Book Notes: House of Leaves

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Read Jan 13, 2021 - Jan 25, 2021

House of Leaves is an aggressively post-modern nested-doll novel. It is a ghost house story within a love story, nestled within the story of a film criticism manuscript told by a narrator who is descending into madness. The novel plays not only with the structure of the narrative, but also with the physical form of the book itself. Different fonts, colors, and unusual text arrangements echo the atmosphere in the narrative.

It is the kind of work that one could reasonably accuse of being too taken with its own cleverness, too much of an insider conversation, a performance for other artists. But for all of its cleverness, I found it to be a well-written, compelling story (to my surprise). The fictional monograph that makes the main body of the novel was unexpectedly interesting to read, and the story in the film that the monograph analyzes is a thrilling one.

Recommended if you are into weird experimental narrative stuff.

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