Thursday, May 9, 2013

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves

3 Stars - Read February 5, 2013

This is a book within a book.  Will, Karen and their two children move from the city to a home of their own on Ash Tree Lane only to discover the house isn't quite what it seems.  It begins with a perplexing mathematical problem - the house is measuring slightly larger on the outside than on the inside.  It climaxes with an ever-growing perhaps inescapable abyss filled with terrorizing sounds lurking in the shadows. 

Told as a book within a book this is a polarizing novel.  People seem to love it or hate it and are impassioned to sing its praises or highlight its failures.  I'm not so vehement in my conclusions.  I completely enjoyed the "main" story (which story is the main story is debatable, I'm sure) of Will and Karen in the house.  On the other hand, I was frustrated with Johnny's narrative throughout his various states of lucidity.  Again, I get that is probably the point, but the reader has to at least be able to follow the train of thought.  The footnotes, endmarks, references, etc. left me questioning Danielewski's sanity.  Who the hell would put forth that much effort in a fictional story unless they were completely off their rocker?

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