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3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  2,478 ratings  ·  159 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
Hardcover, 430 pages
Published January 25th 2005 by Turtleback Books (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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
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
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
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
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
Nathan Burgoine
This was fairly enjoyable - a ghost story done by the man most known for his Ender series and the Alvin Maker fantasy series. It is contemporary, and revolves mostly around a man who lost his family, and who know restores old homes to their former grandeur, making enough money to get by, buy a new home, and continue. When he discovers a spirit, and a trio of powerful women who are keeping a dark soul in check, the house itself begins to act out against him. A good solid ghost story with enough t ...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.

Me pasa con este hombre que tiende a cojear. Los personajes y los diálogos son flojetes; demasiado sólidos, inqubrantables, poco verosímiles.


No puede ser que un hombre acepte que la persona con la que lleva semanas conviviendo sea un fantasma. Pero aceptar así, de un segundo para otro y sin mayores sobresaltos. No es verosímil.

Cómo nace y evoluiona la historia de amor tampoco es verosímil.

Lo mejor sin duda es el carácter de la casa y las vecinas de al lado, que a mí me
Skip this book.

Takes FOREVER to get to the point and then the point is neither scary nor surprising. Ties everything into a bow at the end but by then I couldn't care enough to be disappointed.

Basically this was meant to be a ghost story and ended up being a story telling you just what a great guy Don Lark is ( he's self reliant, honest, a husband not a casual lay, broken but in that desirable way, works with hands). He falls in love twice, there is a ghost and a murder and weird old neighbors b
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
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
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.

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
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
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
I am normally an OSC fan (love the Ender's Game series), but this is pretty bad. It's predictable and actually kind of boring. When I read the description, I was kind of hoping for a "House of Leaves" sort of thing, but this is a FAR cry from that fairly awesome book.

3+. This book was plodding along and then, pow a bunch of twists. At the end it became very poltergeist ish.The concept of the house as a living force was interesting. The beginning felt as if the author was going in a whole different direction than where he ended up. It was interesting to explore a genre I usually avoid.
Kivilcim Akdemir
I can't quite explain why but I was drawn to the book and immensely enjoyed reading, even though I have no idea why. It wasn't the sappy love story or the so called horror elements. I guess I loved reading about a house. The imagery so vivid, the colors too real...
I really get off on a "bad house" story and in addition the characters were lovely. There were plenty dirty secrets to be revealed and it is humorous. Some things were a little too predictable for my usual tastes but other things made up for it.
J.A. McLachlan
Orson Scott Card always produces an excellent book. He takes you right into his characters' thoughts and hearts so that you can't help but be engrossed by their story. At the same time, he leads you to think about something in a new way. Homebody is the story of a man haunted by a grief in his past, who buys up old, rundown but structurally sound houses and renovates them, then sells them. In this case the house is haunted, but this is not simply a haunted house story. It is the house itself, a ...more
Kelly Weaver
Loved this book! Yes, there were a few things that didn't really add to the story in the beginning, but man after that it was great! The ending of one particular chapter actually gave me chills. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a great love/ghost story.
Dramatic and at the same time romantic book explores different 1990s stereotypes and from start is just a plain drama which soon takes turn to mystic side. Reminds me of the movie the Others
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
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.
Otis Campbell
I don't mind dying 'cause I'm already dead.
Pray not for the living I'll live in your head.
Dying is easy it's living that's hard.
It's been a long time since I read this book. I may go back and read it again. I really liked it but have forgotten some of the details.
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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 about Orson Scott Card...

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