Carolyn M. Walker

Old Blog of Carolyn M. Walker

Friday, August 14, 2015

Amazing Books Worth Second Looks - Mark Z. Danielewski's "House of Leaves" and "The Familiar"

Recently, I heard about Mark Z. Danielewski's newest installment to his latest work The Familiar. Volume 1 released this past May and volume 2 is set to release in October. To say the least, Danielewski's work is nothing short of uniquely mind-blowing. In the past, Danielewski's work has been termed as a cutting edge form of art that cross the most progressive of literary thresholds.

Danielewski's Familiar Front Cover Carolyn M Walker
Danielewski's The Familiar - Volume 1

Danielewski's Familiar inside page Carolyn M Walker
A page from The Familiar - Volume 1

Danielewski has been categorized as a writer of ergodic literature and a major pioneer among postmodern sign-iconic literature. Known most notably for his work The House of Leaves, published in 2000, he uses his ability to breathe life into macabre and satirical style horror with poignantly gritty prose.

I first discovered Danielewski shortly after aptly falling in love with his sister Poe's 1995 debut album "Hello." There were references to the House of Leaves among eerie little audio "footnotes" located in the pregaps between some of  Poe's tracks. Her music is lulling, mesmerizing and addictive, the perfect companion to Danielewski's work. Her later album "Haunted" also offers more areas to explore and provides a better understanding of the novel The House of Leaves

Danielewski's House of Leaves Cover Carolyn M Walker
Danielewski's House of Leaves

Danielewski's House of Leaves Page Carolyn M Walker
A page from House of Leaves

I remember holding The House of Leaves in my hands and finding myself fascinated by the seemingly odd layout and jarring imagery of the words (or lack there of) on the pages. The story revolved around a house presumed to be haunted and the significant impacts it has on the characters in the story. To this day it has never been revealed why Danielewski decides to color the word house in blue throughout the book, but it is among the many strange fascinations that live within this masterpiece.

As for Danielewski's latest work, I am thrilled and excited to delve into The Familiar, Vol. 1 - A Rainy Day in May and the upcoming Vol. 2 - Into the Woods. Danielewski is planning on publishing 27 installments in all. It seems we have much more to look forward to from this cult classic author! :) 


  1. Really interesting post. I loved House of Leaves but have lost track of Danielewski - the new project sounds exciting!

    1. Thank You! I am certain it will be an amazing read!


  2. So cool, but headache-inducing. Would be a great gift for a reader!