"This is not for you"
...the first words you read when you open this novel.
It's not entirely unfair. The book is hostile unlike any other that I have read. It bombards you with useless information. It redacts words and letters in a chapter. An external narrator tells a story within the end notes, so you have to keep track of two narratives.
If you take out the experimental storytelling, would this story be as compelling? I dunno. All I can say is that it's all a part of the experience.
Having just finished the story, I can't help but be surprised. "Huh, I guess I just read a story." I must have cared about the characters and their ultimate fates. But more than anything, I wanted answers. Why was this story told this way? Why is the word "house" written in blue? Why? Why why?
And I guess that's the experience of House of Leaves. You go in, like an explorer in the dark. Maybe there's some answers out there, maybe there's not.
And it's a heavy book. Maybe it's not as dense as it appears, but that doesn't take away the sting from the lack of a digital version.
Can I recommend it? Maybe not? Do I want someone to read it and tell me what they think of it? Hell yeah I want that.