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House of Houses Paperback – March 3, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Eraserhead Press (March 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933929707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933929705
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Absolutely essential for the Bizarro fan. An immense achievement." --THE MAGAZINE OF BIZARRO FICTION

"This is perhaps the weirdest book that anyone has ever written, or will ever write. Donihe is the best kept secret of the bizarro fiction genre." --CARLTON MELLICK III, author of Adolf in Wonderland

"It starts out as something that sounds like a joke, becomes an exploration of the human spirit and how it is dampened, and ends up being something rather sensitive and poignant." --ANDERSEN PRUNTY, author of Zerostrata

"Kevin L. Donihe is brilliant. One of the most creative, most original authors out there, Donihe is in my top five list of sure things. When I need a little surrealism, a little thought to my scare and tear, it's him I sprint to." --HORROR WEB

"Kevin Donihe? Yeah. That boy has problems." --NICK MAMATAS, author of Move Under Ground

"Who opened the gates and set free this slouching beast (on the proverbial march to Bethlehem, of course) called Kevin Donihe?" --MICHAEL HEMMINGSON, editor of What the Fuck


More About the Author

Kevin L. Donihe lives in Tennessee. He is the Wonderland Award-winning author of House of Houses, Space Walrus, Night of the A**holes, The Traveling Dildo Saleman, The Flappy Parts, Washer Mouth: The Man Who Was a Washing Machine, The Greatest F*cking Moment in Sports, Shall We Gather at the Garden?, and Grape City from Eraserhead Press or its imprints.

His fiction and poetry has appeared in The Mammoth Book of Legal Thrillers (Carroll & Graf/Constable & Robinson), Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane (Black Dog & Leventhal), ChiZine, Electric Velocipede, Dark Discoveries, The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, Dreams and Nightmares, Not One of Us, Bathtub Gin, Cafe Irreal, Poe's Progeny (Gray Friar Press), The Undead (Permuted Press) and many other publications.

He was editor of the Bare Bone anthology series for Raw Dog Screaming Press. A story from the first issue was reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 13; many others received honorable mentions in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. Currently, Kevin L. Donihe is the editor of the Eraserhead Press New Bizarro Author Series.

He is also the world's oldest living wombat.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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And most of all, if you even know how to read, trust me, this book is for you.
amadeo777
What makes this book so cool is that you feel so much for the character and the outcome of the story.
Emperor Buyer
House of Houses is the story of a man who is in love with a house named Helen.
MP Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andersen Prunty on April 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
In HOUSE OF HOUSES, author Kevin L. Donihe has hit his stride. The plot, a man falling in love with his house, seems almost too gimmicky to work over the course of a 100-plus page novel, but Donihe pulls it off with generous doses of surrealism, humor, and even something like house spirituality. The narrator, Carlos, begins his story by waking up to find his house collapsed around him. Naturally, he's confused. When he is finally able to escape the ruins, he finds a neighborhood greatly changed and a new life filled with loss and regret. Because Carlos didn't just live in his house, he loved his house. He was planning on marrying his house (whose name is Helen). He had even kept himself virginal, saving it for their wedding night. He had drilled a hole in her wall in preparation for this. Now she's gone. Once out of the house he meets Tony, a neighborhood guardian who looks kind of like a black Man-At-Arms from the He-Man cartoons. Tony introduces Carlos to "quasi-dimensional psychopomps" and his defense mechanism, "sexpounding." Sound weird? It gets weirder. Carlos enters a world, House Heaven, a polarized version of his normal world. House Heaven is run by a cruel tyrant named Manhaus, who seems to be part man and part house. Will Carlos be able to locate Helen's spirit body and escape?

Donihe surprised me on nearly every page of this book. It starts out as something that sounds like a joke, becomes an exploration (through the examination of house metaphysics and politics) of the human spirit and how it is dampened, and ends up being something rather sensitive and poignant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mikedoeseverything on June 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carlos, the narrator, is a self-proclaimed recluse who is in love with Helen, his house. Normally, this would not be a problem save for the fact that Carlos considers his house a human being, so much that he gets married to Helen. The problem arises the day after their marriage, when Carlos awakes to find Helen, as well as the rest of the houses in the world, collapsed. Looking for answers, Carlos bumps into Tony (also spelled R'yony,) a self-declared superhero who just so happens to have an over sized member capable of "sexpounding" quasi-dimensional psychopomps into submission. As the two traverse the locale formerly known as Carlos' neighborhood, they encounter a man who identitifies himself as "Manhaus." Apparently, Manhaus shares characteristics similar to those of houses and humans, making him quite a unique character.

Manhaus eventually reveals himself as the interlocutor for "House Heaven" (the place where houses go when they die) and invites both Carlos and Tony to "House Heaven" as a "term of endearment" for their nonreciprocating love toward houses. As the story progresses, Carlos and Tony quickly realize that "House Heaven" was designed specifically for houses, and not humans. As Carlos faces challenges one would only face in "House Heaven," HOUSE OF HOUSES manages to create a surreal atmosphere one could only find in a Kevin Donihe book. Houses replace humans in "House Heaven" and humans become houses.

What is a fish zombie? What is a quasi-dimensional psychopomp? How do House Politics work? Do houses actually talk? Find the answers to these questions and more in the tale of Carlos' journey to "House Heaven." HOUSE OF HOUSES will make you feel sorry for your house and any superheroes you might know. As Carlton Mellick III said, "Donihe is the best kept secret of the bizarro fiction genre." After reading HOUSE OF HOUSES, you will never look at a house the same way again.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David W Barbee on July 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Admittedly, I haven't read very much of Kevin Donihe's work. That's about to change, as House of Houses was one of my favorite bizarro books this past year. Strangely enough, it's a bizarro romance, between a man named Carlos and his house, which he calls Helen. He loves this house, but her silence tortures him. He only wishes for a meaningful relationship with her. This idea might seem like it would be purely exposition, but Donihe soon takes us on an odyssey. We travel from this world and into House Heaven, exploring the human spirit's capacity for pure love. Though Carlos understands that loving his house is a bit strange, he never doubts that feeling, even when every house on the planet suddenly collapses for no apparent reason.

Joining Carlos' quest to find out what happened to Helen is Tony, the black Man-at-Arms (who is just awesome in so many ways). The journey they take leads to House Heaven, a vast afterlife run by millions of houses, who now live in disturbing puppet-like forms. Humans are nothing to the houses but raw material. How is Carlos to survive, much less find Helen? That's the beauty of Donihe's story. Despite this ridiculous situation and the astronomical odds, Carlos never gives up. He is utterly dedicated to Helen, and he doesn't even know if she loves him back. She is a house and he is a human, after all. Helen and Carlos' relationship--bear in mind that she is now a large house-puppet creature with some very strange nethers--is actually heartwarming. Donihe's storytelling is well paced and everything flows towards the natural conclusion of any good romance.

House of Houses will make you laugh and make you cry. This is bizarro with heart, carefully balanced between that which is gross and that which is lovely.
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