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House (1985)

by Tracy Kidder

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1,0661814,837 (3.88)48
Tracy Kidder takes readers to the heart of the American Dream: the building of a family's first house with all its day-to-day frustrations, crises, tensions, challenges, and triumphs. From the first nail to the final coat of paint, blueprints to moving day, Pulitzer Prize -- winning author Tracy Kidder leads readers through the grand adventure of building an American dream.… (more)
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» See also 48 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Tracy Kidder is a master of nonfiction writing. I’ve read most of what he has written including what I consider to be his masterpiece, “Soul of a New Machine.” “House” is as entertaining and insightful as any of Kidder’s books. It gave me a new appreciation for those who work with their hands. Over the years I’ve had many people in my houses doing various types of repairs and constructions. I’ve always respected their skill, but I don’t think I knew much about their spirit until I read “House.” I once told a plumber, “You know, Earl, what you do is amazing. What I do (teaching high school English) is nothing.” He looked at me with a quizzical look. I said, “If I don’t show up, they’ll find another person with an English degree to do what I do. If you don’t show up, people can’t flush their toilet. Now, you tell me who is more important?” He grinned and went on fixing the drain he was working on.
I have the same kind of respect for Tracy Kidder. Lots of people can write. Many of them can write well. Tracy Kidder writes the way the building crew in “House” worked: with spirit, precision, and soul. ( )
  DanDiercks | Sep 30, 2021 |
I found the relationship and personal stories much more interesting than the building details of the house. I did learn a little about architecture, carpenters, and building, but was hardly interested in the details. It felt good to learn about a topic I do not know much about. ( )
  suesbooks | Aug 31, 2021 |
From the first nail to the final coat of paint, from contract signing to moving day, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder chronicles the complex and fascinating construction of an American dream.
  riselibrary_CSUC | Oct 1, 2018 |
As someone who has built [is still building] a house and who is married to a carpenter, I found the book a little too flashback-triggering to be fully enjoyable. I actually started having heart palpitations during one of the homeowner/builder fights over the contract. BUT, that aside, this is truly brilliant in a classic creative nonfiction way. Kidder takes a subject that seems completely mundane and imbues is with history, drama, and human intrigue. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
Reading this book was fun for the most part. I'm a big time old house geek and found it very interesting to see what was going on with the building of new construction as it's out of my usual thinking or bailiwick. Some reviewers have noted that this is non-fiction, I believe in fact that it is a work of fiction although very detailed. The author gives numerous references in the epilogue of the book on how he did his research on building etc. That being said it's a wonderful character study with well thought out and rounded characters. I found myself with very strong feelings about most of the carpenters and even the homeowners in the story. Rooting for the builders even though I've been on the homeowner's side before and run into cost overruns and stuff. ( )
  ChrisWeir | Jul 12, 2014 |
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Tracy Kidder takes readers to the heart of the American Dream: the building of a family's first house with all its day-to-day frustrations, crises, tensions, challenges, and triumphs. From the first nail to the final coat of paint, blueprints to moving day, Pulitzer Prize -- winning author Tracy Kidder leads readers through the grand adventure of building an American dream.

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