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Sex and Real Estate: Why We Love Houses
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Sex and Real Estate: Why We Love Houses

liked it 3.0  ·  Rating details ·  29 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Cultural historian Marjorie Garber offers incisive and witty commentary on what men and women today really want in her enlightening study of what may be the most meaningful relationship any of us will ever have.

Real estate has become a form of “yuppie pornography.” Hopes of summer romance have given way to hopes of summer homes, and fantasies of Romeo have been replaced by
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 18th 2001 by Anchor (first published 2000)
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Some books are just bad. Maybe the writing is sub-par. Or the ideas are stale or uninteresting. These books are easy to ignore. If you stumble upon one, you feel no guilt over relegating it to a darkened corner, re-gifting it, or returning it to the library unread. Then there are books that are bad despite decent writing and interesting ideas. It is this second category that really aggravates me. Sex and Real Estate, for example, has a provocative topic: the cultural significance of 'house' as a ...more
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shining-a-light
Read this some time ago and remember really enjoying it and finding it very insightful. People are indeed bizarre when it comes to all matters real estate. The parallels between "house love " and "human love" will make you giggle. I find the ruin porn of Detroit to be mesmerizing and hypnotic, but am unable to conceptualize the idea of a new "yuppie pornography." And her references to the writing of Virginia Woolf, or one of my favorites, Edith Wharton add a new dimension to my thinking.
Oh hous
Oct 07, 2013 marked it as to-read
"What is desirable is the recognizable, the already seen, the virtually experienced, the framed. […] The point may be even clearer in the case of the 'magazine–quality kitchen' featured in an advertisement for a suburban house. What makes the kitchen desirable is that it resembles not a kitchen, but a kitchen–in–a–magazine. It's easy to imagine what this might mean (slate or granite counters, under–mount sinks, cherry cabinets, central work island with bar sink, miniature halogen lighting, and s ...more
Sep 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Garber is a witty writer with a wide-ranging imagination and the historical-cultural chops to pull together diverse examples and combine them into a compelling picture of the allure of real estate, whether that allure is existential, commercial, maternal, or sexual. The book is a pleasure to read, and I like the way she interweaves personal anecdotes and those of her acquaintances and friends with literary examples (Elizabeth Bennet falling in love with Darcy's house, for example). Her touch is ...more
May 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
This book is so ghastly that I can't finish reading it. It's sat on my bedside table for months, and I just can't bring myself to read another chapter of lightly humourous observations about how people fall in love with houses just like they do with romantic partners. It sounded like a good idea for a book, but doesn't seem to go much deeper than the subtitle.
May 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Amusing and well written - I picked it up primarily to see how and English professor conveys such a topic. She offers a solid variety of ideas about the psychology of our homes and our relationship with them. It's a fun read but neither critical nor startling.
Sue Kozlowski
Aug 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting thoughts.
Aug 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing book for all real estate junkies....
Fullfaun Faun
this book gives essays about the emotional. aspects of house searching.
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Marjorie B. Garber (born June 11, 1944) is a professor at Harvard University and the author of a wide variety of books, most notably ones about William Shakespeare and aspects of popular culture including sexuality.

She wrote Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety, a ground breaking theoretical work on transvestitism's contribution to culture. Other works include Sex and Real Estate:
More about Marjorie Garber