House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski – A Book I DNF’d that I wish I hadn’t.
I have plenty of books that I have started and not finished in my book shelves. I’m a visual person, so I tend to see a book that looks good but upon reading it’s not really what I wanted. Or it’s a slow start and I have a hard time with those. But this is a book that, my now husband, recommended to me and I purchased because of his praise. We have two copies, sitting on our shelf next to each other. Mine is obvious as the one with the ridiculous headband for a bookmark.
It isn’t that the book is bad, or that it’s not an interesting plot. In fact, it’s a really awesome plot idea. It’s not poorly written or anything like that, and it’s kind of like an inception of a book which is super cool, so why did I put it down? Let’s get into it!
Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of ‘not knowing.Mark Z. Danielewski – House of Leaves
House of Leaves is a book with layers, it’s main story is of a family that bought a house and found a secret room in it and tried to figure out how it could have this room when it’s not in any of the blue prints. It’s got kind of a supernatural feel and obviously I don’t know how that goes but it was interesting as they investigated what was going on in their house. It’s kind of a found footage type of thing, so there are pictures in there as well.
The husband and wife were two people that you couldn’t quite tell if they were really happy with each other, so the added mystery of this room made their marriage tense. It’s been so long since I picked this up though so that could have just been a misinterpretation of that.
The second story, is about the man that wrote a book on the house, and the family. Who has footnotes on different parts of the book as you go along, you don’t know much about him until you see that there is a third story about the man, that knew the man that wrote the book and took over putting the book together. There is footnotes that extend and sometimes I think that made things confusing because I would read the footnotes story but have to go back to read the actual book as well.
The footnotes stop talking about the house or the couple, and talk about the man that book the book together, or about the other man that somehow finished it. It’s such a cool idea, and one that I don’t think I’ve ever come across in another book.
The last time I touched this book was over seven years ago. I bought it before my husband and I moved in together, read it for a bit after he moved in and then life just got in the way. But also I think my head couldn’t wrap itself around this book. It’s got a complexity that I want to love, and understand but also it’s a bit much. Or at least it was at the time. So now it sits next to it’s read copy, with it’s pink headband book mark at about half way.
There is a part of me that wants to pick it up again, wants to pull that ridiculous bookmark away and start from the beginning. I don’t know if I will but I’d like to think that I would. It’s with so many others, bought and unread. I’m terrible at that, I have books everywhere that I either haven’t even opened, started and didn’t like, or started and just got so busy that I kind of forgot about it. After awhile you kind of can’t continue a book that you’ve put down for so long.
Have you read House of Leaves? What did you think of it? Should I give it another go? Let me know! I’d love to read your comments!!