Wednesday, June 2

A Delightful Romp Through the Postmodern Imagination

I think I really just like the word "romp." Isn't it so wonderfully giddy?

Anyway, I finished this book yesterday, called House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. If you're perceptive, you'll have noticed (Good for you!) that the word house is in blue. This is one of the many (MANY!) oddities contained within this novel. It is laid out as a nonfiction work, complete with footnotes, appendices and an index. House of Leaves, however, is a work of fiction. Most of the footnotes reference nonexistent works, and the apendixes and "exhibits" at the end of the book are half-missing. Entire passages are struck out and written in red, and the text often appears broken into segments, sometimes upside-down, sometimes diagonal.

If this sounds like a headache to read, I'm not surprised. Pages replete with bits of words removed because they were supposedly burnt away by ash? Pages missing? One word to a page? Footnotes, for crying out loud? And not just any footnotes, footnotes that DO NOT EXIST! No thanks, you may say, Leave that kind of reading to the professionals.

I gobbled it up. I have to turn the book in a different direction to read every page? Yes, please! A book within a book within a book? The more the merrier!

House of Leaves is quite possibly the most intriguing book I have ever read. The sheer amount of time and research that must have been put into making it as polished as it is astounds me. As soon as I finished it I wanted to start over from the beginning. It has layers upon layers of meaning, and I'm sure I've barely scratched the surface.

If you don't like to think too hard about the books you read, this is not the book for you. If you're in the mood for something challenging, pick this up right away! You must!

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