House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski — House of Leaves was Inception before Inception was Inception. As a first person narrative of an academic critique of a documentary film that may or may not even exist, this 709-page tome is a complex monster of a book. Footnotes within footnotes à la David Foster Wallace, typographical tricks mimicking the schizoid state of the narrator, polaroids, poems, made-up quotes, and landmines, both expected and unexpected, this cult classic is impossible to describe. In fact, the only thing that comes close is Amazon’s classification: “Had the Blair Witch Project been a book, written by 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.” It’s a book aware of itself as a book, as it depicts a house aware of itself as a house. As Danielewski warns readers on the first page, “This is not for you,” somehow, these words ring true. Conservative readers may be wary of holding their book upside down in a mirror to read the print (don’t worry, this section doesn’t last long), but anyone who finishes this dense beast will sigh with appreciation, catching the love story to be found amidst this horror novel.
Original Author: Sun Staff