House of Leaves


Author:  Mark Z. Danielewski

Title: House of Leaves

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 2000

Number of Pages: 709

Geographical Setting: Los Angeles/Virginia countryside

Time Period:  Modern day

Series: N/A

Plot Summary:  Late one night, Johnny Truant gets a call from his friend, Lude.  Lude invites Johnny to explore his recently deceased neighbor Zampano’s apartment.  While looking through his things, Johnny finds a trunk filled with notes and manuscript regarding a documentary called The Navidson Record. The film is about a family who has recently moved into a home in the Virginia countryside.  They begin to notice strange changes in the house such as the interior measurements exceeding the exterior measurements and a hallway that should lead into their backyard but doesn’t.  As Johnny begins to piece together Zampano’s notes, he is plagued by nightmares and panic attacks and begins to lose his grip on reality.

Subject Headings:  Horror stories, psychological suspense stories, transformations- personal, paranormal phenomena, documentary films, supernatural

Appeal:  compelling, engrossing, detailed, intriguing, complex, layered, chilling, dangerous, dark, investigative, multiple plot lines, psychological, claustrophobic, unknowing, unreliable narrator

3 terms that best describe this book:  Complex, haunting, mysterious

Similar Works/Authors:


The Black Hope Horror: the True Story of a Haunting by Ben Williams – When the Williams family moves into a house in a quiet Texas suburb, they are terrified to learn that their home was built on an old graveyard.  They begin to encounter strange occurrences, infestations of insects, and even death.

The Amityville Horror Conspiracy by Stephen Kaplan- Kaplan investigates the bizarre happenings at the Amityville house where a family fled for their lives after experiencing terrifying events.  Were these events real or is it all part of a hoax?

The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern Day Demon Possession and Exorcism by David M. Kiely and Christina McKenna- The authors present ten true stories involving exorcism, haunted houses, and demon possession.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

House of Lost Souls by F.G. Cottam – Nick Mason must team up with a disturbed man in order to rescue his sister from a haunted house.  The two soon learn that the house has a dark and chilling past.

An American Haunting by Scott A. Johnson – Gabriel Rosewood decides to move his family into an old house in Texas.  When peculiar things begin to happen, he worries that their lives are in danger.

Turn of the Screw by Henry James- When a governess is hired to care for two orphans, she is soon haunted by the ghosts of evil servants who once inhabited the house.

Name:  Shannon Duffy

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