Monday, March 24, 2008

A Post that May Seem as Insane as the Book

I’ve read quite a few books in my life, but it isn’t until now that I realize I’ve never read a horror novel. Right now that’s what I’m calling this because it creeps me out. I’ve definitely never had a chill run down my neck from reading a book, and that definitely happened at the end of chapter V.

“Then again, ‘always’ slightly mispronounces ‘hallways.’

It also echoes it.”

It’s strange, while reading this book I’ve begun to feel a lot like Johnny. The book has definitely consumed a lot more of my time than I expected it would, even now I’m trying to understand and decode what I think is a hidden message in the Chapter VIII. I’m sure most have you have noticed the little squares breaking up the paragraphs, solid ones and hollow ones. I’m pretty sure that indicates the dots and dashes of Morse code, but without knowing where the characters begin and end it seems impossible to decode.

A recurring theme I see throughout the book is exploration. The novel itself is exploring the boundaries of what you can do with how a novel is structured. The main focus of the book so far has been exploring where the hallways leads. Even the family’s pets, Hillary and Mallory, are named after the mountain climbers. Hillary being the first to reach the summit and Mallory being a climber who died attempting the same feat. Mallory is also the man who famously said he wanted to climb Mount Everest “Because it’s there.

This book is complex and engrossing. There are so many things that can be said about it, and I’m sure I’ll be blogging frequently on it.


Also when I first started reading this I was instantly reminded of John Dies at the End. Maybe some of you have heard of or even read it. If not it’s a strange, funny and creepy book that was originally published online in a series of episodes. The whole thing is available to read online at (Just scroll down to the bottom to find the index). It’s quite long, but it’s a really cool story. The reason I thought of it was because they both start in the same way. With one guy getting a call from his friend at 3:00AM that he soon regrets. The first part of it was written in 2001 so it’s entirely possible that it may have even been inspired by House of Leaves

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

Thanks especially for the link, and the accurate notes about the pets.

On the novel's creepiness, there's a hilarious moment in the book which actually includes a (fake) interview with Stephen King... The influence of H.P. Lovecraft and Poe are also evident (Danielewski's sister even uses the stage name Poe!).

Lovecraft is particularly interesting because he's the real innovator and the dominant figure who deploys horror-as-exploration, or exploration-as-horror, with At the Mountains of Madness being maybe the best example.