House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
What I drank prior:
Been deinkin by myself watching The Wire because I didn’t want to leave my house. I am one bottle of Pinot Noir down.
Disclaimer: I’m writing on my phone so let’s see how autocorrect does.
How do I even begin to describe this book? I think the main premise is this couple Navidson and Karen move to Virginia into this house with their two kids. Soon they notice that the fuckin house is bigger on the inside than the outside (LIKE THE TARDIS FINISH YOUR DRINK). Then a door shows up in the hallway that seems to be an endless space that has no business being in a house. Things go from there.
BUT THATS NOT ALL! Apparently, this story was ‘a documentary’ that my man Zampano, an old blind man in the 1990s got his hands on. He writes this analysis about the Navidson Record (the house story) complete with footnotes. Still with me? There’s more.
Zampano dies at the beginning of the story (not a spoiler its in the fuggin intro). Whereby my little nugget Johnny finds the manuscript. And he’s made his obsession completing the manuscript Z left unfinished. We get footnotes from him too, but they’re more like anecdotes about his life. You get to learn about a story within a story within a story essentially.
TL;DR: it’s fucking complicated.
This book fucked me up. On Goodreads, one of the questions asked “how do you read this book?” Which is totally legit, do you read the manuscript and he footnotes together? Or each individually? The answer (summed up) was “at home with the lights on and your big scary dog on the bed with you.” Sums it up nicely.
Fucked. Me. Up
Side note: This books is so complicated you can only get it I. Paperback. Not eBook, not mass market papwrback, not audio, the fuckin giant paperbacks.
Uh… how do I talk about this? So the folks in the house were great. Very well developed, and Jesus, went through more than I ever would tolerate. Zampano was neat but what I loved more what’s how much Johnny glorified him over time. Johnny… my precious precious Johnny. My heart goes out to you.
I still have nightmares and think about it all the fucking time. There’s a cult following for this book apparently…
So like Illuminae, this story is written in such a unique format. Takes some getting used to but once you figure it out it’s not that difficult. I would recommend you dedicate your full attention to it, no commutes or with the tv on.
Rating: 5/5 fucking flaming shots.
What to pair it with: Whatever fucking trips you out. For me? It’s Gin, I get weird when I drink gin…