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Topic: House of Leaves

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Subject: House of Leaves
Date Posted: 9/10/2009 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2007
Posts: 5,272
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I know there are several people wishing for a copy of House of Leaves here, but I was wondering who else here has read it?  And if so, what did you think of it?   After several frustrating attempts at reading it "normally", I gave up reading it for a while and then decided to read it by the font type.  If you've seen a copy (at least the copy I have) it has multiple, multiple fonts and story lines to go along with each font.  Once I figured out to read the right font, and read the innermost story, it actually makes sense.  It's just a very confusing book, altogether.  I' m now reading the outer story, about the narrator. 

Oh, and no, I don't actually own a copy, I just remembered to look for it at the library the last time I was there.

But anyways, wow, what a book! I think I will have to give this book 5 stars just for artistic (?) creativity in creating this behemoth. 

Date Posted: 9/11/2009 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,788
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Pardonnez-moi if you know this, but the author's sister Annie is the ab-fab singer Poe -- http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=poe&x=0&y=0 -- whose outstanding album Haunted is the companion piece to House of Leaves. If you're not familiar with Poe, well, I like her.



Last Edited on: 9/12/09 2:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2007
Posts: 5,272
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I've never heard of Poe and certainly didn't know there was companion music to it.  Good grief.  Thanks for letting me know!

Date Posted: 9/11/2009 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I love Poe!  I had no idea they were related.  I haven't read House of Leaves yet but am kind of dying to - and, yes, it is on my WL :)

Date Posted: 9/11/2009 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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What is it  about? character0187.gif

Subject: Answering My Own Question
Date Posted: 9/11/2009 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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"a young family ...moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside."

 

scared0016.gif   What a great premise. Except reviews say that there is a lot of slogging to do.
 



Last Edited on: 9/11/09 3:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2009 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2007
Posts: 5,272
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Except reviews say that there is a lot of slogging to do.

There IS a lot of slogging to do.  The central story about the house, is told by a narrator narrating a (fictional) film about the house and the family.  That makes up the inner, central story.  Then, there is an outer story, about the narrator and his friends and presumably about how they found the film.  I'm still working on that part. 

There's at least two main fonts used to tell the two stories.  Both stories have a ton of commentary and critical analysis on them, also done by the same author.  There are multiple languages used in the book, including: Hebrew, French, German, Latin, Braille, and probably more than I can remember right now.  There are translations for all of the different languages, of course. 

It's just a really crazy novel that just also happens to be a work of art. 

Date Posted: 9/11/2009 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,542
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This book disturbed me for several weeks of sleepless nights.  I don't read this type of book because I am scared of the dark already.  And of couse, I only remember those parts!  It is pretty creative, haunting and yes, alittle visually hard to read.  But one of the most unique novels I have read.  I wish I hadn't given my copy away.  I bought it from quality paperback book club in the mid '90's.

Date Posted: 9/11/2009 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 387
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There was a local radio DJ who made a really big deal about this book years ago when it came out.  She had a list of things people should have while they read it, including a tape measurer and a high lighter.  Maybe I should blame it on her extreme praise of the book, but I found it a little gimmicky and a let down.  I enjoyed the story of the movie and the people actually living in the house, but the twenty something male narrator who was a screw up and hooked up with random women was not very original to me.  I wanted to be scared and disturbed, but I thought the book was a bit tedious.

Date Posted: 9/13/2009 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2005
Posts: 487
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I just gave up. It started to make me feel like I was mentally ill and couldn't follow a train of thought. Too gimmicky.

Date Posted: 9/13/2009 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
Posts: 87
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I have this book on my wishlist because I read it sometime in the early aughts and would like to read it again.  It's a novel that has its flaws, but its premise is really compelling, and it's really suspenseful in parts.  I remember thinking that the substantial denouement (post-house) didn't have much to offer.  On the other hand, it gives the reader a lot to ponder about the nature of fear and horror and hell, and I've thought about many times in the years since I've read it.


If I remember correctly, it was first released on the Internet and later found a publisher, which is pretty unusual in the way publishing usually works but something that seemed cutting-edge and the wave of the future at the time, which I think is part of what helped the book gain a cult following.  The postmodern style isn't always handled with a delicate touch, but on the other hand, it probably won't give much pause to anyone who's already a fan of postmodern fiction.  For those who don't mind spoilers, Wikipedia has a page about the book that might help those struggling with the style or who are just deciding if they'd like to read it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_leaves.

Subject: House of Leaves
Date Posted: 9/22/2009 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2009
Posts: 7
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I have it sitting on my bookcase.  I've picked up probably 3 time and got stuck each time.  I bought it right off the shelf at Book  A Million because of the format of the book.  It is really compelling to me, and although I have no finished it, I have been inspired to write a few stories in a less "normal" way.

Date Posted: 9/22/2009 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,542
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Catherine,

Your post above is a great review of the book.  Definitely a "wish I had written that". 

Pamela



Last Edited on: 9/22/09 11:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1