there's been enough of a gap between now and the last time i broke open Alan Moore's Voice of the Fire for a book or two or three to slip in, and last night i felt meself suffering from a kind of bibliomaniac's option paralysis trying to figure out which book i wanted to read before turning the lights out. as i'd mentioned in me 'other life', Christopher Nolan's The Prestige was just interesting enough to get me to dig-up me old copy of Christopher Priest's The Prestige, and i went ahead and read--actually, re-read--the first chapter.
Mr. Priest, while being an intelligent, eloquent writer of interesting things, here intelligently, eloquently writing about something interesting, just hasn't ever been able to grab me. i've had the book for some time now, and everytime i read the first chapter (last night must have been the third or fourth time), i think 'hmm, this is good stuff. i wonder what happens next?,' put the book down, pick something else up and get back to it in another age.
last night was different because, having seen the movie, i, ostensibly, had some idea of the sort of egads and plot-and-what-if-whoppings i could expect. so i picked up the book, read the first chapter and immediately got a sense of where the movie might fit into the book, thought 'hmm, this is good stuff. i wonder what happens next?,' put the book down, and picked something else up.
yes, i'll probably get back to it in another age.
that 'something else', as it happens, was Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves. the first time i broke that book open, i flipped through the pages and thought 'ye gods. how am i supposed to read this?' and, well, as it turns out, the way to do it is to start from the beginning.
really, there probably isn't anything i can say about this book that could possibly match the way it's already been dissected and picked apart, particularly as i've only read Johnny Truant's introduction and Zampano's first bit about The Navidson Record.
for just about anything and everything there is to say about the book, particularly if you want a taste of what to expect. but don't read too much of any of the threads. i may have done just that, and almost spoiled some things for me which only became apparent upon reading the relevant bits.)
i will say this, however: Johnny Truant sets quite a bar for a reader's expectations, and i really don't see how this book could possibly deliver. on the other hand, Zampano's descriptions of the first bits of the nonexistant Navidson Record have already started to prove me wrong: The Navidson Record succeeds for me where Koji Suzuki had failed, creating 'video images' in my head that were, though far more mundane, were also much more haunting than anything in Sadako's curse. (i mean the Suzuki version, from the book, not the Nakata version from the movie.)
that said, i suppose this book can't help but work for me, as i confess to being a bit of an ephemera whore. of course, i've yet to hit the truly whacked out uber ephemeral bits (just a couple or so footnotes and the narrative/text shift from Mr Truant's intro to Zampano's Navidson Record redux so far), so i could very well be wrong, and end-up hating this book utterly.
at the moment, however, the book has my undivided attention.