Egads and also? Snore. I know you need to read books taking into account the era in which they were written but ohhhhhhhhhhhh Johnny Truant, with your drugs and your tattoo-parloring and your infatuations with strippers named Thumper, you have got a serious case of the 1999s. You are the proto-hipster-douchebag.
Ok so, the ‘basis’ of House of Leaves is a (non-existant) film called The Navidson Record, which documents the horrors of a young family who move into a house THAT PROMPTLY TRIES TO KEEEEL THEM. Guys, nothing is more frightening than a house that is trying to keeeel you. Houses are supposed to protect you from being keeeelt. Obviously, this book is not a film. It is a ‘scholarly analysis’ of that film, which said scholarly analysis then torments its reader, Truant. I know, right? Layers. (Maybe I clarify? Navidson [who may or may not exist] makes Navidson Record [which definitely does not exist]; Zampano writes analysis of film [which, you may recall, does not exist] and then promptly dies so that no one can be like, wtf, man? This film does not exist! Truant finds aforementioned analysis, reads, loses mind.)
And so but while the book is not a film, it…moves. The house in the film manifests sudden hallways that slide around when your back is turned, and then suddenly the text starts shifting. Not, you know, on the page, but from page to page. And there is a tunnel? Through the pages? It is super-freaky shit, guys, especially if it is 2 am and why is your closet door open.
And I know this misses most of the point (the point being bla bla satire blah), but by the mid-way mark I was only interested in The Navidson Record itself. Zampono’s analyses were hit and miss, interesting-wise, but Johnny Truant broke my brain-camel’s back. You think I care about your drug trips and fist fights and descents into madness? Ha! It is to laugh. This is where I get all 2010 because this was probably edgy and raw and fraught with grit in its time, but now reads like hopeless teen angst. However, said rambly bits certainly served to increase DRAMATIC TENSION because Zampono would be all, And that’s when Karen screams, and then Truant is like, WORDS WORDS WORDS and I pull out my skimming goggles and try to get to the bit after the screaming.
Two books in one! But one of them is rubbish. But there are pictures! But there is also poetry. Oh and this is probably also important: bits of this were released on the intarsphere before the book itself was released, giving it a Snakes-on-a-Plane-esque cult following. ALSO, there are footnotes, and some of the footnotes have footnotes. Like Infinite Jest only less eerily winsome.
Hrm hem…eight caterpillars for the Navidson bits and two for the Truants, so five on the average.