1. Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

Solved - Looking for a book - can't remember the name (or much else)

Discussion in 'Book Search & Suggestions' started by Jenovacaine, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Jenovacaine

    Jenovacaine New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi everyone.

    I'm new here, and I was wondering if anyone could help me identify a certain book I came across once from a vague description of it. I girl I met a couple years ago in college was reading it, and we happened to strike up a brief conversation. It was the most unusual book I'd ever seen. The text seemed to be comprised of what looked like photocopied newspaper clippings and anecdotes stitched together. In another place, the text seemed to be written backwards, requiring the use of a mirror (or else much patience) in order to decipher it. And that, unfortunately, is as much as I can recall. I've forgotten the title, the basic plot (which I think I remember her explaining as very complex anyway), and even the girl's name. But now I have a girlfriend with a love of strange books and a birthday coming up, and I'm hoping someone could help me find this book. I would sincerely appreciate any help. Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    The Fry Chronicles
    I have no idea what book you are referring to but I can offer an alternative as a gift for your strange-book-loving friend; give Jonathan Safran Foer's book Tree Of Codes a gander. It is as much a book as it is a sculpture with a different die-cut pattern on every page.

    Good luck on finding your book, though, and when you do find it, let us know.
     
  3. Jenovacaine

    Jenovacaine New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. I'll take a look at that. I think I actually remember the name of the woman I met reading it, so hopefully I can get in touch with her and ask her about it. Everyone who attends the university is in the email directory.
     
  4. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Messages:
    4,345
    Likes Received:
    148
    Currently Reading:
    dithering...
    Perhaps House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski?

    Or, perhaps Journal. The Short Life and Mysterious Death of Amy Zoe Mason by Kristine Atkinson and Joyce Atkinson.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. Jenovacaine

    Jenovacaine New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can't be sure until I actually get a hold of a copy and look through it, but from what I can see from the pics of various pages Google's image search is bringing up, House of Leaves looks like it might be what I've been looking for. I'll have to find a copy. Even if it isn't, it certainly looks interesting enough to fulfill my purpose.

    And to Martin - I looked up Tree of Codes. I may get that for myself and just give it to my girlfriend when her birthday rolls around - that book looks sweet.
     
  6. Jenovacaine

    Jenovacaine New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Also, this xkcd comic suddenly makes a LOT more sense.
     
  7. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    The Fry Chronicles
    I should have known it was House Of Leaves, I love that book. It did flash through my brain as I read your description but I could not remember the copied newspaper clippings you mentioned so I dismissed it off-hand. Now that I think about it, those clippings are definitely in there.

    Well spotted, pontalba.

    House Of Leaves, by the way, is a book you're not going to want to give away. A terrific novel. Revolutionary.

    On the Safran Foer book; I leafed through it a few weeks ago (carefully, of course; its pages are fragile) and while I recognised the artistry of it, I quickly deemed it unreadable (for me, at least).

    House Of Leaves. Of course.
     
  8. LaGs

    LaGs New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Joyce's Ulysses, I'm scared...
    Did a bit of searching about that house of leaves book, sounds fascinating. Might buy it after i've finished the books i'm reading now!
     
  9. eldog

    eldog New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
    House Of Leaves was definitely the first thing that came to my mind but Pontalba was 10 hours ahead! Great job Pontalba.

    I tried reading this a few years back when I wasn't reading as much as I do now and consequently struggled with the enormity of it (over 700 pages). I am now very tempted to have another crack at it... is it worth the two weeks it will probably take me to get through it?
     
  10. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,396
    Likes Received:
    257
    I read the main text straight through (ignoring footnotes, end notes, references, and whatever other extraneous material) and it eventually turned into a gripping story. You could do worse in choosing a book to read; it just takes patience to put up with and get past the farcical opening premise about the size of the house. But OTOH then you will at least be able to say you read it -- more or less, depending how much you read. Your call.
     
  11. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    The Fry Chronicles
    The book is a bit of a challenge but I would say it is well worth it.
     
  12. eldog

    eldog New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
    How many pages did that lop off? Do you think the story suffered as a result of your abbreviated read?
     
  13. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,396
    Likes Received:
    257
    Lopped about 85 pages. Suffered? Hard to tell, depending on whether the footnotes amplify the linear narrative of the main story, or else present some complexity in, say, contrasting/conflicting interpretation(s) needing resolution in the reader's mind. The footnotes I looked at were in the former category, and didn't provide motivation enough to delve deeper; and the main narrative provided a complete and satisfying (enough) story in itself. So it might be that I have missed some deeper plots points or, who knows, maybe I missed the point of the book entirely. Someday maybe I'll find out, if I go back and complete the reading.

    PS The appendix regarding the protagonist's mother is definitely worth reading, to provide a more formal closure.
     
  14. Jenovacaine

    Jenovacaine New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I went to the local B&N and looked at a copy, and I'm pretty much 99% certain that House of Leaves is the book I saw those years ago. Thank you so much for your help pontalba. And thank you, Martin, for the other recommendation.
     
  15. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Messages:
    4,345
    Likes Received:
    148
    Currently Reading:
    dithering...
    You are quite welcome Jenovacaine. :)
    I haven't read it yet myself, my OH has and enjoyed it. I'll get to it one of these days, probably sooner now that I'm thinking of it again.
     
  16. Gabrielle Ray

    Gabrielle Ray kickbox

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Too busy to be reading


    In short: yes.
     

Share This Page