House Of LeavesEdit
House Of Leaves is the first novel by American Novelist Mark Z. Danielewski and published by Pantheon Books. The release of the book had been gradual, with pieces of scraps in no apparent order distributed over the internet until a full release in book form which happened on March 7th, 2000.
The book itself is a critique of academic literature, or satire of such. Most of the story is told between 4 characters, alternating in the narrative by different fonts. This is the main clue to the reader that the perspective, or area of study, has shifted. Most of the story takes place in footnotes, some of which are real and some that are not. There are also footnotes of footnotes of footnotes. This style can quickly become convoluted to the novice reader. Most character's stories intertwine to some degree. An example would be a main character who found some research about another main character or piece of literature (The Navidson Record), through another main character.
In its' paradoxical writing style the reader will find pages with words that are upside down or words that need to be read in a mirror to understand. This writing style often reflects what is happening to the characters in the story so that senses of claustrophobia or urgency are elevated out into the reader's realm as they search for the next word to read which parallels in the story for example, a main character frantically searching for a door or an exit.
The main part of the story, but not the part with the most information, centers around Johnny Truant being invited to check out a new apartment with his friend Lude. The previous owner of the apartment had died, leaving behind an old chest full of odd writings, art, and objects. The entirety of the apartment is also a living embodiment of art itself with carvings and words written on the walls, vents and windows sealed shut, and piles of books in the refrigerator. Johnny decides to take this material home and sort through it which inevitably leads him to his discovery of the Navidson Record, the next major element of the story. As he begins to read more and more, Johnny stops bathing, eating, doing more amounts of hard drugs, and distancing himself from anyone who ever knew or cared about him. He becomes the findings. He also feels that he can bring to himself a sense of relief if and when, he can arrange/complete the body of work that he has stumbled upon.