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3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  2,218 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Damaged Houses A master craftsman, Don Lark could fix everything except what mattered, his own soul. After tragedy claimed the one thing he loved, he began looking for dilapidated houses to buy, renovate, and resell at a profit--giving these empty shells the second chance at life he denied himself.

Damaged Souls

Then in a quiet Southern town, Lark finds his biggest challenge...more
Hardcover, 430 pages
Published January 25th 2005 by Turtleback Books (first published 1998)
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Timothy Neesam
Man who lost everything and is haunted by his past purchases house that has a squatter refusing to leave. I'm a sucker for haunted house books (and movies) and enjoyed Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. This follows many of the traditions of the haunted house genre, with a few twists and turns. The writing is clean and clear and,while I wondered on occasion if I was reading a gothic romance, I was absorbed enough to read the entire book in a single day. Recommended if you like haunted house novels...more
This book was very different than his other books I have read. What really impresses me about OSC is that he does SO much extensive research on every book he writes, and you can tell throughout each of them. He has written books on Bible history, Science Fiction, Russian History, Home repair, and you can tell he knows his stuff. What bothers me about many authors is about how their predictable books always seem to be about a "jaded writer of journalist". He takes on new subjects he probably isn'...more
Card es Card, con sus vicios y sus virtudes... con lo cual quiero decir que, no siendo ésta una de sus mejoras novelas, al menos resulta de tan amena lectura como el resto. El tema de la casa encantada, de por sí interesante, está tratado de forma bastante original dentro del estilo habitual del subgénero, pero quizá hay un exceso de intimismo en el planteamiento, con esa historia de amor que resulta un tanto excesiva en su concepción súbita y fulminante.

Diría que se trata de una obra menor del...more
I usually do not figure out whodunnit stuff, even in the most obvious cases, but the weird stuff to be figured out here, I had a pretty good handle on it early on. But I don't think that's a bad thing, and is probably written to be that overly obvious. There were some slow spots where I felt like we were treading water and not learning anything new. But then somehow the turning point where Don started figureing out and accepting what was going on still seemed sudden. I didn't really feel like he...more
Feb 08, 2008 Nikki rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not a single person.
Recommended to Nikki by: No one. And I'm sure they never will.
I had heard good things about Orson Scott Card, so when I saw this book at the library, I gave it a try. Horrible. PAINFULLY horrible. I was planning to read the Ender's series, but after this book it will take me a loooong time to want to read another Card book. Maybe someday...

(If you feel you need more detail: None of the characters in the book are interesting. Who cares what happens to a bunch of irritating people, you know? The plot is laughably ridiculous. There's a random and pointless lo...more
Most ghost stories are mysteries at heart, and Homebody falls more strongly on the mystery side than the spooky side. There were a few moments towards the beginning of the novel when I forgot I was reading Card and thought I was reading Stephen King, but a King novel with the same concept would have gone in a totally different direction and been a whole lot scarier.

Which is not to say that Card's book is bad--it's sweet, and well told, and compelling ... it's just not a "keep you up at night wit...more
I enjoyed our Halloween read this year. It was not scary but had supernatural twists to it. I lived the thought that a unique home with lots of love in it has power.

I didn't have problems with the story line but I still appreciated Tracy's comments at book club. "If a book touches on areas that are part of your own life, you need them to be accurate and realistic." There can be ghosts and supernatural happenings but when the things that are supposed to link the story to the real world are off it...more
This is sort of a horror story. Ish.

I read this so long ago I'm not sure if I read the entire book, or skipped around. Either way, it was an unusual read with some interesting concepts--like a woman getting energy to fight a curse by eating (she gets to be the size of a truck).

The book gets kind of weird at the end. If I recall correctly, there was one corny moment where someone springs toward another character shouting, "Die!" And then it gets super SUPER weird, but I won't spoil it for you.

Adam Heine
About half of the book reads like a season of This Old House. If I hadn't just had my own house built, I'd have probably gotten very bored before page 100. That's probably the only reason I gave this 3 instead of 4 stars: because the house parts make it slow.

Of course the house parts are important. Every part is important, and you can see that at the end. That's what Card does. That and characters, and it was the characters that brought me through the story. Even though I should be bothered that...more
Sarah Delacueva
I have always enjoyed Orson Scott Card's forays into the more-or-less real world. While Homebody certainly has its fantastical elements, its setting is modern-day Greensboro, North Carolina, aka my home town. It is always great fun to read a novel set in a place that you know really well, as you can vividly imagine the setting and frequently think "yup, got that one right" when the author references local culture.

Besides the setting, I enjoyed the set-up: Don, a lonely former contractor, having...more
Marc Goldstein
Call it a ghost story or a gothic romance, one thing is certain about Orson Scott Card's novel, Homebody: it's not science fiction. One of the most celebrated SF authors of the last twenty years, Card has rarely written outside the genre. But his passion for characterization and spirituality make him exceptional in a genre too often obsessed with high-concept plots and technological gimmickry. He is, perhaps, better equipped than most SF writers are to be able to stray from its parameters.

Christopher Smith
Homebody is a fairly run-of-the-mill supernatural thriller about a magical, haunted house. (Probably it is a spin-off from the magical, haunted house in Treasure Box, published a few years prior.) The writing is decent compared to other books in the genre, but lackluster for Card. The book is at its best in its descriptions of the protagonist's deep and abiding grief for his deceased child. Card himself lost a child, so these passages spring directly from his own personal experience.

It may also...more
Jona Cannon
Don Lark is a master craftsman who is trying to live out the rest of his life hiding in his work. He rebuilds homes and restores them to their former glory, bringing the past back to life while hiding from his own past and his own life. When he starts renovating the Bellamy house he finds that bringing the past back to life might not be in everybody's best interest. Between the odd ramblings of the weird sisters next door, and the mysterious squatter residing at the house, Don has a hard time fo...more
Why is it that I so often feel ripped-off by the endings of Orson Scott Card's books? They almost always feel as if he was 20 pages away from the ending, hit his deadline, and crammed all the pertinent information into 3 or 4 pages. Usually, the rest of the book is so brilliant (Ender's Game, Sarah) that I don't care, but this one was especially frustrating. For the first 3/4 of the book, I was right there with him, and the level of creepy-goings-on and otherworldly suspense was just this side o...more
I thought this was a pretty good ghost story overall. I love our book club tradition of reading something kind of spooky in October. I liked the setup, which talked about how the house came to be; about the original construction and then Don's renovation. But then I could read architecture books all day long! I also thought it was kind of suspenseful with the mysterious neighbors and all that.

What I didn't like; I never like when I feel as if I'm reading a screenplay. When the romance moves alon...more
I like Orson Scott Card's work, but sometimes he writes a book that begins with great promise then veers off the road into "wish I hadn't bothered" territory.
Just awful. Cliched, two dimensional and uninteresting characters, plot "twists" that were utterly predictable, and a very non scary supernatural element. Don't bother.
Lorijo Metz
Hard to believe the same person who wrote Enders Game, wrote this story. Oh well... it was a vacation read, so it wasn't a total loss.
This book was strange for me. I quickly read through to the end just to find out what would happen. I doubt if I will try any of his more popular (Ender series) books.
Nevarēja saprast, mistika vai šausmene, bet ierāva lasīšanā ļoti. Patika pieeja. No šitās grāmatas sanāktu tāda mistiskā drāma nedaudz ar šausmenes elementiem. Lasījās ļoti labi.
Cathrine Bonham
Orson Scott Card is an exceptional wordsmith. The beginning of this book was really slow not very much of anything happens. But I kept reading. And then some very predictable and stupid events intruded into the plot. But still I kept reading. And though the climax picked up action wise I still have to say If this was movie I would have rolled my eyes and said "Yea Right." But I finished it. Because this is not a movie it is a book written by a man who is very good at using words to draw readers...more
Megan Kuzminski
I am a huge Orson Scott Card fan, and as always, this is a top of the line character driven novel. This is his first non-scifi book I've ever read, and I have to say the ending was a bit too contrived for me to give it five stars. But I couldn't put it down and it elicited much self-reflection as I related to many of the characters and their dilemmas. It's a great book to read if you're dealing with or have ever had to deal with loss. A little too cheesy at the end, but overall a worthwhile read...more
Linda Dale
I listened to the audio version. I like Card's Prentice Alvin and Ender series. "Homebody" is set in today's world and is the story of a man who gets a very good deal on an old, beautiful but neglected home. He intends to rennovate and sell the house. Then he realizes that a squatter also lives there.

This story reminded me of something Dean Koontz would write. While entertaining, it doesn't cover any new ground. Good for someone who likes stories of things that go bump in the night.
I liked this book, but didn't love it. I've read Card before (Enchantment, Ender's Game and Lost Boys) and was looking forward to this one- it's almost 10 years old, but I never got around to it. I found it took a little while for me to get into the story, and the surprise twists were rather predictable in my opinion. I think maybe if this was written by another author, I'd have liked it slightly better, but I have high expectations for Card's work, and was a bit let down.
I was interested to see that Card writes books that are not epic sagas. However, Homebody didn't quite live up to my expectations. It was much better than the average ghost story, but because it was fitting into the ghost story mold, I found a few of the plot twists to be a little bit predictable. Don't get me wrong; there were elements which set it apart from the average, but I had expected anything by Orson Scott Card to just totally knock my socks off.
Heather B
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Serge Pierro
It is always interesting to see how a writer approaches a work that is outside the genre in which they are known for. Here, famous sci-fi author, Orson Scott Card, takes on a ghost/supernatural story. Card's forte has always been his characters, and here is no exception, as the main character is both interesting, and emotionally revealing. The story itself is a bit weak, but it is an interesting book for those who have experienced a loss in their life.
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Callie Leuck
This is a story about the difference between a house and a home. It's about loneliness after the loss of love, and it's about parental love and fraternal love and romantic love. On the surface, it's about a man who's lost everything and drifts from "dead" house to "dead" house, flipping them, making them "alive" again, selling them, and moving on to the next "dead" house. But this time, the house is an old mansion and it's not so dead as it seems...
The house which has the soul, the house which feels, the house which addicts, which absorbs a person, until the the existence of the person, cannot take place outside the house. What about stealing identity? What about killing and taking ones personals? What about destroying the house trap with the help of a handyman, and neighbouring old freaks, ladies I meant. Go, and find, there's a hidden passage. It's a good thriller, with few moments that can scare.
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th...more
More about Orson Scott Card...
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1) Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet, #2) Ender's Shadow (Ender's Shadow, #1) Xenocide (The Ender Quintet, #3) Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet, #4)

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