VikLit's weekly hop, Celebrate The Small Things. (click on the pic to the left for a complete list of participants) Here's what I'm celebrating this week:
—Reading a good book. I'm about half way through Tara Tyler's Pop Travel and I'm enjoying it immensely. I have no desire to experience Pop Travel myself, but I am desperate to know...who's taking care of Audrey's German Shepherd?!?
—Family time. I spent an entertaining afternoon with my niece talking about fairies, ghosts, and blast-ended skrewts while shopping for notebooks and pens. And I'll be spending today with my brother and sister-in-law. Not sure what we'll be doing yet, but there will be lots of laughter, and that's all that matters.
—Speaking of laughter, I'm celebrating The World's End. This is one seriously funny movie, and I laughed a lot during it. My favorite line is probably "What the fuck does WTF mean?"
The Armchair Squid's The Cephalpod Coffeehouse (click on the pic to the right for a complete list of participants) where participants share a favorite book that they've read over the month.
My selection for this month is probably the strangest book I think I've ever read. It's called House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.
This is what Goodreads has to say about it:
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.
So, what this blurb doesn't mention is that this is a story in a story in a story. (And none of which, in my opinion, was all that terrifying. But, to each their own.) At the first level is Johnny Truant who finds a manuscript written by (2nd level) the recently deceased Zampano, a blind man who had been dictating the story (3rd level) of the Navidson family and their creepy house to a group of volunteers. Zampano's story of the Navidson family is written like a critical analysis of a film, including an insane number of footnotes noting sources (none of which, you know, actually exist because the Navidson movie is made up). Then there are Johnny's footnotes which often times last for pages and only occasionally have to do with what you were reading about in the first place.
And then the book gets really weird. Not story-wise, really, but the way you have to read it. You have to hold the book upside down and sideways. You have to occasionally read at an angle. And backwards. Sections are blacked out. There's text in French and German and Russian and Italian and Latin. Some pages look like this:
And there's one page which describes Navidson climbing a ladder. The text takes on the form a ladder and you have to read right to left in order to understand what's going on.
But...it's a cool book. It's very well-written. I'm impressed with the quality of the writing. I was annoyed by a few things at the beginning (Johnny's first two paged footnote, for example), and didn't think I'd be telling y'all how great it is, but it's a cool book. It's definitely an experience, and I'm glad my significant other told me about it so I could track down a copy and take it on.
Also a cool note is that the singer, Poe, has an album called Haunted that was inspired by this novel. (Apparently, she and Danielewki are siblings). But the last thing I'm going to leave you with today is this XKCD comic also inspired by House of Leaves
Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend, all.