- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Angry Robot (February 4, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007345046
- ISBN-13: 978-0007345045
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.4 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,453,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The World House Paperback – February 4, 2010
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Praise for "The World House" "Playful, intriguing and a barrel of laughs, The World House is a quirky, tumbling box of delights full of adorable eccentrics on a wild, wild ride. It really knocked me in the lobes! Great fun!" - Stephen Volk "a fearless grand adventure of escalating escapades and escapes so hair-raising that his deranged imagination is barely able to contain them all! it's a fearless, hurtling hell of a debut." - Christopher Fowler Praise for Guy Adams: "a superb stand-alone novel, that uses the tried and tested premise of the haunted house to scare the fertiliser out of us." - Bookstove, reviewing Torchwood: The House that Jack Built "highly acclaimed companion" - Total Scifi Online, reviewing Life On Mars: The Official Companion
About the Author
In a varied career, Guy trained and worked as an actor for twelve years before becoming a full-time writer. He mugged someone on Emmerdale, performed a dance routine as Hitler and spent eighteen months touring his own comedy material around clubs and theatres. He is the author of the best-selling Rules of Modern Policing: 1973 Edition, a spoof police manual "written by" DCI Gene Hunt of Life On Mars. He's has also written a two-volume series companion to that; a Torchwood novel, The House That Jack Built; and The Case Notes of Sherlock Holmes, a fictional facsimile of a scrapbook kept by Doctor John Watson. He's also the current chairman of the British Fantasy Society.
Top customer reviews
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Rather a long time.
The introduction of the myriad characters (a contemporary Brit, a Spanish thief from the 1930s, an American socialite from the 1920s, an alcoholic musician and his stripper friend from the 1970s, a little girl with Autism, and Alan from Florida) is a lengthy process. Lengthy, but well-written with interesting characters.
Then it takes more time to learn about the house: a place which apparently has no rules and where the laws of nature, physics and time are only suggestions. Again, well-written with interesting things going on.
Once Adams has you informed of the world and people in it, he accelerates the pace (somewhat erratically) to crescendo and then, poof, it is over. Or is it?
A house wrapped up in a door inside a box
I love the notion of random people from different places and times being thrown together inside a house of infinite dimension hidden inside a box. (It felt cool just writing that line) I also like that there is a specific trigger for transportation to the house -- be in possession of the box at a time of immediate peril. Cool stuff and also the only well-defined aspect of the house.
Once inside the house, things are a little (OK, a lot) more fluid. A living game of snakes and ladders, a library infested with bookworms the size of housepets, a bathroom housing an ocean, a jungle in a greenhouse and other rooms of varied content and scope are all connected by invisible portals. Travel within the rooms is challenging. Traveling between them, troublesome; and escaping entirely seems impossible. Except that it can be done and Alan knows this.
Of all his fellow visitors, Alan is the only one who actively sought the box and was aware of its' secrets a priori. When we finally find out why Alan isn't like the others, it isn't a "Holy crap, I didn't see that coming!" moment, nor is it a "Meh, totally saw it coming." It is more of a "Yeah, OK, I see how that makes sense." turn of events. It takes a long time to get there and is a very short journey from there to the cliff where we are left hanging at the end.
The lengthy preamble, seemingly bizarre interludes and cliffhanger ending may be off-putting for some. The pacing and interludes did try my patience at times, but that patience was rewarded. There was interesting stuff happening to interesting people and the writing was good, so I kept reading. These dalliances (as they aren't vital to the telling) never made me feel like the story was dragging, but rather that it was just moving leisurely and we would "get there when we get there."
As for the unfinished business at the end of the book -- I bought the sequel.
(originally posted at cheffojeffo.wordpress.com)
Unfortunately, the whole exercise seems pointless. Why should we care what happens to these people as the author does not have the skill to pull this off successfully.
This is as boring as listening to someone describing in detail a nightmare they had (chaotic and clumsy at the same time).
And to think he wrote a sequel. No way would I encourage this to continue.
Guy Adams will take you on the ride of your life.
The story follows several central characters, with very different backgrounds, if not all are sympathetic they are fully formed & realistic.
Each turn up in the "house" via contact with a chinese box and have to navigate through the barking mad "personalities" of each room within.
To say anymore would be to spoil the surprises instore for the reader.
The storyline is complex, characters intrigueing & all of it well written.
Read it twice & have pre-ordered the sequel "Restoration".
Thought it the best fantasy book I've read since Clive Barkers "Weaveworld".