Part Three of my little run of influences.
House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski. I haven’t a photograph of my copy, since a friend of mine is borrowing it, so I’ve had to Google image for one. House of Leaves might be another pretentious oddity designed to flash to your friends so that they think you a little more “interesting” or intelligent than the average bear, but I don’t think so. For one thing it’s a very simple story, or three very simple stories, albeit told in a fairly unique way. It’s easy to focus too much on the odd layouts, and to be honest that’s probably why House of Leaves has made this list, as it was the first book of this kind that I encountered. However, it shouldn’t be ignore that the writing itself is very good, very meticulous, but also genuinely thrilling. You might pick up the book for its layout, but you finish it for the story.
I am an absolute sucker for detective television, from the glories of Poirot (particularly David Suchet’s interpretation of the character), through to Morse, The Wire, Wallander, and, at present, The Killing. If crime is afoot and there are people wanting to solve it, I am absolutely there. Curiously, with the exception of Sherlock Holmes (and, if he counts, Maurice LeBlanc’s Arsene Lupin) I very rarely read detective fiction. I don’t ever want to read any of Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories because, to me, Suchet is Poirot, and I don’t want the facts muddying the waters, thank-you-very-much.
I was scripting a comic that was very much inspired by the detective genre, largely based on television and film noirs such as The Maltese Falcon, but I’ve decided to turn it into a novel (aimed at younger teens). This change comes as a result of the realisation that, at least for now, I hate drawing comics. There’s a certain patience and consistency of style involved that just isn’t me.
The House of Leaves image is from this blog.
The Poirot image is from this blog.
The other posts on my influences are here.