House of Houses
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House of Houses

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  21 reviews
"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 There once was an odd reclusive little man who was in love with his house. He loved this house not in the way that normal people love their homes. His was a more intimate love...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Eraserhead Press (first published 2008)
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19th out of 208 books — 168 voters
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20th out of 30 books — 6 voters

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Nicole Cushing
If you're familiar with some of Donihe's earlier work (his novella, THE GREATEST FUCKING MOMENT IN SPORTS, appears in the "orange" version of THE BIZARRO STARTER KIT) you know that he's a fine satirist. But HOUSE OF HOUSES shows that satire isn't the only sandbox Donihe plays in...he also has a staggering, absurd imagination that will make you think, squirm, and laugh all at the same time

Books like HOUSE OF HOUSES are one of the reasons I love bizarro fiction. Bizarro gives the reader an unparal...more
Dustin Reade
This book rides the happy champion all the way to House-World. If that doesnt make sense but you would like it too, read this amazing book now!
G. Brown
In the short list of Bizarro books that I would truly consider classics that not only define but also transcend the genre, this is close to the top. Kevin L. Donihe is a hero, and while not completely unsung, I feel his greatness sometimes gets overshadowed when people discuss the extremity and insanity of the Bizarro scene. Maybe not the flashiest or grittiest or grossest writer in the scene, but he's one of the most balanced and unique voices. What shines through in this work is how authentica...more
Nov 19, 2008 Zoe rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Bizarro fans
This being a bizzarro book, I shall offer a somewhat bizarre review. This is because I liked the book, but not the story.

First of all, the story itself is interesting, and full of symbolism. All the houses in the world die, and a man who truly loved his house decides to venture into a brave new world to find out why.

However, the first problem is that the author many times writes description that aren't just hard to visualize, but which may in fact, be impossible to imagine. At times like this,...more
Andersen Prunty
May 11, 2008 Andersen Prunty rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes bizarro or weird humor
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...more
Greg Bates
More like 3.5 stars, really.

Of the four bizarro books I purchased during the Bizarro Bonanza this winter (the others: Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You, The Last Final Girl, Letters to Wendy's), this is by FAR the strangest and most deserving of the 'bizarro' label. Part travelogue on acid, part tortured housing crisis allegory, part Orwellian fable, it feels like there should be a law of physics preventing a writer from fitting THIS MUCH weirdness into a 160-page frame. Lovestruck Carlos is abou...more
Mike Kleine
Jun 03, 2008 Mike Kleine rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mike by: Kevin Donihe
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 a day after the marriage, when Carlos awakes to find Helen, as well as the rest of the houses in the neighborhood, collapsed. Looking for answers, Carlos bumps into Tony (also spelled R'yony,) a self-proclaimed superhero who just so happens to have a...more
Anita Dalton
Sometimes bizarro harbors weaker writers whose extravagant imaginations make up for a lack of skill, and that isn’t necessarily a criticism. I feel some of the most admired writers, Tolkien for instance, could tell a unique story but were not so amazing technically. This is not the case with Donihe. His words are well-chosen, his plot familiar yet bizarre, and his treatment of characters absorbing and interesting. The transformation of Carlos, from hopeful lover to quest-taker to mentally defeat...more
Mar 27, 2011 Danger rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: marble crumb cakes, seahorses, fans of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, and human beings
Upon finishing this book, I attempted to develop a relationship with my own house. My girlfriend got all uptight about the cum stains I was leaving all over the walls and furniture. I tried to explain to her the power of good literature, but then Jersey Shore came on and we both got distracted. To summarize, this book is awesome. One of the best endings in the history of the written word. Read it or your house will collapse on you.
Christy Stewart
This is the second romantic book I've read about an objectophile in love with a house. This one is like the Orpheus and Eurydice myth.
Chris Bowsman
My favorite type of weird fiction that which involves a normal, somewhat boring character to whom strange things happen. I'm also a sucker for anthropomorphic stories. Combine these elements and tack on a spectacular ending and you get HOUSE OF HOUSES.
Andrew Stone
More than the other Donihe books I have read, it took me a LONG time to get into this book. Throughout most the first half of the book, I kept asking myself, "Why should I care?" And then, once I passed the halfway point, something clicked and I realized why I should care: Because I fucking love Carlos and I heart his relationship with Hellen the house. This book is beautiful. One of the best (most romantic) romances I have read. Furthermore, and I never imagined I would say this before reading...more
M.P. Johnson
If You Love Houses, You'll Love House Of Houses

House of Houses is the story of a man who is in love with a house named Helen. It's a troubled love, but it's a love nonetheless. But when all the houses are destroyed by a mysterious affliction, the love looks like it will be unrequited. What follows is a bizarre journey to house heaven. There is an endless number of surprises, and the depth of feeling is impressive. This is truly a love story, even if the love is between a reformed man and a dead...more
I'm wavering a bit as to whether to give this book a 3 or a 4. I opted for 4 stars because I have a true soft spot for the author but the book was probably closer to a 3.5. The reason for this is that I didn't feel the moral of the story read all that clearly for me. The book is about a man who falls in love with his house and plans to marry her. However, the day before they are to be wed this world, the world we would recognize, dies in a haze of green skies, red plant-life, phantom trees, and...more
Jeremy Maddux
Powerful prose is on display here, but that should come as no surprise to those who know Kevin Donihe as an editor first and author second. This is the book that netted Kevin his first Wonderland Book Award at Bizarrocon. In November 2013, he captured his second for Space Walrus, which I also gave a glowing review.

House of Houses concerns a loner named Carlos who is so committed to the upkeep of his house that he marries it, calls it Helen. From all outward signs as we read, it appears that he i...more
Vincenzo Bilof

With something new and interesting appearing on every page, Donihe’s House of Houses reads like an assault of concepts, each idea seemingly fitting into a puzzle. Maybe that comparison isn’t correct; perhaps the ideas are bricks which build a house, although the book itself is the house and there isn’t a blueprint that clearly defines what the book should look like. Each page constructs a world upon a world, or a house upon a house.

The book is something of an odyssey; though the story’s length...more
Ashley Crawford
This is my third outing into the world of Bizarro and I'm becoming increasingly intrigued. First there was Carlton Mellick III's Satan Burger (intriguing but over-wrought). Then there was the stunningly strange Extinction Journals by Jeremy Robert Johnson. Now we reel drunkenly away from the fleshly bricks and mortar of Donihe's House of Houses - a strangely powerful and moving parable about man-house-love. If that doesn't make sense that's fine. The premise of this book is so surreal it belies...more
Exactly what was promised and yet not at all what I expected. While reading it, I desperately wanted to dislike this book, but I simply could not. Not even during the parts that upset or angered me, or the parts where I couldn't tell what the author meant and the words failed to paint a picture in my head. It was awful and fascinating.

Matt Payne
Bizarre to the extreme, yet I totally related to the character's sense of love and sense of loss. It was a scary, tragic book. Scary mostly because of the dreamlike world the character found himself in.
Amazing. A true classic of the genre. Read it.
awesome. read it.
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I am a writer man.

Currently, HOUSE OF HOUSES, SHALL WE GATHER AT THE GARDEN?, OCEAN OF LARD (co-written with Carlton Mellick III), GRAPE CITY, and THE GREATEST FUCKING MOMENT IN SPORTS are my books from Eraserhead Press.

I've had a lot of short fiction published since 1995. Biggest short fiction credit = a story in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF LEGAL THRILLERS, published by Carroll and Graf in the US and C...more
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