The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

BluePrint celebrates a decade online
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House of Leaves is the most mind bending book you will ever read

House+of+Leaves+is+a+book+written+in+2000+that+challenges+readers+in+many+ways%2C+including+its+structure.
Jayden Bartlebaugh
House of Leaves is a book written in 2000 that challenges readers in many ways, including its structure.

House of Leaves is a challenging read, but it is well worth the effort. (Jayden Bartlebaugh)

Imagine coming home one evening and finding a mysterious black hallway that stretches far beyond the boundaries of your house. Inside this hallway is a labyrinth of black walls, ceilings and freezing cold temperatures that stretch on for miles.

House of Leaves, a book by author Mark Z. Danielewski was published in 2000 and has built a cult following since its release. Danielewski uses an ergodic style where sentences can be flipped upside down or stretched out. The book also contains footnotes which cite fake sources of articles, films, magazines, etc.

The start of the book introduces Johnny Truant, a man who found a transcript called The Navidson Record written by an old man named Zampano. This transcript is a written essay on a film called The Navidson Record. It follows a war photographer, Will Navidson, his wife, Karen Green, and his children. The house begins to have strange changes including a randomly appearing closet, the house being bigger on the inside than the outside, and finally, the long dark hallway.

The writing style of the book is one of the main themes that make this book stand out. The first thing you notice is that the word “house” is colored in a light blue color everytime it appears; this also affects different languages’ spelling of the word house. Danielewski also writes the book in an ergodic style, meaning that the pages don’t follow a traditional prose structure. When the story becomes more chaotic, the pages reflect that with a more cramped writing and several different paragraphs saying different things. When the story becomes more dramatic the pages will be stretched out containing 1-2 sentences. The footnotes will sometimes contain page numbers for the appendix in the back of the book, sometimes these will contain useful information or be completely missing.

While reading the book you will notice that there are two different stories occurring. The main storylines is The Navidson Record where we read Zampano’s writing about the film. The secondary story is the life of Johnny Truant, the editor of the book who puts his own life story in the footnotes of the book. Johnny’s writing is in courier font so the reader can distinguish between Zampano’s writing and Johnny’s writing.

Although this book is a great book, it still can be difficult reading. For example, Johnny’s story is happening at the same time the books story is going on making it difficult to read both stories at once.

In my opinion I think this book is an amazing read with twists and turns that are completely unexpected. The style of the book gives the horror vibe that many books fail to give. When I read this book I felt it was almost cursed, the scenes are unsettling and you almost want to stop reading but can’t. The ergodic style shows the descent into insanity as both Johnny and Zampano’s writing become less detached. However, I find that Johnny’s story is less interesting then the main plot; his sections usually go on for awhile often leading no where and adding little to the actual story.

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About the Contributor
Jayden Bartlebaugh, A&E Editor
Jayden Bartlebaugh Grade 12 Years in BluePrint: 3 What you hope to do this year: Write some silly satire stories and win an SNO Award. Outside activities: Track, long walks on the beach Why did you take BluePrint: I read my brothers stories and thought it would be a good way to improve my writing skill.

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