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Homebody Mass Market Paperback – January 25, 2005
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Card has a clear, well-honed writing style, full of human warmth--a style that is especially effective in the development of the central character, and in details of tools and techniques for renovating an old house. His approach to murder, danger, and threatening forces is so free of closeness or oppression that one might call it "anti-gothic." In an interview, he said, "I am completely uninterested in exploring evil. Evil (and weak and wicked) people are all evil (or weak, or wicked) in the same boring ways. But good people are infinitely interesting in the ways they manage to be good despite all the awful circumstances of their lives."
Homebody is a pleasant tale about the triumph of love over evil, with a couple of bizarre twists to give it spice. (Hint: don't read the Kirkus Review if you want to keep the plot a surprise.) --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Haunted houses are old hat, but Card adds a new twist that makes the story fresh and interesting. The story zags in directions you weren't expecting, and the characters are all quite vivid. A good read from a great talent.
This book will appeal to fans of Stephen King, John Saul and Dean Koontz, but, oddly enough, I'm willing to bet that Card fans won't like it much at all. I've read a few other novels by Card from his Fantasy and Science Fiction works, and I find that he does very well at those, and didn't quite do as well on this in comparison. Objectively, however, I managed to ignore who had written the book and enjoyed it as a new twist on Haunted Houses in its own right.
Dedicated Orson Scott Card fans should give this a pass, but people who'd like a new take on ghostly tales will definately enjoy this one.
Homebody was written by an author well outside his lyrical or logical core. The characters are well-considered and true to their natures, but none of them are people you'd want to have a conversation with, much less live with for the length of a book. The characters are deliciously flawed, but Card seems unable to find the hook needed to make us care.
Card's obsession with loss and the grieving process led to a couple of extraordinary works (like Xenocide) and a couple of literary duds (like Lost Boys). This definitely falls into the latter category. In the process, he's trying to write into genres where his style and abilities are ill matched. He's successfully equaled or exceeded the masters like Clark and Heinlein in future-fiction that captures the imagination. He's done a good turn matching Lewis and Zelazny by creating Alvin's magical reality. But, when it comes to a good ghost story or a contemporary supernatural tale, Card should leave it to King or Koontz.
If you want a ghost, pass on Card; if you want Card, one of the country's best living authors, try a different title.
Dan comes across the old Bellamy house which was built a century earlier by a man who wanted to give the perfect house to his wife. The couple were big society people and after they died, the house fell into the hands of various disreputable individuals and became a speakeasy and a brothel until ending up as an apartment house for college students.
The house has been deserted for about 10 years and the closest neighbors are two "wierd" old women who live in what was once the Bellamy house's carriage house.
Dan buys the house and finds that it is not as abandoned as he thought. Additionally, the wierd neighbors prefer that he destroy the house rather than fix it up. As the book progresses we see that the house in not just an inanimate object but possibly a living thing.
During the book Dan has to wrestle with his past and becomes the "crying-post" for his troubled real estate agent as well as his houseguest.
I really enjoyed this book and held back from giving it 5 stars only because I thought that Dan missed too many obvious clues about the "secret" of his houseguest and that I would have liked to have learned more about the house in its glory days.
With Barker's stuff, it is easy to read, because you are always detached from the characters, but this book pulls you in so quickly, that you really feel for this guy, and so when he hurts, I hurt too.
I like my "horror" books to be light, and this definately wasn't. I realize I'm praising by faint criticism, so judge for yourself how you like your horror.