Thursday, August 23, 2012

Some Observations: House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski

                                                                                      This is a book about an aspiring tattoo artist obsessed with reading a found manuscript 
 (authored by a dead man) 
which analyzes and critiques a documentary made by a family who lived in a house that's much bigger on the inside. (Not nearly as well-appointed as the TARDIS, though.* )
Crappy resolution on those bottom words, but the large one kinda says it all.
Not to put too fine a point on it, this book is all kinds of postmodern weird, using and abusing all the usual suspects: footnotes, more footnotes, footnotes about footnotes, text boxes, strange page layouts, codes, backwards type -- you know the drill. (And if you don't, I wouldn't suggest going anywhere near it.) 
There are in fact pages that look like this:

Also? Lots of quotations in foreign tongues (some translated; others not so much). The word "house" and all its non-English correlates are always printed in blue... Other sections are in red, or in strikethrough

Yes, all the bells and whistles can be distracting, but so far, not too tedious. Granted, I'm only just over halfway through, but I know there's a truly unsettling story buried in here; the bits called "The Navidson Record" are creepy and fascinating . . . and they are keeping me awake much later than they should be. I'll be back with a full review (as if that were even possible!) as soon as I climb out of the abyss. Meanwhile . . .
one more for the road:

* For more about the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), see the beloved and long-running BBC TV series "Doctor Who."


Tim said...

Just a comment on the picture with circles made out of words... those are from Danielewski's other book Only Revolutions :P Just nitpicking

Travis said...

I'm nearly done reading it... it is quite the trip! The only parts I could do without are some of Truants thiiiiick run-on sentences.