Exploring the House of Leaves

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

I have to admit, when I first started to read “The House of Leaves”,I thought it was gonna be another boring novel that I had to read for a English class grade.  But as I keep reading this book, I am actually getting more and more anxious to find out what is going to happen next.  Navidson and the gang continue to explore the mystery of the house.  Also, as you go further into the book, you begin to realize that Navidson’s brother Tom seems like a big, slow, junkie punk.  I mean, all this guy does is smoke and talk to himself!  Every time Navidson told him to do something he would either get scared and not do it, or do the complete opposite.

“What kind of house do you got here anyway?  No lights, no central heating, not even any plumbing!  I’ve been shitting in a corner and pissing on a wall for two days.”  But he still is pretty funny.

As Reston, Wax, Jed, and Navidson go down the stairs to look for figure out what is making the mysterious house, Tom decides to stay behind like a coward and also a dummy because now he is by himself.  When the rest of the gang starts to head out, things get really scary.  They have to make their way through this maze of a house and suddenly they start hearing a crying noise like someone else is there.  As they approach the door they hear it coming from, they begin to get shot at by someone, but all they could really see was a silhouette of a man holding a rifle gun.  When this happens, Jed dies and Wax get shot and wounded and he eventually dies as well.

Now if this were to happen nowadays, I don’t know how many people (grown men) would actually would actually take the initiative to search this massive, spooky, neverseemstoend house because I know like hell I wouldn’t.

As they approach the bottom of the staircase, Reston an Navy try to haul the bodies of Jed and Wax up by some rope and from the beginning everything looks to be going well.  But then as they lift Reston up to the top, the staircase begins to expand, and it takes Navy on a ride along with it and that is where the story leaves off.

Does anybody want to share what they believe will happen next?  If so, please leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading, I’m outta here.


  1. O-MAR-GOSH says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing when I got the novel. I was like shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! It looks like the size of one of those damn Harry Potter books. And, I’m with you with the Tom thing. I think he’s mad funny. He’s the funniest guy in the book so far besides Johnny Truant.
    What’s going to happen next is that everyone will move away besides Navidson: Tom will go back home, Wax will recover and head back to his place, Reston will leave, and even Karen will leave to New York with the kids. This will leave Navidson by himself with the darkness. I’m not sure if the darkness will spread from the hallway or if it will die away. Either way, I have a really strong feeling that the book will leave off with a major twist occurring. Something completely unexpected and unpredictable.

    • Check out this page: http://www.amazon.com/House-Leaves-Mark-Z-Danielewski/dp/sitb-next/0375703764/ref=sbx_txt#textstats

      It’s got various data about the text of *House of Leaves*. The book has 994,457 characters, 163,111 words. There’s a lot more data on the page. Amazon has this sort of data for a lot of its books. For example, compare with *Moby Dick*: 1,197,878 characters, 209,117 words. An interesting thing about *House of Leaves* is that we don’t necessarily read a huge number of the characters/words. So, what seems like a very very long book with almost as many words as *Moby Dick* ends up becoming a relatively fast read. On the other hand, there are lots of words in the book (and in *Moby Dick*, for that matter, that we end up puzzling over, looking at for much longer than it takes us to just read them).

  2. Brandon, have to say that I loved your invented word/phrase: “neverseemstoend”. Brilliant. I love how the word itself does what it’s describing, never seems to end. It seems like reading this book is getting you to experiment with the way you write, getting you to construct sentences in new ways, etc. That sort of experimenting, especially in an environment that encourages it, can really help you grow as a writer. Also, I’m glad you’re getting into the book more and more. I find that it really takes a turn around p. 153, as the action builds, and the diminishing text on each page encourages you to flip through faster and faster.

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