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A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson

House of Leaves

House of Leaves -

Nested within House of Leaves are these stories:

  • Johnny Truant
  • The old man, Zampanò
  • The Navidsons and the house


Johnny Truant has some issues leading back to his childhood to which editing the deceased Zampanò's unfinished magnum opus triggers a delayed reaction.The fact that most of what is in the old man's book is fictional does not detract Truant from what he believes to be his mission to edit it.


In the book, which is also titled House of Leaves, Zampanò analyses a documentary-style horror film called "The Navidson Record", the story of a young family who buy a house, looking for a fresh start in a rural town in Virginia. The house isn't the Navidsons', though they do live there for most of the events of the film. The house (or, in all likely-hood, a crude facsimile of a house) doesn't belong to anyone and it intends to keep it that way.


Perhaps House of Leaves (the one written by Danielewski) is about a poison that seeps through film and written word as the house protects itself, though it is just as likely the sad story of a man succumbing to his genetics. Perhaps it needs to be both.


If you can wade through the more pointless of Zampanò's footnotes, you'll find a thriller lurking among the pages.


'There's only one choice now: finish what Zampanò himself failed to finish. Re-inter this thing in a binding tomb. Make it only a book.'

-Johnny Truant