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Saturday, 12 March 2011

House of Leaves - The Navidson Record - Part XXII

Sorry about the break between updates, I had some work to do with uni. Considering what I have coming up regarding that, I may well be a bit sporadic in terms of as and when I update this, but I'll do the best I can. But anyway, last chapter was a rather odd change of pace and has sort of left me confused as to where I stand in the narrative. I suppose I can note what I do (probably) know and try figure out what could actually happen in what looks to be the last few chapters: Johnny Truant's storyline seems to have ended with him as a hobo, but ultimately content, Navidson seems to be dying of exposure whilst either floating or falling, and Karen still has that wall of black yawning up behind her. Every other surviving character in the Navidson Record seems to have scarpered, rather sensibly really. Anyway, I'm now rambling, so on with the actual chapter.
Well the beginning of chapter quotation tells me a whole load of nothing. If you know what this could entail, I applaud you:
  • "Truth transcends the telling."
And that's it. I suppose it could refer to the film gathered, but then I doesn't give much of a hint as to what's coming. Anyway, the chapter begins with Karen finally turning round and facing the wall of darkness. She seems to panic a bit when she first sees it, but then she decides to go in there to look for Navidson, with surprisingly little ceremony: she doesn't even mentally prepare herself, which seems strange. I suppose her desire to see Navidson again kind of trumps whatever fear she has of the house, which is quite sweet really.
Just under an hour later, she and Navidson are found in the front garden, with Karen cradling him in her lap. There's also a weird little detail that she now has a pink ribbon in her hair. Why I don't know and can't really imagine. So they get him to the hospital and while he makes it, he's fairly badly damaged for life, having had to have his hand and eye removed due to frostbite as well as having to walk with crutches after (inexplicably) breaking his hip.
The chapter ends with a student interview of Karen as to what happened when she stepped through the wall. She finds him just by walking forward and wanting to find him (which makes sense if you consider the whole psychological influence they have on the freaky bit of the house). She starts to cradle his head and the house just disappears around them, leaving them to be found in the front garden. Overall, a bit of a weird way to end it, I mean it's pretty much the climax of the last exploration and the house just lets them go. Plus there's still no reason for the inclusion of that ribbon.

So a fairly short and sweet chapter, presumably just to wrap up the remaining plot points that I mentioned at the beginning of the review. Comparing this to the last chapter and Johnny's plot being wrapped up, they both had this weird sort of sedateness to them; it's not disappointing as such, seeing as there were hints throughout the Navidson Record that pointed to Navidson surviving, but it just doesn't seem to fit with what we've seen of the house thus far. There doesn't seem to be much difficulty actually reaching a happy ending with these final climaxes, so I guess it just jars a bit considering how voracious the house has been previously. But I suppose I should be happy that there weren't any other deaths, so I guess it's not all bad.

Signing off,

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