7 Best Books Like House Of Leaves Update 05/2022

Books Like House Of Leaves

Isn’t Ergodic a little Lovecraftian? So relax and enjoy the ride through one of fiction’s coolest niche genres: Ergodic Literature, a strange and unconventional world of literature. If you’re looking for more books by Mark Z. Danielewski likes House of Leaves, this is the list for you.

What is ergodic fiction?

Espen J. Aarseth, an IT University of Copenhagen professor, proposed the ergodic fiction genre. “Ergodic literature” is a term derived from the Greek words “work” and “path,” and it was coined by him in 1997 in his book Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature.

So what exactly is an ergodic book? It’s not just the content that’s the problem. A book’s narrative isn’t as important as how the author presents that narrative on the page in the new weird genre as described by Rioter Mya Nunnally in her excellent guide for newcomers. Aarseth’s definition is a bit lengthy: For the reader to move through the text, nontrivial effort is required… It is necessary to have non ergodic literature in order for ergodic literature to make sense as a concept. For example, eye movement and arbitrary page turning are two examples of non ergodic literature.

To put it another way, it boils down to how easy or difficult it is to read a given piece of writing based on its conventional format of paragraphs, dialogue tags and standard margins. Considering the value of a conventional book, it’s strange to use the term “light reading,” but in this context, the term means that you have to do very little work to read the book: your eye movements are normal as you take in each line of text, the story progresses fairly linearly, so everything is fine.

More Books Like House of Leaves

The most popular book in the genre, House of Leaves, will serve as our first example of what we mean by “nontrivial” in this context. Reading that book was a challenge, but it was also a lot of fun. As a result, it asks for more attention from the reader, with snippets of plot appearing in the margins, footnotes, and other small print. As you piece together the narrative, your eyes are bouncing all over the place. An ergodic novel is a book or digital text that tells a story using unconventional methods.

If you’re curious about reading ergodic fiction, check out this list!

Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar

Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar

Because of its unusual structure, Cortázar refers to his work as a “counter-novel” in his introduction to the novel. A group of bohemian intellectuals known as “The Serpent Club” hangs out at the apartment of Argentinian writer Horacio Oliveira in Paris in the 1950s. Horacio’s life splinters apart when La Maga vanishes, and he returns to Buenos Aires, where things get even stranger. The novel has multiple endings that you can arrive at by reading the novel in two different sequences of chapters. For a nonlinear reading experience, it’s best to “hopscotch” around according to Cortázar’s “Table of Instructions.”

The Unfortunates by B.S. Johnson

“Book in a box” by B.S. Johnson tells the story of a sportswriter whose assignment is derailed by flashbacks to a friend’s death. The book is divided into 27 sections, the first and last of which are labeled, but the rest of the chapters are unlabeled, so you can read the story in any order you like. To make things even more interesting, there are a variety of paths you can take in the novel depending on what you decide to do.

Parabola by Lily Hoang

An autobiographical coming-of-age story with a twist of myth and math is woven together by Hoang. Parabola diagrams explain the Pythagorean significance of the numbers: 10 is the most perfect number, which appears as the top two chapters mirroring one another in the parabola, and 1, which symbolizes unity and joins the middle of the parabola’s center with 0, is shown in the diagrams. As a challenge, it asks you whether or not you prefer to read this reality-myth-math hopping tale sequentially or sequentially through the paired numbered chapters.

Ship of Theseus by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

Ship of Theseus by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

I’ve already mentioned S. in a post about books with unusual or unconventional formats, but I think it’s worth mentioning again. Jen and Eric, two college students, are shown in the margins of S., a novel in which a novel is studied and its mysteries unearthed by Jen and Eric, as well as the novel itself. With their handwritten notes, Straka’s novel, postcards and newspaper articles in hand, you’ll be able to piece together the full story.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Again, this is a standout piece of ergodic fiction that merits a second look. She wishes she could go back to the days when her biggest problem was breaking up with Ezra, but then her planet gets invaded and now she has to team up with him to get on the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship and a deadly plague on their heels.. Kady and Ezra’s world is depicted in great detail in this novel, which includes military files, medical reports, hacked documents, and interviews.

theMystery.doc by Matthew McIntosh

theMystery.doc by Matthew McIntosh

The story revolves around a man who wakes up one day with no recollection of who he is or how he got there, save for a blank document on his computer that reads “theMystery.doc.” Every page of this book is a puzzle, requiring you to piece together the seemingly random messages, images, IM chats, codes, and other tidbits that make up our daily lives. It’s a truly unique way to read a book.

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

It all began with a simple library trip. To be freed from an old man’s nightmare, the young boy must memorize the three books that he wanted to borrow from the library and then return them to him. This will result in the boy having his brains eaten. It’s best to read this book with the book in your hands, as Murakami’s story is told through a combination of illustrations (both beautiful and unsettling) and text that uses the pages themselves as a means of storytelling.

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