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The World House (The World House #1)

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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  445 ratings  ·  101 reviews
There is a box. Inside that box is a door. And beyond that door is a whole world.

In some rooms, forests grow. In others, animals and objects come to life. Elsewhere, secrets and treasures wait for the brave and foolhardy.

And at the very top of the house, a prisoner sits behind a locked door waiting for a key to turn. The day that happens, the world will end…
ebook, 416 pages
Published February 25th 2011 by Angry Robot (first published January 16th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,150)
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karen
i am perfectly comfortable being the only one who liked this book in the online book club full of haters, and i declare it to be better than any other book we have read since i have been a member of the group. suck on that, iron duke!!

but i think i was predisposed to liking this based on a lifetime of choices.

quick - some personal backstory.

the first movie i ever saw in a theater was flash gordon. i used to go to the rocky horror picture show weekly when i was in high school, and was briefly in
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Joel
There's something sinister about a structure that's bigger on the inside than it has any right to be, whether it's House of Leaves or the TARDIS or Snoopy's dog house (if he can fit a grand piano in there, who knows what other secrets are buried within?). The World House, which, let's get it out of the way right now, is profoundly disappointing, does it one better by sticking the impossible house inside of a creepy box, which is, I guess, doubly creepy.

And for a while, it is. Chapter by chapter
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Seak (Bryce L.)
You know, I had a hard time getting into this one. Well, maybe that's not exactly it. I got into it really easily, but then 80 or so pages in, it was hard to keep going.

There was a great mystery going on with this box and this weird house...and then there's character after character introduced and slowly I wasn't quite as interested. The mystery didn't matter quite as much with my growing frustration at the lack of plot movement. Kinda like my relationship with the show Lost. I had to take a br
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Greg
I should be working on writing a review for another website where one would start off a review by saying, "I should be working on writing a review for another website where one would start off a review by saying, "'I should be...'", but instead I've put that review on the back burner and I'm going to knock off a quick review for this Angry Robot release, World House (I just thought while typing that last sentence, why is the robot angry? Is it because of the lack-luster quality of the books it p ...more
Mara
Word Problem: If Alice has hijacked Miss Frizzle’s magic school bus and is going 60 clicks per decasecond when she runs through the phantom tollbooth, where will she end up?

Although none of the aforementioned characters (or any reference thereto) show up in this raucous ride with Guy Adams, the answer is probably the World House* where (to borrow Adams’ words) “logic is not always on the setlist” and there is “a never-ending supply of neuroses and nightmares.”

The recruits are as diverse and unr
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Brad
If only The World House had been an episode from The Original Series of Star Trek. I'd have liked it much, much better, although I did like it enough (surprise, surprise) that I intend to read the sequel. I know ,,, I'm a sucker.

STAR TREK NEXT VOYAGE

KIRK: Captain's Log Stardate 3634.8. After finishing our eventful shore leave on Argelius II, we received orders from Starfleet to return immediately to the Terran System. Months long subspace negotiations between the the Daimoni and the Federation
...more
Caris
The first time I experienced this work, I was blown away. It was visceral and gritty and made my eyes feel dirty. There was just something about the reverse decomposition that took place when Frank was made flesh once again out of nothing more than a few drops of his brother’s blood. And the hooks! Oh, the hooks! When the box was opened and the Cenobites RIPPED HIS SOUL APAAAAART! It was so fucking awesome, I teared up a bit.

Oh. Wait. We’re not talking about Clive Barker’s magnum opus? We’re sp
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Trudi
Imagine if Dr. Seuss got drunk off his ass one afternoon, did a few lines of coke, and decided to write a little somethin’ somethin’ for the grown-ups. Welcome to World House.

How do you refrain from recommending that everyone read a book, when in your heart of hearts you know that not everyone is going to love it? In fact, there will be those who will hate it … or worse … be left bored by it. It takes a stronger person than me. I can’t stop myself recommending The World House as loud and as sin
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Chris
Okay, I have to say - BAD ENDING! WTF! NOT FAIR!

Still, I can't decided if it should be 3 or 2 stars.

The idea behind the novel is interesting. It's been seen in work like City of Golden Shadow or The Prisoner. Of course, because the idea is interesting, it can quickly wear on the reader.

There are several narrative threads, and when Adams decides to start bringing them together, he almost does so too quickly. In others, the ending feels as if it (a) were too long in coming and (b) too rushed. An o
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Stefan
A struggling British antiquarian with gambling debts... an American socialite during the Prohibition... a young boy from Spain during Franco’s reign... a barfly and a stripper in the late seventies... an autistic teenager... In different places and during different eras, seemingly unconnected strangers all come into contact with a mysterious box, and all of them at some point suddenly find themselves transported to a different place: a huge house that seems to have endless corridors and stairs, ...more
Jason
4 Stars

World House is a pleasantly cool read. This horror adventure is fast paced, well written, and an easy page Turner. It is filled with colorful characters, a cool environment, and plenty of monsters and baddies.

World House is a combination of the movie Cabin in the Woods crossed with the novel House of Leaves in a setting similar to the Phantom Zone. Really great stuff.

I enjoyed this read a lot. It plays out much more like an adventure story than anything else. It could have benefited from
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Amber
I loved this book! Mr. Adams set up the mood very well from the beginning. You start reading it knowing that people are getting sucked into a kind of pocket universe that is a sprawling house inside a box where the rules of physics are more like guidelines. You know that strangers are getting sucked in and can't get out. But, oh!, how the sense of malevolence builds as you work your way further and further into the book. You start to see connections that are anything but spelled out by the autho ...more
Nikki
Meh. The idea is interesting, but the panoply of characters I couldn't care less about and the rocky quality of the writing just couldn't keep me interested. I wasn't impressed with the way he chose to characterise Pablo and Sophie, either -- we can tell he's foreign because he can't talk, we can tell she's autistic because she keeps in mind the Right and Wrong things to do and Randomly Capitalises Apparently Important-To-Her Concepts.

Also, it doesn't help that when I bought this I was, for some
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Ryan
Time travel always leaves me confused. I don't think I can wrap my head around different versions of the same person showing up in the same place. I did enjoy this book and be warned it pretty much ends in the middle of the story. I will read the next one to find out what happens.
David Fillis
This is a teriffic book. Original and very clever.

A small wooden box crosses the path of a large number of characters, some are transported to a place that exists outside of time and space. The World House defies reality, the bathroom contains a sea, the playroom hosts a real game of snakes and ladders. The House has many ways to kill you and if you make it through to the room at the top and open that door...the real world is destroyed.

With great characters, constant surprises and great humour,
...more
Beaulah Pragg
An unusual story that reminded me, ever so slightly of Jumanji. Though nowhere near as tame, The World House follows a wide cast of characters who have been sucked into the house by opening what one might consider a distorted version of Pandora's Box. It all seems to be happening for a reason, but throughout the story, it is difficult to divine just what that reason might be... and then when all the threads come together at the end, well... this book is a horror/thriller for a reason.

Plenty of g
...more
Vinnie Tesla
Firs, off, this isn't a novel, any more than The Fellowship of the Ring is. Without any acknowledgement of the fact on the cover of my paperback copy, this is the 400-odd page Beginning of an Open-Ended Series. As such, it resolves a bunch of questions (spoiler alert: mostly the answer is either "Magic!" or "Time travel!") but leaves most plot threads dangling for the next book.

Structurally, the book is mostly a set of dungeon crawls. The parties of viewpoint characters run from one monster batt
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Hillary
Wow, what words can I possibly write about a book that said plenty already? So much happened in that book and yet, really so very very little took place! The first couple of pages fell out unreliably slow and 120 pages in, Adams was not only still introducing characters, but he was also still setting up the story! The absolute vastness of his creation is overwhelming to consider, and for that alone I must pay homage to a brilliantly colloquialized method of storytelling. Creatures, characters, a ...more
Iamthez
Is it bad that I'm very annoyed this book has a sequel coming?

On one hand, I'm dying to know what happens, but on the other hand, I know myself very well and I have a severe case of shiny objects disorder. This means that I will most likely forget about this book, as I move on to other ones, and never know what happens, which will only bother me if someone reminds me that I've read this book. Make sense?

It took me a good while to get into this novel, because the way it's written can be slightl
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James Bennett
Across the world, from different periods in time, characters encounter a strange magical box and through a series of thrilling events find themselves drawn to the World House. The House exists outside Time. Corridors seem endless. There is an ocean in the bathroom. A killer chef in the kitchen. Lethal moths. Sinister ghosts. Even an ostrich and more besides. The various characters journey through the house looking for a way out. But is someone else - someone alien and terrifying - looking for a ...more
DeAnna Knippling
This book made me feel like I've read too much weird fiction. This was supposed to be! wildly! original, and I just kept seeing what, to me, have become old tropes.

House of Leaves plus Jumanji.
Time travel means being your own worst enemy - literally.
Loki screws things up again.
Look! The magical autistic savant!

Ah, the writing went well enough and kept me turning pages until the end, but I won't be chasing down the sequel. The thought just makes me feel tired. I think what lost it for me is that
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Woodge
This book is pretty cool and twisted. A selection of characters (taken from various points in time as well) come across an odd little box. Once they start fiddling with the box, they find themselves suddenly transported to a room in a very odd house. The house defies logic, has endless corridors, and contains all manner of deadly things within. The story follows these small groups of house travelers as they A) try to stay alive, and B) try to get back home. The journey is a bit of a page-turning ...more
Brian Cooke
I wanted to like this based on the i09 recommendation. But it just fell flat for me about halfway in as soon as one of the major plot points became apparent. Also considering that it's not particularly long I see no reason why some attempt could not have been made to tie up the story in one volume. But writer's have to eat I suppose, not sure I'll be there for the next one truth be told.
Jason ~WordMuncher~
This reminded me of Jumanji for adults. I liked it even though it didn't go into much detail about all the different worlds within the World House.

And WTF with that ending! Way to force someone to read book 2.
Matthew Pryor
After coming into contact with a strange box several strangers from different points in time find themselves in an old Victorian Mansion. But the house is more than it seems and every room, hallway, stairwell and even painting on the wall holds numerous dangers for the new house guests.

The World House by Guy Adams is one the only books that I loved through and through. There was never a part that dragged on or made me want to skip ahead and was quite sad to come to the end. I wish I could say
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Vicky
Off the wall and not really for me.
Tony
I would not have read this book if it wasn’t for two reasons. The first being that my Angry Robot Books subscription includes the sequel to this. Recommendations by The Eloquent Page and Erik Lundqvist sealed the deal and I went ahead and bought the puppy.

I spent the first half of this book not having any kind of clue what was going on, and the second half wondering how the hell it was all going to come together. I would not recommend reading this book in small chunks as that would only exacerba
...more
Katie Webb
I really enjoyed this book, but readers need to keep in mind that it is just part 1 of 2. Go into it knowing that you will need to read Restoration.
Having said that, my biggest problem with this was the characterization. I really did start to love some of the characters. The banter between Carruthers and Miles is fantastic; the sections narrated by Sophie reminded me a bit of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which is no bad thing. The problem is there are a whole heap of chara
...more
Thara
The only way to get to World House is to be holding the box at the right time - when faced with a violent and horrific death. Since the start of the book introduces us to the protagonists and their transition, there are many, many pages of nightmarish cruelty. I suspect that Adams challenged himself to think of as many unique ways to perish as he could logically fit into the story. He's a good writer - I didn't like it, but I persevered. The World House is a terrifying construct, too - sort of " ...more
Gabrielle
“Nothing in this building is to be taken lightly, my dear,
nothing at all.”

I’d like to say outright that it takes a chapter or two to settle into the The World House. I give forewarning because after acclimating to the pace and structure of the story, the reader is rewarded tenfold. In this dark fantasy, Guy Adams creates an impossible mystery within an alternate dimension set outside the usual notions of space, time, and logic.

The book begins with the reality-based lives of multiple characters,
...more
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