripper). Johnny starts going a little crazy. 4. There is a sweet index.

Do you really need to know anymore?

“Beautiful product” and “Dynamite storytelling” and “Sublime reading experience”

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