House of Leaves: The Remastered Full-color Edition

by Mark Z. Danielewski

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | February 29, 2000 | Trade Paperback

House of Leaves: The Remastered Full-color Edition is rated 4.625 out of 5 by 8.
Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 736 pages, 9.17 × 6.95 × 1.35 in

Published: February 29, 2000

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0375703764

ISBN - 13: 9780375703768

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from an incredible debut novel There are few pieces of art that can be said to be life changing but this novel is one of them. Every time I've reread this novel I've gained a deeper appreciation for the subtle references, the clever etymologies, and the hidden Easter eggs until I discovered that this book had it's own forums site http://www.houseofleaves.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?3-House-Of-Leaves&s=25f2b496a5df346b4788b80b63942881 where I discovered yet another deeper layer to this rich story which has inspired my project: houseofleavesblog.wordpress.com where I go through the book and pick apart the references and footnotes seeking the meta-themes and inspirations for this work.
Date published: 2012-08-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Haunting and Real I loved this book...for so many reasons. The style, the maze of stories moving throughout, the prose. It’s a beautiful book to read even though at times it can be a bit confusing and daunting. The ample amount of footnotes may at times seem annoying to work through but are essential to getting deep into the writing and the haunting tales woven in the pages. I found myself often Googling something I either read in one of these footnotes or in the main parts of the book. This book disturbed me while I was reading it and it’s still on my mind. I found myself thinking about space and darkness far more than I ever have before. I felt as though by just reaching out my hand and stepping through that I might be able to enter into the labyrinth of rooms and corridors within the HOUSE. I wanted to console Johnny Truant, I wanted to step into his mind and experience his thoughts, I wanted to protect him, I wanted him to push forward and into and onward. I question my own sanity after reading this book.
Date published: 2012-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorites. An incredibly chilling book and one of the most brilliant concepts I've ever seen in a novel, Danielewski's House of Leaves gives you a story within a story. A man rocked to the core by the power behind a novel that literally destroys his world sending him into one of the most terrifying psychological breakdowns I've ever read.
Date published: 2012-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Truly 'WTF' Book I was skeptical of reading this book. I was shall we say 'pushed' to read it by a very dear friend of mine. Reluctantly, I ordered the book while in my second year of university. Needless to say, I had my head buried in this book, instead of my text book while in lectures. The book grips you and keeps you in a state of suspense for the entire duration. It is impossible to put down, and like myself, you may be found with a highlighter and scribbling notes down on the sides of the pages, and not even really know why. A lot of people I fear will not read this book as it pushes boundaries, and is not your generic novel. However, for a change in pace, and for something a little different, go ahead, pick it up, and don't blame me when you find yourself using a mirror to figure out what is going on.
Date published: 2011-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An engrossing experience This is one of the strangest reading experiences I've ever had - not only is the book full of pages with missing print, photos, or print you have to hold up to a mirror to read, there are some passages that become near "concrete poetry." The story, which is about a man reading a document about a documentary (did you follow that?), centres around a house that seems to grow extra internal space - corridors, rooms, staircases - and once someone steps inside those extra dark spaces, they don't necessarily always come back. The various narrative layers of this book are wonderful, but in parts it is a lot like "homework" - you're digging through strange pages, strange footnotes, a few parts where the page says only "17 pages missing here, -Ed." and the like. It's good, but it's not a light reading experience. If you're a fan of noir, or paranormal with a twist of dark or gothic, give this a chance.
Date published: 2008-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from There is Nothing Like This, Anywhere. In a sentence, House of Leaves is an edit of a manuscript about a movie about a haunted house. Johnny Truant is essentially the hero of the novel, being a regular guy living off of little money in America. He finds a manuscript called The Navidson Record which was composed by the blind and recently deceased Zampano. It turns out the manuscript is written about a film or two about a retiring photographer Will Navidson who decides to settle down with his partner and their children. They buy a house on Ash Tree Lane, and as the dust jacket says “…they discover something terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.” House of Leaves is a novel that contains several appendixes, an index, cryptically coloured words such as house in blue and minotaur in red and drowns us in something as terrifying as it is intoxicating. It has check-marks in corners, pages of footnotes, and others with only several words, some pages crowded with notes taking up the side, bottom and center dedicated to footnotes. Some sections are written so your eyes glaze over the pages and other times you flip quickly through, sometimes both at the same time. By the time you’re finished, you feel liberated and free from something that was consuming you, but at the same time you are separated from something of yourself you left in those pages. It’s hard not to get through the whole thing without writing something or other in the margins. Do not read before bed.
Date published: 2007-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning, consuming, brilliant writing. This novel is unlike anything I have ever read before... instantly gripped me and still has me. One of the only books ever that I can read and re-read over again. Usually when I get a book I will read it once or twice, and not pick it up for another little while, maybe re-reading it when I'm short on books and the story's gotten a little faded in my memory; but not House of Leaves. I continue to scan the pages over and over still searching for maybe something I'm missing in all this... still hoping maybe in the back of my mind it was real. Book of a lifetime... I've read many great authors over the years, and have read many great novels. From Stephen King to Lawrence Sanders to Philip K. Dick - all the way to J.R.R. Tolkein and J.K. Rowling. But do any of them come close to Mark Z. Danielewski?... not in my mind.
Date published: 2007-07-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lose Yourself in the House, Interest Will Follow House of Leaves starts off as a beautifully mastered and poignant patchwork tale of the adventure and discovery of a most impossible and creepy House. There are also intereting characters, romantic undertones and an irritating and generally unlikable narrator. Then, about halfway though, the adventure seems to be finished and like the house itself, you get lost in tidious visual layout and seemingly irrelevant babble. You'll try and try to wade through it, wondering if there's more to the story and then before long you find you just want to give up. It makes it hard to go on... rather like the characters in the book, as a matter of fact. So the question then becomes do you just want to read a good story - or play the part and actually get involved and frustrated right along with the characters? If the answer is the former, this book is not for you. Otherwise, prepare for a long ride that is at times wonderful, and at others, excrutiatingly boring.
Date published: 2001-03-28

– More About This Product –

House of Leaves: The Remastered Full-color Edition

by Mark Z. Danielewski

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 736 pages, 9.17 × 6.95 × 1.35 in

Published: February 29, 2000

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0375703764

ISBN - 13: 9780375703768

From the Publisher

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

From the Jacket

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.
Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.
The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

About the Author

Mark Z. Danielewski was born in 1966. House of Leaves is his first novel.

From Our Editors

What started off as a bundle of paper passed amongst devoted fans and put up in snippets over the Internet has turned into novel of surreal proportions. House of Leaves is more than just words: it`s patchwork fiction. A young family moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane only to find that the place is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Mom and Dad are left to face the impossibility that their kids have wandered off into the abyss of the house`s walls. This book is the genuine article, marked up with vertical footnotes, coloured text and appendices that reveal Mark Danielewski`s creative process.

Editorial Reviews

The questions, author biography, and suggested reading that follow are intended to enhance your group’s reading and discussion of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves. We hope they will provide you with a variety of ways of thinking and talking about this truly challenging and extraordinary book.

Bookclub Guide

US

1) How did you read the book? Page by page? Zampanò’s text, then Truant’s? What was your reaction to trying to navigate through the book? Confusion? Frustration? Claustrophobia? Terror? Intrigue? How does the form of the novel affect and reflect the emotional and narrative content of the book? How does the experience of reading House of Leaves mirror the experience of the various characters in the novel? In what way (if any) does the reader (and the author, Danielewski) act as a character in the book?

2) What are we to make of Truant’s claim, made early on (p.xx), that everything we are about to read is false? —the movie does not exist, the house does not exist, even many of the references sited in the footnotes do not exist. Is there anything in the book that we know is real, and more essentially, what does “real” mean in the context of a novel / this novel? Does any one of the major characters in the novel even necessarily exist? Zampanò? Truant (the editors point out that they have never met Truant in the flesh (p.4))? Truant’s mother? Navidson? And if the contents of Zampanò’s scrapbook are false, why would any one of the characters imagine not only the documentary The Navidson Record but create fictional evidence, scholarship and commentary of that documentary? How is the answer different when this question is applied to Danielewski, the actual author of House of Leaves?

3) Is House of Leaves a horror story? In what ways does the novel fit the genre? It what ways does it subvert the conventions of the genre? What is the horror in House of Leaves? Can you make an equally persuasive argument that House of Leaves is in fact a love story?

4) Asked to briefly describe House of Leaves, Danielewski has said in an interview that he “likes to look at House of Leaves as a three-character play: a blind old man, a young man, and a very special, extraordinarily gifted woman.” Who is the “extraordinarily gifted woman” in the novel? What are her gifts? Is her role truly as central as the obviously integral roles played by the “blind old man” and the “young man”?

5) Describe Will Navidson as a husband; a father; a brother. “Why did Navidson go back to the house” (p.385)? In what ways do relations change within the Navidson family over the course of The Navidson Record? How does the house affect these relationships? How do these relationships affect the house?

6) Why does Johnny Truant become so consumed by Zampanò’s manuscript? What in particular enthralls him so much – the house? The Navidson Record? The manuscript itself?

7) The myth of Theseus and the Minotaur is referenced frequently throughout the book both explicitly and implicitly. In fact, Zampanò has attempted to obliterate all references to Minos and the Minotaur within the text. Truant meanwhile tries to “resurrect” most of these passages (p.111) and later dreams that he is a Minotaur hunted by a drunken frat boy (p.403-406). What is the significance of the Minotaur to the novel? Why does Zampanò cross out all references? And why does Truant then reconstruct them? Another element of the Theseus myth that features prominently is the labyrinth. How does the labyrinth function in the myth? In House of Leaves?

8) One of the major elements of the book’s layout is the use of different fonts. What fonts are used and how are they significant? For instance, Johhny’s text appears in Courier—in what way does Johhny himself act as a “courier”?

9) On page 320, Zampanò appears to have written a typo—“He (Tom) might have spent all night drinking had exhaustion not caught up with me.” Should the “me” be “him”? Why doesn’t Truant point this out as a typo, or is this another one of Truant’s “additions” to The Navidson Record? Is it possible that Zampanò was actually a member of the Navidson family?

10) What are some of the ways that the novel defines and explores the concept of space? In what ways is this concept distorted? How does space change physically, in the house; literally, in the layout of the novel itself; and psychically, in the minds of the characters and between the characters? How do these various spatial changes relate to each other?

11) What does it mean for something to be bigger on the inside than out? Is the Navidson’s house the only thing in the book that can be described that way? Can the novel itself be described that way?

12) Much of the scholarship and commentary on The Navidson Record notes the vaginal quality of the house (for example, the footnote on page 358). In what ways is the house vaginal and/or feminine? How does the consumptive femininity of the house relate to Truant’s (and Navidson’s) dysfunctional relations with the opposite sex? And how are the various female characters throughout the novel presented? Is the novel full of strong women or exploited women? Or both?

13) What are we to make of the death of the baby on pages 518-521, which is the last time we hear from Truant and the only time Truant tells us anything completely in third person? How does this story relate to the Minotaur? Whose baby is it? Could the baby be Truant? What does the passage suggest about Truant’s mother locked away inside “The Whale”?

14) What can we tell about Truant’s relationship with his insane mother, Pelefina Heather Lievre, especially from looking at the Whalestoe Institute Letters? Does she have any relationship to Zampanò? Navidson? Karen? On page 615, one can read the encoded line: “Dear Zampanò, Who did you lose?” This is found in the passage that follows if you take the first letter of each word, spelling “&:” as “and”: …destroyed. Endless arrangements—re: Zealous accommodations, medical prescriptions, & needless other wonders, however obvious—debilitating in deed; you ought understand—letting occur such evil?” Who did Zampanò lose? Why would Truant’s mother ask?

15) How does Johnny’s story end? What is Johnny’s mental state as the book comes to a close? Is the end of Johnny’s story the end of the novel’s story?

16) One of the centerpieces of the novel is a film, and Danielewski has said that film and film criticism were a (if not, the) major influence on the writing of the novel. In what ways would you describe the book as “cinematic”? How is the language of film (high angle, low angle, jump cut, pan, etc.) used in the text and reflected in the scenes chosen and in the layout? Going further, the novel contains references to the work of Fellini (for example, Zampanò shares his name with a character in the film, La Strada). What are the film allusions in the book and how do they inform the story?

17) Danielewski’s sister is the rock singer POE and her album, Haunted, serves, in many ways, as a companion piece to House of Leaves (and vice versa). How do the album and the novel echo, mirror, and distort each other? How does the song “5-Minute Hallway” reflect the themes in the book? How about the two versions of “Hey Pretty”?

18) Danielewski originally self-published House of Leaves on the Internet. In what ways does the novel comment on the Internet and the “information age”? The novel has been called the “first major experimental novel of the new millennium.” In what ways is the novel a product of its times and a comment on its times?

19) The House of Leaves has been published in various editions, including the web edition, the US hardcover, the US softcover, the UK edition, etc. These editions have been different in a number of ways (see “A Note On This Edition” on the copyright page for descriptions of some of these differences). What does the existence of these various editions suggest? More specifically, what do their variations mean?

20) What is the significance of the blue type in the book? In what various ways and to what effect is the blue type used? Why “blue”? And very specifically, why does the word “house” always appear in blue?

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