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The World House (The World House #1)

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  591 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
There is a box. Inside that box is a door. Beyond that door is a house. In some rooms forests grow. In some, prisoners wait. At the 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...
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 4th 2010 by Angry Robot (first published January 16th 2010)
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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
mark monday
it's HIGH CONCEPT time!

high con·cept
(especially in a movie or television plot) emphasis on a striking and easily communicable idea.

how about a wise cracking monkey that drives a flying truck while solving mysteries!?!

a romantic comedy featuring one very mixed-up person as the sole cast member!

black people wearing white face!

God is a car and He gives the protagonist odd driving tasks like driving to pick up the kids or groceries; the Devil is a gas station attendant!

a boat that sails upside d
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
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
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
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.


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
Feb 16, 2014 Mara rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, 2014-reads
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
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
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
Jan 27, 2011 Stefan rated it it was ok
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
May 25, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2014
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
Feb 21, 2011 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 17, 2011 Nikki rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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
David Fillis
May 13, 2010 David Fillis rated it it was amazing
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,
Nov 07, 2014 Ryan rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2014
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.
Beaulah Pragg
Apr 19, 2012 Beaulah Pragg rated it really liked it
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
Vinnie Tesla
Jan 21, 2012 Vinnie Tesla rated it it was ok
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
Apr 02, 2011 Hillary rated it really liked it
Shelves: deep-imagination
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
James Bennett
Mar 16, 2011 James Bennett rated it really liked it
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
Apr 15, 2011 DeAnna Knippling rated it liked it
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
Mar 07, 2011 Woodge rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror, adventure
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
Jul 27, 2011 Brian Cooke rated it it was ok
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~
Apr 14, 2011 Jason ~WordMuncher~ rated it liked it
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.
Sep 01, 2011 Vicky rated it liked it
Off the wall and not really for me.
Alex Vrettos
Nov 28, 2016 Alex Vrettos rated it it was amazing
Oh yes! You are straight in there with this book. No idea what is going on but there is enough happening to ensure you do not care. Weird and wonderful personified. It is good not knowing hat is around the next corner just like those in the house trying to make their way from the kitchen to the living room. If you like the surreal that eventually offers a suggestion at how to make a sense of it tuck in - it's delicious!
Alana Kelly
Jan 27, 2011 Alana Kelly rated it liked it
It's usually the most innocuous looking things that turn out to be the most dangerous. In this story, that thing is a box. There is nothing particularly special about the appearance of this box. Besides some Chinese lettering, the box is pretty plain in fact. If it weren't for the fact the box doesn't even open, it would be the kind of thing someone would use to put unimportant trinkets in. But since it can't even do that, it appears the box if doomed to sit on shelves long forgotten. Of course ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Gabrielle rated it it was amazing
“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,
Jeff Dick
Apr 15, 2013 Jeff Dick rated it liked it
Shelves: angryrobot
The World House takes its’ time drawing you in.

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 na
Mar 10, 2011 Marcus rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to really get into the story of The World House. With the introduction of a number of characters and their story about how they ended up in the World House, it takes a while for the story to gain momentum.
As soon as the story gains momentum, there is no slowing down. Guy Adams takes his readers on a trip they will never forget.

The story is told from the perspective of several characters who end up in the World House and who by luck and chance form three seperate teams or group
May 21, 2012 Andrew rated it it was ok
I love the "weird surreal infinite house" genre of fantasy. I flat-out love it. James Stoddard, Kit Manson, John Bellairs, Patricia McKillip, Mark Z. Danielewski -- just off the top of my head. Zelazny did it once, and *he* was riffing on William Hope Hodgson. I love that the TARDIS partakes of the Weird House. I keep coming back to it in my own IF work.

_The World House_ is a Weird House novel that I couldn't manage to enjoy. I think I wanted it to be a species of fantasy that it just isn't. It
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