Tuesday, September 13, 2011

House of Leaves By: Mark z. Danielewski

My apologies for taking so long to write another book review. I have just come back from a journey that has at times made me feel terrified, paranoid, anxious, and even caused me a person who can sleep anytime, anywhere, in any state sleepless for quite a few nights. All of this was caused by the very thing that I have come to love. A book. Never before has a book so captured, confused, and just plain scared the hell out of me. I read the inside cover of this book before reading it and thought. Huh, that sounds unique. Okay… then I read the opening, and looked at a few of the pictures before the book begins. Odd, but okay….then it just went downhill from there. I am not scared of the dark most of the times, put me in a scary basement or in a middle of nowhere forgotten ghost town, or dark corridor in an abandoned mental hospital (don’t ask) then yes I am going to be a little (a lot) afraid. The house I am currently living in I was afraid of when we first moved in, it was bigger than I was used to, and so empty! Had I read this book when we had first moved into our house… I don’t think I would have survived. I admit I have an overactive imagination, but this book just got to me. It just sucked you in, and by doing so sucked the light around you in. I felt sunny days growing darker and ever darker every time I opened this book. Then I would find myself dazing out reading the book, trying to re-read sentences and foot notes. The book is like a text book, I had to double check a few times to make sure I hadn’t picked up some English text for college. Then, one night I could not sleep I woke up in a cold sweat, I felt like the walls were darkening growing smaller. I saw the book on my dresser and went… ok. Am I going mad like so many mentioned in that book? I had to prevent myself from calling my friend who had loaned me this book from asking if they had personally finished this book, or if they had bought it and never finished, or read it? I didn’t, and luckily the next day I learned my husband’s co-worker had in fact read the very book I was talking about, and well he was still sane. So I kept reading. I found myself wanting to watch happy sunny movies during night, and trying to not read this book at night or in my House. In case somehow the words would wind some eerie spell around my own home. The book itself is so distorting where you can usually find a character or general theme to latch onto while reading and following those certain threads, this book there was no set thread to follow because each person’s story led to pure bedlam and a not so happy story. I cannot give much away about this tale because discovering what is going on is more than half the fun. I read quite a few pages twice and flipped through a lot even researched some of what they were talking about to get a better understanding. Needless to say it was a very long and again DARK journey. I will say this book was fascinating, I kept seeing it in the real world pieces lurking here and there and kept mentioning it to friends. My friend who gave me the book told me to have a flashlight I made sure my phone was charged and I had my little light. The book I am speaking of is Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves. I really did enjoy the story and it really was an oddity and an incredibly long story. I am not sure I understood what happened at the very end of one of the characters tales, Johnny, but I do know he was disturbing and horrific in his tales, but in such a way I really liked them. As for the rest of the characters you will just have to read. I don’t think I would ever read this book again, I think the first time is what really sucks you in after you survive I think it’s like a roller coaster it’s never going to be nearly as scary as that first drop and upside down turn. So, I hope you check this book out and read every page I mean every page.

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