August 25, 2012

House of Leaves: Book Nook

This little treasure was recommended to me by a college friend, and let me tell you- it's something else. House of Leaves was written by Mark Z. Danielewski. Very interesting, particularly because of the way it's put together. You follow two stories- the story of the narrator and the story of the House. Well, of the people in the House.

 I don't want to give too much away, but it's a truly thrilling and engaging read. It's also a little mind bending. Not just because of the duel story lines, but also because of the fantastic subject and the way it's laid out. You'll read this book sideways and upside down- literally. It's a big book, but there are endless footnotes and endnotes.

The endless source citations are fascinating for a number of reasons. First, the book is entirely fictional, so many of the sources are entirely made up. Coupled with my background in English, this was completely hilarious. It made a complete mockery of every academic paper I ever wrote.

But, it also shows how easy it is to make something seem completely substantiated. Just having the footnotes gives a serious weightiness to the words. It doesn't even matter many of them are fake. We're trained to trust footnotes without ever looking them up. It's a really interesting critique.

You can't find it as an eBook because of the formatting, so you'll have to read it the old fashioned way. I must caution you not to drink alcohol while reading this book. It'll freak you out if you're intoxicated. Honestly, it will probably freak you out even if you're sober and just reading it in the dark. I wouldn't call it horror, so much as suspense, although it has elements of both.

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