Day 10 of the 40 Day Book Challenge asks for a book that gave you the creeps. I used to read a lot more horror fiction than I currently do. With the exception of Anna Dressed in Blood, I’m not sure I’ve read any this year. Even so, this challenge prompt was easy.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is one of those books whose cult following is what allowed it to become part of the popular culture cannon. It started as a manuscript that was passed around between people in the know. Parts of it would surface on the internet. It wasn’t until later that the entire manuscript was collected and published as a whole, containing all the footnotes and appendixes. The story centers on a guy who finds a manuscript that is essentially a dissertation about a documentary called the Navidson Record. The documentary in question follows a man and his family after they move into a seemingly normal house and set up their lives. The problem is that the house appears to be bigger on the inside than on the outside, and something sinister seems to be happening within its walls.
This is not necessarily a great book. It’s the epitome of experimental fiction, and it isn’t going to work for many readers. It didn’t even really work for me. However, the concept of a house that is bigger on the inside than the outside creeped me out hardcore the first time I read this (I’ve read it twice and still don’t understand it, you guys). The concept of the stairs to the basement going on forever freaked me out. The idea of entering a room and realizing that the door has disappeared makes me want to cry. This is a creepy book, to be sure.