house of leaves

Because some of us can read.

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jute gyte
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house of leaves

Postby jute gyte » Wed Oct 20, 2004 12:02 pm

this is one of the finest books i have ever had the pleasure of reading, and i read a lot of books. anyone else read it? amazon's description doesn't really do it justice, but it's a start:

"Had The Blair Witch Project been a book instead of a film, and had it been written by, say, Nabokov at his most playful, revised by Stephen King at his most cerebral, and typeset by the futurist editors of Blast at their most avant-garde, the result might have been something like House of Leaves. Mark Z. Danielewski's first novel has a lot going on: notably the discovery of a pseudoacademic monograph called The Navidson Record, written by a blind man named Zampanò, about a nonexistent documentary film--which itself is about a photojournalist who finds a house that has supernatural, surreal qualities. (The inner dimensions, for example, are measurably larger than the outer ones.) In addition to this Russian-doll layering of narrators, Danielewski packs in poems, scientific lists, collages, Polaroids, appendices of fake correspondence and "various quotes," single lines of prose placed any which way on the page, crossed-out passages, and so on."
"I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder." - Werner Herzog
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Postby Generic » Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:07 pm

I'll check it out, thanks.

(my list is like thirty books long, but my intentions are good. 8) )
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Postby Niveous » Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:03 am

Poe's "Haunted" is my absolute favorite album. I desperately need to read "House of Leaves" so I have the complete experience.
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Postby jute gyte » Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:09 pm

Niveous wrote:Poe's "Haunted" is my absolute favorite album. I desperately need to read "House of Leaves" so I have the complete experience.


i tried "haunted" out, but it didn't do as much for me as i had hoped. it's still pretty cool though. i think you would definitely appreciate the book if that's your favorite album.
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Postby Generic » Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:39 pm

What do they have to do with one another?
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Postby Niveous » Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:50 pm

Poe is Mark Z. Danielewski's sister. One day while cleaning out their parents house, they found a box full of tapes. They were recordings that their late father had made. For years, both of them had had issues with their father, as can be seen on Poe's first album "Hello". Upon finding the tapes, they were overcome with new emotions and inspiration. Mark wrote "House of Leaves". Poe made "Haunted" which includes many of the recordings her dad had made. It was their way of finally finding closure.
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Postby jute gyte » Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:56 pm

also, mark z. danielewski spent a whole fucking decade writing it.
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Postby Niveous » Thu Oct 21, 2004 6:41 pm

Hmmm, I wonder.

Jute, since you read the book, do you feel there's a point where the flow of the book shifts? Is the epiphany that the Danielewskis had something you can sense in the book?
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Postby Heather. Redmon. » Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:57 pm

I read most of the book, but it was really starting to get to me and drive me slightly insane. It is such an awesome book, but I got up to the part where the print was upside down, backwords and crazy. I want to finish it, but I feel I should really start over again now that I fully understand what I'm in for. I recommend it, it is creepy and facinating. I'm not doing it any justice, but pick it up and you might not put it down, it's nearly all I thought about while I was reading it.
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Postby jute gyte » Fri Oct 22, 2004 6:59 am

Niveous wrote:Hmmm, I wonder.

Jute, since you read the book, do you feel there's a point where the flow of the book shifts? Is the epiphany that the Danielewskis had something you can sense in the book?


not really. the epiphany kind of IS the book. one of the main story layers is about a documentary filmmaker and the detachment from his family that his passion for film causes, something that the danielewskis understand very well.
heather readmon has given a very fine review of the book. it really is pretty consuming. it's also one of the saddest and most disturbing things ever. and if any of you ever do finish it, you can go to http://www.houseofleaves.com for some interesting analysis (with spoilers galore, of course, so don't go there unless you've read the thing).
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Postby Niveous » Fri Oct 22, 2004 7:50 am

You've got me sold. That's birthday gift #1.
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Postby thehipcola » Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:34 pm

I'm sold. I have, this evening, picked up the book. I have also visited the website, but refrained from reading anything other than the suggested soundtracks thread, no need for spoilage.

Jute, thanks for this. I haven't been this excited about reading something in a long, long while...


I'll report back from the asylum....after I buy a copy of "Haunted"...
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Postby Poor June » Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:46 pm

hmmm... i think i'd be hoping for too much to think it could be at a library O_o...

i'd love to get it... but sadly enough i don't have money to throw around... it sounds compelling from what i've heard so far
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Postby thehipcola » Sat Oct 23, 2004 4:09 pm

'k. got the book. got the album (Haunted)..I"m set.

I was hopin' the album would be more nasty and dark..but I like it nonetheless.

I am soooo looking forward to this.... I might have to stop reading other stuff for awhile...

Here's a ?, do you guys read multiple books at the same time? How many? When I was bus ridin' it everywhere, I think my best..hmm... I had 3 goin' on...., but now, with car, I can only keep 1 happening at a time....

Ahh the good ol' days...
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Postby Generic » Sat Oct 23, 2004 7:49 pm

I tend to peak productivity when I'm reading two or three different books of different genres (one novel, one short story collection, one book of poetry).
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Postby jute gyte » Sun Oct 24, 2004 6:05 pm

Peaks In Valleys wrote:I was hopin' the album would be more nasty and dark..but I like it nonetheless.

I am soooo looking forward to this.... I might have to stop reading other stuff for awhile...

Here's a ?, do you guys read multiple books at the same time? How many? When I was bus ridin' it everywhere, I think my best..hmm... I had 3 goin' on...., but now, with car, I can only keep 1 happening at a time....

Ahh the good ol' days...


that was my reaction to the album as well. rest assured, the book is dark as fuck. i usually focus on one book at a time, but read it very quickly. there have been weeks when i read a book a day. stuff like house of leaves takes more time, due to the overall density. glad you picked up the book.
"I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder." - Werner Herzog

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Postby thehipcola » Fri Oct 29, 2004 6:49 am

have ordered an album by a heavier band called Johnny Truant...wonder what the connection is...

And, thinking it's pretty cool that the book ends on Hallowe'en, and if I finish my other book on time, that's about when I'm gonna start this book.

I am psyched. :evil:
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Postby jute gyte » Fri Oct 29, 2004 9:15 am

i've read good reviews of their stuff, and they're mentioned on the house of leaves message board. it sounds pretty interesting. let me know how it is.
"I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder." - Werner Herzog

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Postby thehipcola » Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:13 am

heh. That's where I read about it. Had a bitch of a time finding a sample anywhere that worked, but finally heard some, pretty good stuff. A little heavy on the death-metal screaming, but musical. Well played enough that I bought it. Should be here soon, coming from Engerland...
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Postby thehipcola » Sat Dec 04, 2004 10:10 am

update: this book is one of the most intense reads I've had. Very slow going, half the book are foot notes, some that you need to chase up, some not...the russian nested doll analogy is definitely appropriate.

awesome awesome awesome!
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Postby thehipcola » Wed Jan 05, 2005 11:51 am

awright.

I just would like to announce that I'm DONE!

so...what to tell...this book is, umm.... mental. It's a real mindfuck of a book. I've never read anything like this before. It's wonderful and disturbing at once. The characters are all very well developed. The three seperate story lines work very well together. The description of Nested Russian Dollls is incredibly apt.

I considered doing a review of it, but I think I'd fall way short of the mark. This is a must read for people who love the experience of immersive reading. If you have an IMAX in your mind's eye, you have to read this book...it's very visual. It would make an awesome movie. About a guy who edits a dead mysterious guy's manuscript about another guy's documentary about his WACKY house. (think I got that right...)

I will read it again. I suspect there is alot more there to glean on another pass through...like the endless footnoting and references that go on and on...

Though, I suspect that the reason the book is so convincing is because of the attention and effort put into making it seem well researched and documented.....part of the show.

Anyhow...I hope some of you take the plunge and get into this book...you will NOT regret it.

Thanks again JuteGyte!
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Postby thehipcola » Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:07 am

Just sayin' that some of you ought to read this book.

Just sayin'.

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