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The Show House

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Quirky Orlando retirees Thaddeus and Cheryl, and new parents Steven and Peter, come together for a family weekend, where Cheryl anxiously hopes to repair the dysfunctional and toxic relationship between her husband and their son, Steven. Their adoptive granddaughter Gertie, everyone hopes, might just do the trick.

Meanwhile, when news of a serial killer that targets gay men
Paperback, 298 pages
Published December 13th 2016 by The Unnamed Press
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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  87 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Rachel León
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Whoa, this is a novel that deserves a lot of attention.

Dan Lopez's THE SHOW HOUSE can be described as a literary psychological thriller as it features a serial killer who targets gay men in nightclubs.

Meet Thaddeus and Cheryl, retirees who visit their son and his husband for the weekend. Thaddeus and his son have a strained relationship, but he's excited to meet his new adopted granddaughter. I loved how the tension within this family was apparent in the very first chapter.

Across town Laila,
Katie Boyer
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really fun read! Read it on vacation and flew through it. The writing and characters were very compelling!
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I may not have found this enjoyable read if the author hadn't been a coworker, so I'm very glad he was :) ...more
I spent a lot of time debating about how to rate this one, but I've given up and decided to leave it unstarred. It's really well written. Creepy. Atmospheric. Odd. It totally captures the weirdness that is Orlando and the difficulties of family. I just can't say that I enjoyed it. This is the complete opposite of a beach read. It's uncomfortable to read, most of the characters are (purposefully) unsympathetic, and it in no way ties up threads or presents any type of closure or conclusions.

Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I've been vacillating between 2 and 3 stars for this book - I'll go with the more positive. Ultimately, my issue is that the characters who got the most space had sort of strange blank spots in their development, and the ending made those spots starker in what it left open. Laila was probably my favorite character because she was so rounded - I'd have read a whole book about her and her life. Thaddeus and Steven, though, just felt like something was missing. I didn't buy one particular motivatio ...more
Dec 30, 2016 marked it as to-read
This is only available in paperback? Can't find an electronic copy anywhere. ...more
Jake Sproul
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: Dan Lopez is a very good friend of mine!

I really loved The Show House! I believe one of the authors who contributed a review on the back cover called it a "witch's brew" and I couldn't agree more. A hurricane is about to descend on Florida, but the real storm is what is bubbling just beneath the surface of each character. The Show House follows several seemingly unconnected story lines: a retired couple hoping to reconcile with their son Steven, his husband, and meet their adopted gr
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I once heard some pretty bad puns in person from the author.

The Show House really satisfied my schadenfreude for uncomfortable family situations. It was almost too uncomfortable for me, especially the parts about Thaddeus's bumbling along over and over again. The murder scenes were incredibly graphic, so definitely not for the squeamish, but even those didn't make me feel as awkward as some of the family scenes.

Come for the murder, stay for the uneasy family dynamics.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I received this book through "Good Reads Giveaway".

This is a sincere and realistic portrayal of the "Gay lifestyle" and is not for every reader. There are raw scenes which are only suitable for the broadminded adult.

The author's talent is tested by the subject matter to some degree. The final chapters suggest that there is a sequel to "The Show House" in the future, since the author leaves many loose ends. Over all, this book is best for a progressive mindset.
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-book-list
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Siel Ju
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Overhead stars shine in a patchwork of clouds. Across the lake the blue lights of the
airport glow uninterrupted.”
Dan's my writing workshop friend — and reading his novel, I especially loved his descriptions of urban nights. The Show House is a bit of everything: a thriller with a serial killer, a family drama, a battle against natural forces.
Kay Townsend
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
This book wasn't the best book I have read by all means. I continued reading it, it wasn't bad enough to give up but it was just a normal read in my opinion, nothing special. ...more
Liz Robey
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Nov 30, 2016
Daniel Lewis
rated it it was ok
Aug 03, 2017
Carol Keeney
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Nov 23, 2016
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
So this thriller had a lot of difficult parts to read for a number of reasons. The author wrote in ways that often made it unclear what was happening, the characters were not like able and although the sexual content was essential to the story line it was tough to read. I can only give this 3 stars because of what I just said although if you like a good thriller this might be a good read for you.
rated it it was ok
Feb 06, 2017
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Ian Gee
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Dan Lopez lives in Santa Monica. His work has appeared in The Millions, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Collagist, Storychord, Mary Literary, Time Out New York, and Lambda Literary, among others.

You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

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“But the limp tent sputtering to life transfixes Thaddeus. It morphs and undulates like a lava flow. Forms rise in the fabric only to collapse as the gas reaches toward equilibrium. "It's just the wind," Cheryl says, but he ignores her. His home is turmoil. Right now poison pours over Cheryl's clothes and into Stevie's old room. Next will be the garage, or would that have been first? Ultimately, the order matters little to him. Gas will eventually coil around everything like a cat settling down for a nap: his law books in the attic, the photograph in the family room of Stevie leaning over the rail at Niagara Falls pretending to slip, the Hawaiian leis from a family vacation he can't quite remember, entire drawers full of odd knickknacks and fading memorabilia that attest to a life well lived, tangible proof of memories made even if the memories themselves rise more sluggishly and infrequently than they used to—all of it, ultimately, choking on gas. But how many of the termites?” 0 likes
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