When I was working at Barnes & Noble I came across a signed copy of House of Leaves (my review). My copy was signed with a big blue Z, for Zampano, the author of part of the book. House is way too intricate for me to go into in one post, and there are forums devoted to deconstructions and interpretations of the book, so today I’m just going to talk about The Navidson Record, which was my favorite part of the book.
It is…weirder than weird. It is also frightening, beautiful, and a piece of writing that I’ll revisit over and over.
The Record concerns a Virginia home purchased by Will Navidson and his family. Will is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, and his latest project is going to be about the new house and his family as they deal with some difficult circumstances. However, whatever familial troubles they are having quickly move to the periphery as their house starts to behave strangely.
They return from a trip to find that there is a new space in the house, a small closet where before there was only a wall. This is the first of many changes, which eventually lead to hallways appearing in the walls. The halls lead into an icy, black, impossibly deep void that exists within the house. Eventually a team of explorers is called in to see how much space exists within the house.
Yes, it’s strange, but stranger still is the fact that The Navidson Record, which is the name of the film released about the house, appears to us as an academic piece of film criticism, written by a blind man, about a film that doesn’t actually exist.
Please read my full review if you’d like more information on any of that. Or just plunge in and read the book. I enjoyed the entire work, but the sections involving the Navidsons and their scary house were the most enjoyable and frightening for me. It’s great stuff and there’s really nothing else like it, for better or worse.