So, I’m up to chapter 10 in House of Leaves.
It’s a frustrating book.
Now, I did a lot of research in school, and I’ve loved reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels for years, nigh on a decade, so footnotes don’t scare me. The problem I have is that whatever is causing the book to be a bunch of torn-up, sideways, front-and-back columns and boxes and upside-down stuff is taking away from a really good story at the heart of it. I find myself wishing that I could just read about the house itself, and not have to deal with Johnny Truant’s stories. Not that they’re not good, but I’m not enjoying keeping this many stories straight in my head when none of the narrating voices in the book can even keep their own shit straight. It’s especially hard because I don’t often have long stretches of time in which I can read and just get lost in a text. We’re talking 10 minute snippets of reading time. This isn’t a 10-minute snippet book.
I’m going to stick it out and keep reading, because I really am interested in the origins and nature of the house on Ash Tree Lane – even though I don’t for a second think I’m actually going to learn anything about it. I expect the book to leave me completely disappointed, having read hundreds and hundreds of pages of scattered, random, badly-aligned, fever-dream words and finding out NOTHING about the actual house itself.
Right now I’m on track to finish it just so I can say I read it. Hopefully it’ll prove me wrong in my prediction, and I can finish it and say I enjoyed it.
But I’m not holding my breath.
What do you think?