|Plot Summary of House of Leaves|
|" House of Leaves is actually two stories in one. The first story is called The Navidson Record, which, stylistically, is an academic paper devoting itself to a general analysis of the (fictional, even within the book) much-debated documentary, The Navidson Record. The Navidson Record is about a family, led by photojournalist Will Navidson and his life partner, Karen Green, who moves into a house in Virginia.
Will and Karen hope to re-invigorate their feelings for one another and bring their family closer together by getting a fresh start. Will outfits the house (and the family) with video cameras, in hopes of making a documentary about what a family goes through when making a house into a home.
During a family vacation, the interior of the house undergoes a strange shift in dimensions, and when the family returns, they discover a new closet and a passageway leading from the children's room to Will and Karen's room. The shift goes undetected by the house's cameras. It doesn't take Will long to realize that something is wrong, and, even with professional help from his friend Billy Reston and his estranged twin brother, Tom, Will can't account for the fact that the interior of the house is slightly larger than the exterior.
Eventually, a cold and dark hallway extends out from the interior of their house, though it doesn't exist in the outside world. The hall leads to a constantly shifting labyrinth, where something unknown and dark stalks the maze, occasionally issuing a horrible growl or roar. Will recruits professional explorers to traverse the impossible maze; the rest of The Navidson Record deals with the subsequent explorations into the unknown, and results in several deaths, mental breakdowns, and the asking of many unanswered questions.
The second story is that of Johnny Truant, who inherits the text of The Navidson Record from its dead author. He provides useful commentary on the story, and occasionally digresses into stories about his own life (he covers everything from his his drug and sex addictions to his relationship with his insane mother), and how the horror of The Navidson Record is slowly driving him insane."
Colin Kehm, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of House of Leaves|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
Descript. of chases or violence - 10%
planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 50%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 30%
Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places - 10%
Tone of book
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?
- part earth & part fantasy world
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
- the haunted house chased me!
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Cynical sense of humor
- Smarter than most other characters
Takes place on Earth?
Not Earth, in Solar System?
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- very explicit references to deaths and torture
scientific jargon? (SF only)
- a fair amount of scientific explanation
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- descript of kissing
- descript of touching personal anatomy
- actual description of sex
- description of breasts
- descript. of non-breast female anat.
How much dialogue?
- little dialog