Author: Mark Z. Danielewski
Publisher: Random House
Type: Horror, Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery
Rating: 🌸 🌸 🌸 🌸 out of 🌸 🌸 🌸 🌸 🌸
Synopsis and Thoughts:
A few months ago I got together with some of my sorority sisters for brunch. Over our plates of eggs, pancakes and salads; as almost always happens, our conversation turned to that of books. The discussion started out with talk about our book club and what books we were looking forward to reading, to book recommendations to one another. It was my friend Shannon who suggested I read House of Leaves as she knows that not only am I an avid bookworm, but a lover of the horror genre in both literature and film. Agreeing that Danielewski’s story of a house that is bigger on the inside with unknown monsters in its dark depths was something right up my alley, I immediately placed it only to be read list on Goodreads.
About a month later, I found myself at the Tattered Cover Bookstore when I came across a copy of the book on the shelf. Squealing with delight, my mother came over to find what I had found that had made me so excited. As I showed her the book and some of the pages to better display the unique way in which Danielewski crafted his story, I told her that the book had been recommended to me over brunch. I immediately purchased the book with a plan to take it with me on my upcoming trip to Hawaii, as it would be perfect to read on a long flight and while relaxing on the beach.
I did in fact take this book with me on my vacation and began to delve into it, a reading venture which would end up taking me a little over two months to read as it is a rather hefty tome to make one’s way through.
Having finally completed House of Leaves two days into the New Year, I have to say that I my sorority sister Shannon was right that this was a book I would enjoy. I loved both the story of the family and the events which unfold while they are living in a unique and horrific house, as well as the truly creative way in which Danielewski wrote this story. Once I got into the flow of the book and used to having to read the footnotes, go forwards and backwards in the book and turn the book every which way in order to continue reading the story, for there were times when I thought I would never finish it; I persevered and am so happy that I did for I feel as though I really accomplished something. House of Leaves is a book that not every reader would be able to get through nor is it something that would appeal to every bookworm.
The only reason why I didn’t give this a full five out of five rating is because of the very end of the book. I found that the poems at the very end didn’t fit into the flow of the rest of the story. I also felt that the letters from Johnny’s mom to him would’ve been better placed throughout the story to coincide with when the reader first read about Johnny’s childhood, rather than have them all at the end one after the other; granted the inclusion of the letters and all of them coming one after another did help to better illustrate just how fractured her mind was and the delusions she suffered from.
Despite these few items which failed to fully satisfy me, I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoyed reading this and I am even entertaining reading Danielewski’s One Rainy Day in May (The Familiar, #1), another book which is just as hefty and intricately written of a story.