How can I really review this book, other than it was more a major mindf*ck than horror.
It starts off innocent enough with a note from one of the many “contributors” of this story ~ Johhny Truant. And from there, you take this journey between films reminiscent of ones like in [the movie] The Ring and random blathering and research from every known (and unknown) source to man concerning this “Film”.
Each character brings something to this story that makes pure sense, yet there is no sense to it at all. Sometimes I wonder what I was reading.
Johnny Truant – we meet him first. Druggie, living la vida in LA(?). He takes a journey into an apartment of a dead man, and his story flies off from there. It wanders in and out of his findings and what’s going on with him mentally. I still don’t know if anything he said was real other than in his mind.
Navidson and his family/friends – The man who made the film about his house in Virginia. After the director and his model wife decided to leave it all for peace, they wind up in the creepiest of all houses. The man who filmed their explorations of what this house was doing and the nonsensical ways of what the house has done.
The House – yes, I am counting this as a character of its own. It lives and grows and has a life all it’s own within the pages of this book. The most horrific of all the goings on lie within the house.
Zampano – The man who died. The man researching this set of films made by Navidson and the other explorers of this house. The man who was in Johnny Truant’s mind as he walked into the apartment and took over the obsession known as “The House”.
Pelafina – now, she isn’t one of the main characters, and her name only comes in here and there, but she is such a major player in this story. Johnny’s mom who lives in a “psychiatric home”…The author of the Whalestoe Letters – her words to Johnny.
Each character relies on one another in odd ways to survive this story, to create this story, to make this story so out there, yet utterly enjoyable.
There is also a TON of symbolism and codes and hidden meanings. So much so that I found myself googling symbols and meanings and reasons as to why, but winding up with not more than what I knew. The book takes on the “shape” of the house so you wind up lost in a maze or flipping the book around to read it…to almost experience first hand what the characters are going through. What an amazing thing.
I have so many theories, but only one prevalent one that makes sense of this whole thing to me. As far as my research goes, my theories fit. And, no one else has come up with this theory. Not that I’ve found anyway. I will have to do a separate post on my blog for my theory, though, as I do not want to spoil this for anyone.
The last question I have to answer: Would I recommend this book? It was originally published in 2000, but it still fits now. I would warn a caution as it becomes a maze, a research project, a thing to do, a time eater. It will rule your thoughts and make you consider all the options even when you are given nothing. It will mess with your head, but then that it part of the genius of this book.
In other words, I highly recommend.
*A House of S. READ – JUNE 2016* – … O.o!