Town House
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Town House

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  346 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Jack Madigan is, by many accounts, blessed. He can still effortlessly turn a pretty head. And thanks to his legendary rock star father, he lives an enviable existence in a once-glorious, now-crumbling Boston town house with his teenage son, Harlan. But there is one tiny drawback: Jack is an agoraphobe. As long as his dad's admittedly dwindling royalties keep rolling in, Ja...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 8th 2007 by Harper Perennial (first published 2007)
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Shawna Spinks
A fun read! I loved the quirky characters and the sarcastic side of Jack. It will be a great movie, can't wait to see who plays Jack and Harlan.
Carol Ann Arseneault
This is the Big Rothesay Read reveal for 2013 and I am starting my copy tonight!
Town House is a fun, lively read with quirky characters that quickly capture a reader's heart. Jack Madigan, son of famous rock-n-roller Baz Madigan, is an agoraphobic living in his childhood home with his son Harlan. Surviving off of royalty checks, Jack and Harlan are getting by just fine until the money begins to dry up. When this happens, they find themselves facing eviction from the bank who is trying to sell the very marketable house. Enter Dorrie Alsop, the real estate agent given the sal...more
You can’t help but think that Tish Cohen is going for Hollywood with her novel Town House. There’s the wacky ensemble cast: Jack Madigan, son of deceased rock legend Baz Madigan; Jack’s son, the eccentric stuck-in-the-70′s teen, Harlan; Jack’s ex-wife, Penelope, and her soon- to- be new husband, Yale; the strangely mature girl-next-door, Lucinda and Dorrie, the real estate agent so inept and adorable you just know she and Jack will end up together. (It will come as no surprise that Town House is...more
Apr 06, 2011 Marta rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys a deep and funny read
This was my second Tish Cohen book. I must say I started reading it without expecting anything and knowing only that it was about an agoraphobe.
Although I found myself lost in the first 2-3 chapters... a little unsure how things fit together (I didn't realized that the chapters were skipping between generations). Once I oriented myself timewise however, I LOVED the book.

I have never read a book so saturated with humour and sarcasm! And despite my laughing out loud in public cafes (while other...more
Lydia Laceby
Originally Reviewed at Novel Escapes

Town House was a fun, quirky novel. It was witty, full of tender moments, laughs and unforgettable characters. The characters were so well drawn, which they had to be as much of the novel takes place in one location – the Town House - that I could picture them perfectly and many will be remain memorable.

Cohen deftly draws the characters in Town House, making this ensemble of eccentrics unforgettable. Their flaws make them seem real and recognizable and the tow...more
Teena in Toronto
I picked this book up at the library because it was on a table of books by Canadian authors. I hadn't read anything by Cohen before.

I enjoyed it. I liked the writing style. Given the subject matter, at times the book was funny.

The story was interesting. Though I have no problem leaving the house and have never known anyone who has agoraphobia, Jack did and I could feel his panic and fear when he tried to. He wanted to overcome it so much but couldn't.

I liked the characters. All were quirky in th...more
Weng Cahiles
What can I say except that this book reads like a movie. And when I did search for more information about this book, I found out that there is indeed a movie in the makings and Zach Galifinakis and Amy Adams will be playing the main characters. The funny thing was, when I was reading this book on a lazy Sunday morning in the comfort of my bed, I imagined Zach as Jack Madigan, son of the famous, turtle-eating rockstar Baz Madigan. (Or maybe it’s because I just finished watching It’s Kind of a Fun...more
Imagine the perfect townhouse in Boston’s south end; cathedral ceilings, black and white marble floors throughout the kitchen and hallway. Four floors, five bedrooms – butler’s pantry, dumbwaiter, three fireplaces, and entire floor that is a stage theater. It’s a dream home, and for his whole life, it has belonged to Jack Madigan.

Jack’s father died when he was five after suffering a fatal case of jaundice when he got bit by the snapping turtle he was planning on eating on stage. Baz Madigan was...more
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A novel that I randomly picked up at the library turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining read. Not a novel that requires much thinking, but entertaining nonetheless.

This is a story about a father who is afraid to leave his security blanket-esque house, his son who has a penchant for the 70's and whose mantra is "uncool is the new cool", their disfigured cat with a sexually ambiguous name, and the various people who enter their lives.

Tish Cohen has a knack for creating amusing descriptions...more
Mary Anne
If you are in search of a laugh out loud funny book, search no more. This is The Accidental Tourist meets Woody Allen. The main character, Jack Madigan, has panic attacks at the thought of going outside. But his Beacon Hill town house is being sold out from under him, so he must move. Other characters complete the picture, including the little girl next door, who befriends Jack.
I never would have read this gem if my husband hadn't given it to me on a whim. Really, this is going to be one of my...more
I have never read about a character as unique as Jack Madigan and his agoraphobia. His disibility is interesting not only in itself but intrigueing in the way that makes you wonder how an agoraphobe functions with any normalcy, and that's the premise of this book. Though there's not much the book has to offer with exciting plot lines, it's Jack and son that captivate you and make you want to read in hopes of a happy ending. A great character book.
What a cast of characters! The agoraphobic son of a rock star, the rock star himself who dies after being bitten by a snapping turtle, the little girl next door who pretends to be a dog, the real estate agent who wears exceedingly large thrift store shoes... throw these folks into a compelling, well-written story and you've got a book that will stay with you long after you turned the last page.
Canadian Tish Cohen was the writer chosen by The Great Rothesay Reads, founded to encourage high school students, especially boy to read. She is very funny and dramatic. I attended the public talk and a writers' workshop. SHe writes about those with mental illness and the characters surrounding their lives; hard to say who is sane. It may become a movie.
Jack, son of a former rock star, is an agoraphobic who is having his house sold by the bank. Jack is unable to pay his debt as he is a colour consultant who cannot visit with clients in their spaces. At the same time, Jack's ex-wife is remarrying; he has to find another place to live with his son; his fledgling romantic relationship looks to have fallen apart; and his 9 year old neighbour keeps showing up at his house uninvited.

Definitely one of those books that starts out as a 2, but has a stro...more
It has been a long time since I have read a book with such well developed characters.There was not single stereotype or cliche in this book.Tish Cohen's talent shines through totally in this novel,which is a huge achievement considering she wrote it in 3 and 1/2 weeks.
What a delicious, funny book! Made me smile, made me laugh. the one eyed cat with the little house on the prairie bonnet... really! Great characters, great story! I'm sure this is going to be a movie at some point, hope John Cusack is in it... and Ozzie as the dad? :-)
A funny and touching story. The characters are extremely well developed. The book provides a good understanding of agoraphobia and how profoundly it affects the life of the afflicted person and the people he interacts with.
A wonderfully light, and enjoyable story about a person dealing with a difficult struggle. Loved the characters, and the descriptions made me feel like I was right there. I would totally recommend this book.
About what I was expecting: light, amusing, but not unpredictable. Then again, unpredictability is not why you read, or watch, romantic comedies. You know what's going to happen, and that's kind of comforting.
As another person said, I picked this up randomly at the library, having never heard of the author before. Really liked the book, with its eccentric characters. Will look for other books by the same author.
This was chosen for our book club and I was grateful, I don't think I would have chosen it on my own but truly enjoyed it and liked the characters, especially the neighbor girl. I would recommend this book.
Quick read for our book club. Met the author at a creative writing workshop and thought she was great! Lots of great tips and comical incidents she shared with our group.
Oct 21, 2008 Kathy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathy by: Lynn Kennedy
Shelves: book-club
I enjoyed this book. It was a quick easy read with engaging characters. Supposedly a movie is being made from this. I think it will make an even better movie
Such an interesting idea, story and outcome. I very much enjoyed this - it was fresh and original and kept my attention. I love the characters also!
Oct 20, 2008 Anne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Anne by: book club
Shelves: book-club
This was a quick read; it was quirky and funny. I liked the story of the "father-daughter" relationship and the fact that it took place in Boston.
Excellent read, witty, very well written. Only reason it's not 5 stars is the last chapter is a disappointing tidy up happily ever after ending....
Oct 12, 2008 Heather rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Heather by: Book Club
I enjoyed this book; I thought parts of it were very funny. I especially liked his relationship with his son and his foibles with the Groper.
Elizabeth Esse
I loved this book. Tish has created wonderful characters and an excellent story. I'm always buying Town House and giving it to friends.
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"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
Anais Nin quote from Oprah's website inspired Tish Cohen to write her first adult novel.

Tish Cohen is the author of TOWN HOUSE, a 2008 finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize – Best First Book Award (Canada and Caribbean region), and in development as a feature film with Fox 2000. Ridl...more
More about Tish Cohen...
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