[Book Review] House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

house of leaves

House of Leaves is interesting. It essentially follows three narratives. One , the subject of the novel (per say) which is The Navidson Record and it’s house on Ashe Tree Lane. Two, Zampano, as the author of the the writing. Three, Johnny Truant and his stories and his time assembling the notes left by Zampano.

The amount of layering in this novel is actually quite incredible to me. The novel is definitely not easy. The main body of text is sometimes all over the place, leaving an eerie and haunting feeling. The footnotes are extensive, sometimes making you follow two narratives at the same time.

But, the effort is definitely worth it in the end.

At the heart of the tale, House of Leaves is a love story. There’s Navy and Karen, Johnny and Thumper, but it is also one that is scary. The house on Ash Tree Lane provides us with many creepy instances, brought along by the skill of the author and the text placement, at times leaving you feeling claustrophobic.

Despite taking me a long time to get through House of Leaves, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and found in the instances I was reading it, I couldn’t put it down (despite the heavy weight of the novel!). I would definitely recommend it purely based on the interesting structure of the novel.

From reading upside down to back to front, House of Leaves left me waiting to see what twists and turns followed on the next page. I loved it! Have you read House of Leaves? Let me know what you thought!

 

House of Leaves was one of our book club books for October. You can find my partial review of the novel here

[Book Review] The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

the haunting of hill house

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is a classic horror novel. Following the story of four adults as they plan to spend the summer in reclusive and unmentionable Hill House, the occupants soon learn the reason why no one goes there.

Despite the novel being published originally in 1959, I have not yet read it, but it has always been a book I’ve wanted to read.

The novel lives up to its hype, and is truly scary. I found there were moments where Jackson’s writing got under my skin and left me scared, leading me to put the novel down for the moment to calm down. It has been a long time since I’ve read a novel that’s affected me in such a way.

The writing style of the novel is interesting, at times there are more than one conversation going on, particularly when it comes to Mrs Dudley, as she parrots back her rules whilst other characters talk around her. It gives the sections a feeling of her not being there, adding to the haunting element of the tale.

Eleanor is also an interesting character, especially as she begins to ‘feel’ the house and gives the house an almost lifelike description.

This book is definitely one I would recommend for those who are interested in a good scary story. Shirley Jackson crafts a ghost story that gets under your skin and wanting to read more despite the fear you’re feeling.