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House of Leaves Book Club (Feb 26-May 31)

Discussion in 'Entertainment Forum' started by Joel, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Joel Feb 14, 2018
    (Last edited: Mar 27, 2018)

    Trusted Prestigious


    There is an official reading group overseen by the author happening on facebook, but the sheer number of people participating will likely obscure a lot of the analysis so I'm going to try and host one here for anybody interested. I will be updating the reading schedule closer to the start date and posting/pasting any valuable insights from the facebook group to make it easier to keep track and have a more intimate discussion.

    Whether you've read the book before, are aware of it but was too intimidated to start or maybe have never heard of it before, please join us!. As somebody who has read it three times, it still haunts me and I know there is still plenty to be discovered within it's labyrinthine pages. Through multiple narratives woven together using image and text, it upends the very idea of a what a novel can do.

    1) Feb. 26 - March 2
    Front matter and back cover. Dedication. Flap copy.

    2) March 3 - March 10
    This is not for You: Johnny Truant Introduction (pp. xi-xxiii)

    3) March 11 - 17
    Navidson Record Chapters I - IV (pp. 3-40)

    4) March 18 - 24
    Echos: Navidson Record Chapters V - VII (pp. 41-96)

    5) March 25 - 31
    SOS in the Labyrinth: Navidson Record Chapters VIII - IX (pp. 97-152)

    6) April 1 - 7
    Rescues: Navidson Record Chapters X - XI (pp. 153-274)

    7) April 8 - 14
    The Minotaur: Navidson Record Chapters XII - XIII (pp. 275-346)

    8) April 15 - 21
    House of Leaves and Haunted

    9) April 22 - 28
    Karen: Navidson Record Chapters XIV - XVII (pp. 347-407)

    10) April 29 - May 5
    House of Leaves: Navidson Record Chapter XVIII - XX (pp. 408-490)

    11) May 6 - 12
    A Strange Light: Navidson Record Chapters XXI - XXIII (pp. 491-528)

    12) May 13 - 19
    Exhibits One and Appendix I (pp. 529-566)

    13) May 20 - 26
    Appendix II (pp. 567-656)

    14) May 27 - June 2
    Academic criticism

    15) June 3 - 10
    Appendix III (pp. 657-709)

    16) June 11 - 16
    Other books and related work

    17) June 17 - 22

    Facebook Q&As with MZD on March 31st, April 28th and May 26th. I'll copy over stuff of interest from those in here.
  2. tucah

    not champ Prestigious

    been a long time since i've read it, this should be fun
    Joel and Joe4th like this.
  3. matthaber

    beautiful and chequered, the end


    Im reading house of leaves,
    by mark z danielewski
    suggested by a friend
    its kind of fucked up, i like it
    Joel likes this.
  4. Joe4th

    Memories are nice, but that's all they are. Prestigious

    I'm in! I've never gotten further then 3 chapters in, and I really want to finish it this time.
    matthaber and Joel like this.
  5. Joel

    Trusted Prestigious

    Snowing references are always welcome
    matthaber likes this.
  6. Joel

    Trusted Prestigious

    Also: three months is a pretty long time so I'm guessing the sections won't be very demanding, but if you're worried about staying on track don't be! Those are just guidelines and it's totally cool if you fall behind/can't keep up for whatever reason. The more the merrier.
    Joe4th likes this.
  7. I'm really looking forward to this. It's my all time favorite book, and I think this will be my fourth time reading it. It's definitely a fun one to discuss - my favorite class in college was an avant garde fiction course that spent almost a month on House of Leaves.

    I even named one of my bands after it.
    Joe4th likes this.
  8. Joel

    Trusted Prestigious

    Holy shit that is so cool and now I want to talk about Pelafina but that will have to wait. I'm not very smart and just want to facilitate more than anything, but I'm really curious if you have some cool stuff to add from the course you took. Also: the art for Skin must be somewhat related, yeah?
  9. It's just the stairwell of my old apartment complex, but I definitely took the picture thinking the vibe would fit with the band name for anyone who had read the book. It's always fun when someone sees the band name and the font we use and the specific shade of blue we put on on our shirts and makes the connection to the book.

    I'll have to dig up my notes and papers from that class. I know I saved everything because it was easily the best school experience I had - a spectacular professor who was really great at leading discussions and picking out interesting material, and a small, smart, and engaged class.
    Joel likes this.
  10. stayillogical

    Kayak, deed, rotator, noon, racecar, Woo Young-woo Prestigious

    This sounds really cool, I'm in. Will we keep it spoiler free for people like myself that have never read it before?
    Joel likes this.
  11. Joel Feb 14, 2018
    (Last edited: Feb 14, 2018)

    Trusted Prestigious

    Of course, I plan on coming at it with fresh eyes as I haven't read it in a while.
    A couple of us have been pretty engaged with his newer series but any allusions/connections we spot will be spoiler tagged.
  12. awakeohsleeper

    I do not exist.

    Not read this... will see if I can pick it up before it begins. I seem to remember someone saying that you need to read the physical copy rather than an ebook version... is that true?
    Joel likes this.
  13. I’ve never seen an ebook version of this but I feel pretty comfortable saying that certain aspects of the book would have less of effect in ebook format. It probably wouldn’t be downright impossible to read on a tablet, but if there’s any way you can get your hands on a physical copy, definitely do.
  14. awakeohsleeper

    I do not exist.

    You're right - there isn't an ebook format. Weird, I felt sure I'd read a review that said don't buy a certain version as it's not very good! Are there different editions of the physical book?
  15. There are, actually, but I doubt you’ll run into them. The standard paperback edition (might be called full-color in some places) is the one you want. There are hardcover first editions out there still, some with different text colors in certain places, but they’re pretty rare and usually go for $100 or more.
    awakeohsleeper likes this.
  16. awakeohsleeper

    I do not exist.

    Looks like the cheapest paperback on the Amazon UK store is £19. Does that look right?

    Thanks for your help!
  17. I'm not as familiar with the UK editions (and of course the Amazon "look inside" thing just shows the US version), but that one should be good as far as I can tell.
    awakeohsleeper likes this.
  18. stayillogical

    Kayak, deed, rotator, noon, racecar, Woo Young-woo Prestigious

    I'm so worried I'm going to fail at this. Seems like quite the challenge but maybe it'll be better with some help.
    matthaber likes this.
  19. personalmaps

    citrus & cinnamon Prestigious

    Haven't read this in a couple of years, so I'm on board!! This is one of my favorite books ever. I have a tattoo from one of the poems :')

    Will you be posting the pertinent stuff from Danielewski here? I thought about joining the fb group but was too overwhelmed by the number of people to imagine keeping up.
    Joe4th and troyplaysbass like this.
  20. jpmalone4

    Stay Lucky Supporter

    I don't have the time to re read it right now, even at the pace he's going, but I would be interested to see what insights come up.
    Joel likes this.
  21. Joel Feb 15, 2018
    (Last edited: Feb 15, 2018)

    Trusted Prestigious

    Pretty sure any copy you could find at this point will be complete. As Troy mentioned, there were some variations really early on but those would all be expensive and hard to find at this point. Just grab the cheapest one you can!

    You have nothing to worry about. There are a couple parts that are intentionally disorienting to mirror a character feeling lost etc but that's all part of the experience! At its core, it is a terrifying story about love and family and there's nothing to be discouraged about. There are admittedly some tricky sections, but that's why we are here - MZD has taught me a lot about understanding and empathy and I'll do my best to make sure this reflects that by keeping this a positive place where there are no stupid questions and everybody can go at a pace they are comfortable with. Some people might get deep as there is a lot to dissect, but there's nothing wrong with reading it on the surface as a deeply spooky story.

    Absolutely! The most he'll ever offer up are more questions as he's pretty intentionally vague, but anything he posts will go in here. In the book club for his new series, some really keen readers posted things that blew my mind so I'll be pasting any neat insights from them in here as well. Goal is that nobody should have to trudge through the Facebook group.
    awakeohsleeper and troyplaysbass like this.
  22. Joel

    Trusted Prestigious

    Really excited about all the interest so far, thanks so much to everyone who has stopped by
  23. personalmaps

    citrus & cinnamon Prestigious

    Thank you for being willing to curate it for us. I've never really gotten to discuss this book with anyone besides the guy I dated in high school, so I am SO hype.
  24. coleslawed

    Eat Pizza

    this book has been on my shelf for years but i’ve been too intimidated to start. looking forward to this!
  25. stayillogical

    Kayak, deed, rotator, noon, racecar, Woo Young-woo Prestigious