My penance is to review it for those of you who couldn't work through it.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: A CLOSE FRIEND WANTED ME TO READ THIS
Someone I would take a bullet for gave me this book. And, in retrospect, I'm reminded of that film The Ring. I feel like I had to read this book to save everyone else who read this book. I had to join them in the restlessness, the insecurity, the abyss. And now, I've doomed you suckers too.
THE SPIRIT OF THE 90'S IS ALIVE IN HOUSE OF LEAVES
Remember that time when your sister, fucking Poe, could just have a soundtrack to go with your book...because why not? Well, try to think back to yesteryear, kids! You could just build a goddamned 709-page onanistic puzzle book. Just think! Without your map of mental illness, herds of former club kids, fresh off their MDMA, might not sail face-first into their new regimen of depression meds. Who will drag us valueless and heartsick into the next century? John Grisham? Danielle Steel? Doubtful. Very doubtful.
YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL HOME...
If this haunted HOUSE story weren't half-baked in a batch of weed brownies, it would be cool. But please don't make me sift through your bullshit to get to it. The labyrinth-in-the-HOUSE story line is unquestionably riveting. The characters are believable and occasionally compelling but...
Yeah, we get it. Dads are work-addled ignoramuses and moms are dad-obsessed caricatures. Clever. Next.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS...
I was once very close with A SCHIZOPHRENIC person. This book is a bay window into that frame of mind. That's why it took me so long to read it: I was uncomfortable twenty pages in. PBR Book Clubbers know that I didn't want to quit MOBY FUCKING DICK till after page 75! DO YOU STUDY MENTAL ILLNESS? READ THIS BOOK! It's not just the turbo A.D.D. of Johnny Truant. Honestly, contrasted with the Red Bull-fueled iPhone Axe spray-scooter-prepaid den of iniquity that we live in, Johnny's lack of focus is quaint, refreshing even.
No. The unsettling thing is the incessant creation of seemingly meaningful connections that may not exist.
[BTW: If I'm correct that Johnny is just unhinged, I'm pretty sure Thumper is pretend. Sorry, Chip.]
BUT MY FAVORITE CRAZY BIT IS...
The Minotaur. No sooner did I read the crossed-out minotaur sections than American Horror Story kicked it into their plot line! (another meaningless connection!) And all the while I'm wondering, WONDERING, what would erstwhile PBR book club member @indieabby88 say about the LABYRINTH and where, oh where, is the love?