House of Leaves : Mark Z. Danielewski – Book Report

House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski. 

Published 2000

If you haven’t read this book you really should! I am hesitant to write too much about the contents of the book because I firmly believe it should be experienced first hand. I say experienced because that is in reality what this book was to me. An experience, I practically studied this book. I didn’t just casually read it while drinking a scotch basking gloriously in the sunlight of a warm summers afternoon. I holed up at my desk with a pencil and pad of paper constantly taking notes and writing in the margins of my copy. This book will test you. It’s by far one of the most complex reads I’ve ever had the privilege of enjoying.

 

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What I enjoyed most about this book is that it sometimes felt like a challenge to read. It’s essentially a book within a book, within a book. The layout is incredibly interesting in parts and there are pages upon pages of footnotes. There are simultaneously 3 stories playing out throughout the course of the novel. You’re first introduced to Johnny Truant. He is our primary storyteller. He is in the process of collecting all the stories and notes written by Zampano. Zampano is our second storyteller and you learn more about him through Johnny himself. Zampanos notes are essentially a film study of “The Navidson Record.” It basically boils down to. Johnny is telling his own story and Zampanos, while Zampano is telling the story of the the Navidsons. Each story is unique and connected in its own way. None of which is spelled out for you. It requires some thinking and speculation on your part. Thats what I found most fun about the story. You are allowed to make your own assumptions. Danielewski doesn’t spell out anything and lets you theorize and come to your own conclusions.

 

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In conclusion this book will make you feel like an idiot. It will stick in the back of your mind and you will think about whenever your mind wanders. If you’re like me that is. I enjoyed the challenge and the frustrations because when I finally finished and put the book down it felt like it was worth it. I plan on re reading this book and probably re reading it again after that.

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