House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves

A blind old man, a young apprentice working in a tattoo shop, and a mad woman haunting an Ohio institute narrate this story of a family that encounters an endlessly shifting series of hallways in their new home, eventually coming face to face with the awful darkness lying at its heart.

Details House of Leaves

TitleHouse of Leaves
Release DateMar 7th, 2000
PublisherRandom House
Number of pages705 pages
GenreHorror, Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery

Reviews House of Leaves

  • Mickey
    I wish there were someway that a sigh could count as a book review.House of Leaves is a really, really damn good story. It's about a guy named Johnny Truant who finds a manuscript in a dead man's apartment. Said manuscript is entitled the Navidson Record. It's essentially a dissertation on a documentary of the same name, by and about a man named Will Navidson and his family. Navidson lives in a house that is larger on the inside than it is on the...
  • Jake Thomas
    So there's a definite cult around this book, and I am one of the many who drank the Kool-Aide and never looked back. Here's a little anecdote that speaks to the possibilities of this book:I was an RA my junior and senior years of college. One year I had a good friend of mine living in my building, and upon one of her visits to my room I put The House of Leaves in her hand, telling her that she should read it. A couple of days later I was in my ro...
  • Wil Wheaton
    If you want a really good, insightful review of House of Leaves (that I didn't write), go read this one from Aerin.If you want to read mine, here you go:House of Leaves isn't one of those tidy little things that holds your hand and wipes your bottom and tells you that you're special. It makes you work, and what you get out of it depends largely on how much work you're willing to do. House of Leaves is difficult at times, incredibly complex, occas...
  • Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
    4.5/5 stars!I plan to do a video review of this soon, so look forward to that :)
  • Shovelmonkey1
    This is not for you.... Or maybe it is. House of Leaves is not an easy book to read. It will not only challenge your ability to hold a weighty tome at numerous different angles for prolonged periods of time as you endeavour to read text which is upside down, back to front and shoots vertically or diagonally up and down the page, but it will challenge your idea of what a novel is and how a novel should be presented. Normally I like to try and keep...
  • Cloudhidden
    Looking for a spooky book to read around Halloween I was recommended this book by several others on a message board I frequent. Quite a few people mentioned its brilliance and the fear it put in them.After reading it I could not disagree more. The story is this: a family moves into a home and begins noticing physical features of their house changing. They begin to investigate, which leads to a new doorway and hall appearing where there was not on...
  • Paul Bryant
    It's like one of those very psychedelic albums from the late sixties, where they do all those funny stereo effects, and all that phasing or whatever it was called - all great fun but you still had to have good songs. As you'll know by now, "House of Leaves" has more tricks up its sleeve than you can shake Jacques Derrida at, but not enough tunes. There are two stories. One's about this, you know, uh, what can I say - house. Okay, all right, it's ...
  • April
    "This is not for you."*this will not follow the kind of reviews I usually do, so be prepared for a conglomerate of quotes, self-taken photos and annoying html text. Also this is quite long.All right so not only was I completely mind-blown by this book, I was also overjoyed with the fact that I actually had an excuse to use my page markers! (I had orange for quotes, pink for ideas/concepts/points in story, green for layout/codes and yellow for foo...
  • Fabian
    As avant garde as any novel's got the right to be. It is all about condensing and expanding the parameters of the novel, heck, of the tangible object. It makes a case of molding the form like clay-doh; a book is stationary no more... (!!!!!!!!!!)You open the book and a dissection, an exploration is made. You are the surgeon & all this takes is your time, your attention, your very personhood! Can you imagine what Borges would have made of this?"Ho...
  • Stephen M
    I think this just about sums it up:
  • Dan Porter
    I finished House of Leaves. A synopsis of the book - if such a thing were actually possible - might go something like this: This is the story of the assembly by one man, of the notes of another man, written on random bits of paper into a review of a movie - actually a documentary film - and the scholarly research spawned by the film. The film is about a house owned by the photojournalist who created the documentary. Or is it the house that owns h...
  • Aloha
    ...Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fi...
  • Sarah
    Totally infuriating. It made me feel dumb, bored, and annoyed all at once. If I want that, I'll date my first boyfriend again.
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    Find all of my reviews at: StarsAre you looking for a book with a plotline a little something like this???? If so, House of Leaves might be right up your alley.The simple synopsis (and the only one you're going to get from me) is this is the story of Will, Karen, and their dream home, told through various narrators. I read House of Leaves before I started "writing" (a/k/a imaging) reviews. I don't make a habi...
  • Matt
    “Thus despite rational objections, technology’s failure is overrun by the onslaught of myth.” – pg. 335This quote that I have taken completely out of context is probably the best one sentence summary of this book that is possible within the fractured confines of human communication, thus I will resort to the grocery list format.‘House of Leaves’ is a masterpiece of metafiction, told in “documentary” style. I will attempt to unrave...
  • Nathan
    One of the reviews I read of this book compared it positively (bewilderingly) to The Blair Witch Project. I agree, only I thought The Blair Witch project was primarily a ninety-minute gimmick, and not particularly engaging, at that. I should probably admit that I only made it 3/4ths of the way through House of Leaves before realizing that my skull appears larger from the inside than it does from outside. Every person I know who has a brain curren...
  • Maciek
    Everything has been said but not everyone has said it yet. - Rep. Morris Udall at the 1988 Democratic convention I've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that's the only way of insuring one's immortality. - James Joyce in a reply reply for a request for a plan of Ulysses The thoroughly well-informed man--that is the modern ideal. And the mind of the thoroughly wel...
  • J.S.
    More than anything, House of Leaves is pretentious. It does things against the grain just because they haven't been done before, not because they're necessarily good ideas. The book seems to take pride in trying its damnedest to give you a headache, and then expects you to like it (unless Danielewski is a sociopath, and wants people to suffer while reading this, in which case I've misinterpreted).House of Leaves gives off the impression of a mode...
  • Dan Schwent
    So, I liked House of Leaves but wouldn't call it great or brilliant. I liked the concept of a cache of papers found detailing a possibly ficticious film about a house with impossible dimensions and the maze of mind bogglingly large size in its closet. It was interesting but at its core it was a thin story propped up by gimmicks and pretentious nonsense. I understand that the informational footnotes were supposed to make it seem more real and the ...
  • Michelle
    I’m sitting here trying to review this book, and I’m coming up with nothing. I’ve been thinking about it off and on all day. At this point I’m tempted to just link to Tadpole’s excellent review and call it a day, but I really feel as though I should say something. After all, I loved this book, and I’ve never read anything like it. It’s a heavily annotated version of a heavily annotated version of a “factual” record about a famil...
  • JSou
    I finished this last night. At about 1:30 in the morning. Honestly, I have no idea how to even begin a review for this book. I kind of have the same panicky feeling I had when people would see me reading and ask what this book was about. I started blurting out incomplete sentences and even stammering all the while. I knew there was no way I could convey the brilliance of this book in just a couple light-conversational sentences. I think that migh...
  • MJ Nicholls
    Everyone’s favourite stovepipe-hatted feline-loving formal innovator arrived in 2000AD with this quiet little novella starring Stretchy Font Man, Captain Kerning and Bendy Page Gurl. Since then he has published a version of Finnegans Wake you have to “drive” and a book of blank space. I read the whole thing minus the last 30pp or so of the ‘Whalestoe Letters’—a tedious ripoffering from ‘Diary of a Madman’ with the typography Gogol...
  • Char
    House of Leaves is an experience. I've decided not to go into the plot, because it, (they?) really can't be fully explained in such a limited venue as a book review. Depending on how you look at it, there could actually be 5 different plots going on, perhaps more, and again: limited venue. After mulling it over for a few days, I find that I'm comfortable saying the following: 1. The portions of the story dealing with the house itself were my favo...
  • Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
    D is for DanielewskiRead a book that is over 500 pages long. I go wild, 'cause you break me openWild 'cause you left me hereI go wild 'cause your promises are broken. This book. Seriously.I mean, how even do you classify this book? Or review this book? Or even begin to comprehend what it's trying to say? Or do? Or be? Wild because the chips are down. Wild because there isn't anybody else around. Wild when the waves start to break. And God knows t...
  • Mona
    A Long, Strange TripTable Showing Reward/Effort Ratio for Some “Difficult” and Long Novels (Some, not all, Postmodern)Weird Book“House of Leaves” is one weird book. And I’ve read many a strange book, but this one is up there with some of the strangest.It’s technically a novel, but cross bred with a lot of other genres. I'm also at a disadvantage because I'm reviewing the book nearly two weeks after I've read it (I don't like to do thi...
  • Mungo
    Contrived and full of gimmicks. A cut and paste job using ideas from Stephen King, Bret Easton Ellis and Thomas Pynchon with a few original ideas scattered amongst the stolen property. Sure, it's pretty and an interesting mix between storytelling and graphic arts, but pretty shapes and colors can't possibly hide a weak sentence:"As I strain now to see past The Navidson Record , beyond this strange filigree of imperfection, the murmur of Zampanò'...
  • Szplug
    I understand the entire conceit of mocking the turgid, pretentious, and absurdly obfuscating styling of postmodern academia, replete with footnotes sufficient to populate a Mongol horde; I appreciate the creativity towards, and playing around with, aspects of typography and color and kerning and textual direction; I can fathom the juxtaposition of the intricate and necessary edificial entries of the Navidson exploration with the jejune, supernume...
  • Sarah
    this book is bigger on the outside than it is on the inside. too much style, too little substance. the story of the house lured me in and propelled me through to the conclusion but most of the book was filler. the excessive footnotes were distracting and annoying and added little or nothing at all to the story. as i was having to turn the book upside down and sideways and very nearly bending over backwards to read some pages, i pictured danielews...
  • David
    It is difficult for me to coherently and succinctly express my overwhelming hatred for this book - not just dislike, but absolute, overpowering disgust - but the sheer thought that people continue to naively read this and somehow leave with the impression they had just completed a masterpiece was too haunting, too shocking for me to continue sitting passively. To read House of Leaves is to witness a microcosm of the downfall of society: any sembl...