Frustration and Footnotes

house of leaves

House of Leaves

By: Mark Z. Danielewski

In an effort to read something a little different I found something like the Shroedinger’s cat of books in that I liked it and didn’t like it. And that I finished it and DNF’ed it.

I saw someone say that in the end people can interpret  this book a lot of ways and that is very deeply true. I saw it as both a love story and a total pain in the ass.

The book is about 1. a family home that begins spouting new closets and new dimensions walking down one of them and you are lost in some dark ever changing maze. Voids open. There’s strange noises in the walls and instead of running the father decides hey, let’s document this and make a film!

(I would like to give major props to Karen- who when a closet appeared in her house built a bookshelf. That would be my second option after getting the hell out of there but still I admire her thinking!)

2. A total loser has come into possession of the notes on the film from his dead old neighbor who was researching it. Dead neighbor has done a lot of research into the film the psychology of the participants and scientific research into the house.

House of Leaves is also drowning in footnotes, pictures, and other extraneous stuff that goes nowhere and annoys the hell out of me. Total loser is having some sort of breakdown that only adds to the whole mess of it really. I did not care about his drug use or the sex. I stopped reading those footnotes when the rescue dog got thrown out of the car window.

house of leaves

house of leaves

house of leaves
Maybe the point was frustration?

There’s also little goodies like footnotes that don’t match or boxes full of just word vomit basically. And this whole section with notes from total losers mother that I kept expecting to mean something. Ugh it was just frustration city which was a bummer because the stuff with the house and Will and Karen (the couple) I really liked that stuff.

Recommend: No.

In the end I did like the stuff with the house- I thought it was creepy and effecting. It was everything else that was annoying. That’s why overall I’m not going to recommend it. But this is one of those books I think if it sounds like it interests you in anyway look into it more and check it out.  You never know.


14 thoughts on “Frustration and Footnotes

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  1. Oh dear, this formatting… i think it would get on my nerves real quick. I had a colleague who recommended this to me and he said it was “awesome”, but it took him about a month to read … 😀

  2. I read this book ages ago, but I remember having the same reaction you did. I liked the stuff about the couple, the house etc but I wished it was more linear without all those effing footnotes! Footnotes get on my nerves at the best of times, and as you know, these were so messy and ineffectual…but it was a super creepy book!

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