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For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You'll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you'll realize it's always been shifting, like a shimmer of sorts, a vast shimmer, only dark like a room. But you won't understand why or how.We'll have to take his word for it, however. As it's presented here, the description of the spooky film isn't continuous enough to have much scare power. Instead, we're pulled back into Johnny Truant's world through his footnotes, which he uses to discharge everything in his head, including the discovery of the manuscript, his encounters with people who knew ZampanÚ, and his own battles with drugs, sex, ennui, and a vague evil force. If The Navidson Record is a mad professor lecturing on the supernatural with rational-seeming conviction, Truant's footnotes are the manic student in the back of the auditorium, wigged out and furiously scribbling whoa-dude notes about life.
"An amazingly intricate and ambitious first novel -- ten years in the making -- that puts an engrossing new spin on the traditional haunted house tale...Danielewski skillfully manipulates the reader's expectations and fears, employing ingeniously skewed typography...The story's very ambiguity steadily feeds its mysteriousness and power, and Danielewski's mastery of post-modernist and cinema-derived rhetoric up the ante continuously, and stunningly. One of the most impressive excursions into the supernatural in many a year."
-- Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"The novel is a surreal palimpsest of terror and erudition, surely destined for cult status....The story of the house is stitched together from disparate accounts, until the experience becomes somewhat like stumbling into Borges's Library of Babel...The horror story -- is a tour de force."
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