From Publishers Weekly
This Old House
meets The Money Pit
in journalist Giffels's search for an affordable home. The Giffels family settles on a run-down, soon to be condemned early–20th-century mansion, but when he arrives at the mansion to begin his work—aided eventually by scores of workers—he finds leaks in several areas of the roof, crumbling brick, dry-rotted wood, warped floors, vermin droppings and nests, as well as a beautiful old staircase, a fireplace in the bedroom and gorgeous brass hinges and other fixtures. Convinced that he can recover the former glory of this house with a little elbow grease and perseverance, Giffels sets out on his mission—fueled by the strains of R.E.M. and the Clash—to renovate the house one room at a time. Giffels fights a losing battle as he seeks to remove squirrels, mice and a raccoon from his abode—his attempt to scare away squirrels from the attic by using an electric guitar is especially amusing—and he discovers that every victory carries with it a failure somewhere else. Sometimes humorous, Giffels's memoir comments sadly on one man's stubbornness and selfishness (even his wife's miscarriages don't stop him from his work) in his quest to make a house a home. (June)
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About the Author
David Giffels is an assistant professor of English at the University of Akron, where he teaches creative nonfiction. Formerly an award-winning columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal and a contributing commentator on NPR, his writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and many other publications. He lives in Akron, Ohio, with his wife and two children.
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