What's Happening

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Zephid: Wrote a new main entry, hoping to convey to anyone who happens upon it part of the experience of reading this book. Feel free to reinstate the old entry if you want, I've stayed up way too long. Here's the old entry:

A post modern Mind Screw piece of meta-fiction about a slacker tattoo-artist who discovers a manuscript by an elderly blind man which is a dense academic analysis of a film which chronicles the life of a family who found a pocket dimensional labyrinth in their house. The house tends to drive the occupants and those who hear the story mad, mostly because it's so confusing and there's never any rational explanation for the events so they obsess about it until they go Ax-Crazy. A related subplot involves the main character's insane mother and her letters from a mental institution. It is never made clear what, if any, events in the story are fabrication and what is reality.

Basically, imagine if you were reading a book about James Joyce editing a lost manuscript written by H.P. Lovecraft about the Blair Witch Project gang filming a documentary. Ow. I broke my brain.

djtrousdale: Yup, pretty much. :D I found this page hilarious too.

Zephid: We should probably include that on the page. That's funny as hell.
blakyoshi7: I read somewhere that Metal Gear Solid 2 was originally going to have references to this book in it. So when I saw this link, I decided to read the page and learn some more about it. In short, thanks a lot. I can't move my neck now.

Tera: Silent Hill 2 was also rumoured to be influenced by this book. The game's somehow more terrifying if you keep that in mind.
Universalperson:Hey, I'm not sure about the significance of the crossed out quote on this page. Why is it a "No Fourth Wall Moment" again? Silly, I know.
Myth Sage: I'd kinda like to know what makes the book such a Mind Screw. The plot doesn't seem all that bizarre to me (and obviously it wasn't too incomprehensible, as somebody was able to write this article) . Is it the (almost-Shel-Silverstein-like) writing style? Just wondering.

Zephid: Mostly because it's hard to know what's going on. Like Nabokov's Pale Fire, the author leaves a disturbing amount to the imagination, and leaves open room for multiple interpretations like the dead mother wrote the book or the book wrote itself or the monster stalking Johnny is traumatic memories of his mother. It has thorough research and lots of nice subtleties in the text, something which I don't think is too appreciated because the whole thing can be construed as bullcrap, as most of Post Modernism can.

In other words, the plot isn't incomprehensible - all the shit going on in the plot is.

Mr Death: Yeah, the book's got something like 4 narrators, and not one of them is reliable. Hell, at one point, Johnny tells the reader, "Oh, that last chapter? Completely made it up." and then laughs at you for believing it.

The Stray: Why are all references to the house done in blue font? And why are all the references to The Minotaur in red strikethrough? It's on EVERY FREAKING PAGE this thing is mentioned, all over the wiki, and I'd like an explanation for the meme.

Tera: The short answer is that that's how it's written in the book. The long answer is that it's deeply symbolic of something-or-other, and you should read the book for yourself if you're curious.

Zephid: Also, really, how often do those color codes get used on the wiki? Honestly?

Kalle: When the xkcd comic came out, someone in the Livejournal RSS feed mentioned that when they got a copy of the novel, the page before the introduction read 'This is for you' (instead of 'this is not for you'') — can someone confirm this? It sounds eerie as hell.

Lucid Seraph : Yeah, I'm doing research on this book for my senior thesis, and I read an interview with Mark Danielweiski. Apparently when he does book signings, he will occasionally just sign them, "This is for you." Also, the man is insane, in case you didn't know.

Lucid Seraph: Hah. I am back with photographic evidence.

Dangermike: That "don't look behind you" cat is adorable.