house of leaves book cover

House of Leaves, Literature Review

Author Mark Z Danielewski

This is the spoiler free review of House of Leaves, if you would prefer to read what happens and surprise people with your knowledge of this intimidating tome of a novel then please visit here.

You may have heard of House of Leaves or seen it on shelves. You may have been putting off reading it due to it’s infamous nature and hefty length. I know I was intimidated when I flipped through the pages and saw the bizarre shifts in formatting, font, color, and structure.

But I’m telling you now, House of Leaves is absolutely without a doubt worth the effort. Take it off your shelf and finally give yourself over to this unnerving tale of the supernatural.

The titular house is one of great mystery and impossibility. The owner, Navidson, discovers a new room within it one day and things only get stranger from there. After determining that the interior of his house is inexplicably larger than the exterior he goes on an exploration that will defy physics and nearly cost him everything.

The reader will follow Navidson’s story through notes about a documentary about the house. The reader will also follow Johnny, as he becomes obsessed with these notes and solving the mystery behind it all.

House of Leaves does not in any way follow traditional story telling. That’s what makes it more memorable and effective. The way the book is presented adds a creepy level of realism to the supernatural tale. It also immerses the reader within its walls in ways I’ve never experienced in any other book.

It almost feels more like a found footage horror movie than a book. It’s an intense and gripping read that you’ll follow with maximum focus. You’ll have to, this is not what anyone would call light reading.

I am certain many thesis papers have been written analyzing House of Leaves. I won’t be doing that here or even in my spoiler full review. But I can tell you that this book is an impressive work of art. Every piece has a purpose and it shows. This is not form breaking just for the sake of thinking outside the box. The form is what the story needs. It’s not rule breaking, its rule defining.

It will take about an hour to get the feel for how the book operates. I strongly recommend only sitting down with it when you have a larger chunk of uninterrupted reading time. It could be quite easy to get lost within these pages.

But if you are looking for a challenge that is as rewarding as it is entertaining I cannot recommend House of Leaves enough. It is unique and it is worth every hour you’ll put in.

5/5 houses where nothing is at it seems 🏚🏚🏚🏚🏚

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Buy it here: House of Leaves

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