Book Reviews

House of Leaves * Mark Z. Danielewski * story of the labyrinth

House of Leaves is the debut novel by American author Mark Z. Danielewski, published in March 2000 by Pantheon Books. A bestseller, it has been translated into a number of languages, and is followed by a companion piece, The Whalestoe Letters.


The format and structure of House of Leaves is unconventional, with unusual page layout and style, making it a prime example of ergodic literature. It contains copious footnotes, many of which contain footnotes themselves, including references to fictional books, films or articles. Some pages contain only a few words or lines of text, arranged in strange ways to mirror the events in the story, often creating both an agoraphobic and a claustrophobic effect. The novel is also distinctive for its multiple narrators, who interact with each other in elaborate and disorienting ways.


Book Reviews

Everything is illuminated * Jonathan Safran Foer

200px-EverythingIsIlluminatedThis must be one of the few books where I was thinking “WTF am I reading?” for most of the time. I did not know there was a movie starring Elijah Wood and I had no idea how addictive the book proved to be.
It came to me from the Oprah book list and I must say that when I read the synopsis that I was expecting something completely different.

A young man who shares the author’s name sets off for the Ukraine hoping to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. And yet, this isn’t a Holocaust story like any other you’ve ever read. Narrated mostly by Jonathan’s Ukrainian translator, in hilarious broken English, the book is a startling mash-up of heartbreaking history, fable, humor and dazzling narrative tricks. The result? An indelible story that’s both irreverent and haunting.
— Dawn Raffel

Book Reviews

Life of PI – Yann Martel

I have never fallen in love with a book before as I have with Yann Martel’s Life of PI. When I was a kid, I had tried to read it but found the language too tiresome, too complicated. Recently, I received as a birthday present a limited edition illustrated copy of this wonderful book and I must say I devoured it much like the tiger attacked the hyena.
This is the story of a castaway, of the lone survivor of a shipwreck that stayed alive on the sea for over 7 months. And all of it in the enclosure of a young male tiger weighing 450 pounds.


Book Reviews

Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin

2000 Margaret Atwood The Blind AssasinNever in my life have I been so enchanted. Enthralled. Besotted. Fully and utterly in love with a book.
I feel like I know Iris Chase Griffin, the storyteller, the old grandma retelling her life story to her young and estranged granddaughter. From the marriage of her grandparents at the turn of the century, to the bone button factory which had made them rich, to the place she grew up with her younger sister Laura, to the death of her mother, new love of his father, the two world wars, the ruin and the despair, the tragic death of her sister, the loveless marriage and the secret.

“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin