Author Topic: House of Leaves  (Read 6854 times)

Offline chin

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House of Leaves
« on: 12 September 2009, 02:16:25 »
I am not reading this, but book_wyrm is.

This book looks very complicated to follow, at least easily throw off by the typesetting (which is more complicated than probably most books I read.) And I am referring to the hardcopy version.

Some of the side line jokes are very funny, as told my book_wyrm.

Offline Book_Wyrm

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Re: House of Leaves
« Reply #1 on: 07 February 2010, 20:42:38 »
I made a review of this book at goodreads. I'll just post it here. Warning. Long post is long.
Quote
Unfortunately, a computer emote is the most adequate way of putting out my reaction to this book. I've heard many people compare it to the Blair witch project. Despite never having watched it, I must disagree. Vehemently. When we say that "House of leaves" is comparable to the Blair Witch Project, we really mean that the Navidson record is comparable to it. The Navidson record is a movie. And there are things a book can capture that a movie can never hope to without massive butchering.


I won't bore you with the details of the story. You can go read the book, or other reviews for that. All I'll say is that it's a horror story like none I've ever seen before. Whatever everyone else says, it is a horror story. It just isn't ours. Most horror stories are directed at the reader. They use words, imagery, descriptions to make us feel the characters fear. Not so House of leaves. While the terror is real for the Navidsons, and the Holloway team, for us, it is a description, a narrative at every layer. Traunt was an unlucky bystander, reeled into this story of Zampano's creation, venting by recording his fear, his delusion. Recording, not directing. Zampano was a narrator, providing an unbiased, factual recording of facts, with the occasional interpretation and long winded monolouge. Factual, with just the tiny little problem that it wasn't real. The actual storyteller, really, is the famous, talented, imaginary photographer, Will Navidson, who put the effort into making this video. Even if only in Zampano's head, and on paper, he made the effort to try and capture some of the fear and terror he experienced.

What is this house, really? Something lost, forgotten, ancient? Or something spawned of human imagination and fear? Or both? After all, the first recorded possible sighting of this labarinth was during a harsh winter in the 17th century that killed off nearly all of Jamestown colony. Although, with all these references to the Minotaur, and the labarinth that imprisoned it, or maybe even protected it, one can't help but wonder. Perhaps the first sighting was not in 1610 after all. Perhaps it was first seen by an achitect who claimed it as his own. Did Daedalus make the labrinth? Or did he just find it?

You see, this is what this book does to you. It messes you up, makes you think impossible things.

The typography is a different matter, telling nothing but what the words do, but at the same time, showing much more. The typography shows many things, not least of which, the characters. As you progress deeper into the book, you'll find that the sensibility of the book begins to deteriorate, eerily renemisent of the characters mindset. As Navidson and Traunt delve deeper into oddly parallel paranoia, the typeset grows increasingly confusing. As the book ends, and Navidson escapes the madness of the labarinth, the typeset slowly settles into a more conventional style. Evidence that the typeset is Zampano's, for while his character, and maybe Zampano himself, settle into sanity, Traunt does not, and continues his spiraling decent into insanity.

All in all, this was an excellent book that I would reccomend to serious readers.

Have a distraction ready. You'll need it.
What is magic?
....What is illusion?
.........What is real?

Offline chin

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Re: House of Leaves
« Reply #2 on: 07 February 2010, 21:53:03 »
Good review.

I never read the book, so at first reading of your review, I was a bit confused by who's whom and did what. But upon second reading, I got the sense that this is a story with lots of nesting, and maybe interwoven, layers and details. I think you had, by use of questions and clever sentence structures, pointed out some of the intrigues and contrast of the story and the characters.

Many times I found that upon reading a good book, I would stop and reflect and find parallels in my own experience. That's how you learn and judge. Keep the reviews coming.

Offline chin

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Re: House of Leaves
« Reply #3 on: 07 February 2010, 22:00:46 »
I just read the reviews of this book on goodreads.

Looks like people either loved it or hated it. Lots of 5-star and 1-star.  ::)