Mark Danielewski
Pantheon, London, 2000, English
ISBN: 9780375420528

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.

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Warren Lehrer

Like a Russian Matryoshka doll, this “experimental” novel contains a novel within a novel. It includes an account of a film; has extensive footnotes; and is set in four typefaces that distinguish the four narratives, which are juxtaposed in different columns that sometimes bend at 90-degree angles around the page. It is printed in three colors (or two or one, depending on the edition you have), and was first published as an online novel. Dizzy yet? This is a book people either love madly, or find infuriating, or buy because they like the way it looks, but never read. Once you’re ten pages in, I think it’s hard not to keep reading—because you really want to know what happens next; also the typography helps keep the pace moving. The book is Stephen King spooky too, as much as it also aspires to be Nabokov and David Foster Wallace. The best of House of Leaves revolves around the film narrative of a house that turns out to be bigger on the inside than the outside. Readers, beware the labyrinth within.

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