House of Leaves

Mark Z. Danielewski

fiction fantasy horror mystery
dark mysterious slow-paced

736 pages | first published 2000

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

What the community thinks

summary of 2814 ratings (see reviews)

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dark 94%
challenging 78%
mysterious 78%
tense 63%
emotional 28%
reflective 26%
adventurous 23%
sad 20%
funny 6%
informative 2%
inspiring 2%
hopeful 1%


slow 81%
medium 15%
fast 3%

Plot- or character-driven?

A mix: 64% | Character: 22% | Plot: 9% | N/A: 3%

Strong character development?

It's complicated: 47% | Yes: 36% | No: 15% | N/A: 0%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 48% | No: 40% | Yes: 9% | N/A: 1%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 71% | Yes: 14% | It's complicated: 12% | N/A: 1%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 81% | It's complicated: 13% | No: 4%

Average rating