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The Rich Man's House

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  449 ratings  ·  90 reviews
In the freezing Antarctic waters south of Tasmania, a mountain was discovered in 1642 by the seafaring explorer Gerrit Jansz. Not just any mountain but one that Jansz estimated was an unbelievable height of twenty-five thousand metres.

In 2016, at the foot of this unearthly mountain, a controversial and ambitious 'dream home', the Observatory, is painstakingly constructed
Kindle Edition, 557 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Allen & Unwin (first published 2019)
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Cashel I know 4 months later you have probably already made your decision, but for others curious, all of the Historical aspects of the book are entirely fic…moreI know 4 months later you have probably already made your decision, but for others curious, all of the Historical aspects of the book are entirely fiction, made for character building and gets you used to the setting you are in. I was also confused when reading it first, and I promise, it gets better(less)
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Meet The Wheel. A mountain almost three times the height of Everest. Situated on an island of its own in the Southern Ocean, between Tasmania and Antartica, it's not just the tallest, it's also the steepest, the sheerest, the most treacherous mountain in the world. Only one man has ever made it to the top...

Andrew McGahan's final novel, The Rich Man's House (published posthumously), is an absolute belter. Over the course of 600 pages, it morphs from outdoor adventure, to country house mystery, t
‘It is not a mountain as we know other mountains. It is something else.'

The Wheel – The world's greatest and highest mountain. Located halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica in the Sothern ocean it stands twenty-five thousand metres high penetrating thirteen kilometres into the stratosphere.

On November 14th, 1974, billionaire Walter Richman became the first, and only man since, to climb to the very top of The Wheel. Now forty-two years later his newly finished house, The Observatory, burrow
Gloria Arthur
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-bookshelf
The Rich Man's House by Andrew McGahan

Wow an absolutely unique thriller with horrifying supernatural elements

I was hooked from the start, the story is creative, brilliantly written and engaging, I couldn’t put this book down. The way the story was told with the addition of newspaper articles and scientific publications made it so fascinating and realistic, I was sometimes imagining it was actually based on a true story in the beginning….

Billionaire Walter Richman has built an indulgently extrava
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book kept me up until 4am! I absolutely loved it, and for the better part of a whole day I couldn’t put it down until I finished. This is Andrew McGahan’s last novel, as he sadly found out (halfway through writing it) that he had a severe form of cancer that would likely kill him within months. He did finish the book, and sadly died last February before being able to see it published.

This book was more of a paranormal thriller, which I didn’t expect as the synopsis made it seem like a norma
Kylie Westaway
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Wow wow wow. WOW.

Andrew McGahan’s books ruin me for other books for a while after I’ve finished them. Nothing else feels like it will be as well-written, as relentlessly gripping, as soul-deep satisfying. McGahan knows exactly what I want from the story, which ends I need to see tied up, which resolutions are absolutely required to make the story feel complete, and he gives EVERYTHING and MORE.

The Rich Man’s House is an incredible story – part ghost story, part horror, part thriller. It a
Kate Cornfoot
I only discovered Andrew McGahan's writing a couple of years ago, chancing upon a second-hand copy of Praise. It was a punchy, disturbing, sad, incredible book that stayed with me for some time.
Unfortunately, The Rich Man's House contains little of the same magic. While it's ably written throughout, there are far too many plot elements that require such drastic suspension of disbelief that getting absorbed proved impossible. I skim read the final half of the book, to gain some closure, and was f
Anne Wood
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most disappointing part about this book is the knowledge there will never be another Andrew McGahan novel. We have lost a genius. This book is brilliant! From the first page I was hooked. The blurring of fact and fiction had me searching google maps for the elusive 'Wheel'. It must be out there somewhere. Thank you Andrew McGahan for leaving us with this extraordinary literary gift. ...more
Cass Moriarty
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andrew McGahan was one of Australia’s most talented writers and one of Queensland’s favourite sons. His death in 2019 at age 52 was a great loss to the literary community and to his legions of dedicated fans. His work was varied and always changing – from literary to crime, from science fiction to screenwriting to young adult fantasy. But all of his work is highly engaging and attempts to take the pulse of a nation at a particular time. His last great novel, The Rich Man’s House (Allen and Unwin ...more
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely singular. Bravo. Never read anything like it.
Pretty much 300 pages til the inciting incident/shit goes down. Normally that would be way too slow for me but the set up was enthralling. I marvelled at what McGahan was doing and how he was doing it, and as a writer was floored at the breadth of the project and how it was being pulled off.
The first 3 parts of the novel are a chapter with the protagonist interspersed with a chapter of journal articles, excerpts, extraneous matter. Usually
I enjoyed this book but it was just way too long. It should have been about 150-200 pages shorter, cutting a few of the extracts from articles and books, even though they did add a lot of history to the story. I found the idea of presences a bit difficult to accept at times, but found that if I just accepted the idea of them, instead of being sceptical, the story was more enjoyable. McGahan's writing was undoubtedly good, but the length needed to be trimmed down to keep the pace up.

Thanks to All
Lesley Moseley
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 6-stars
Not my usual style or genre, but I loved this! I was certainly able to suspend disbelief, as weather is as mysterious as any other 'presences'. Maybe a tad too long, but what an achievement. I would expect to see this book on many 'winners' lists. ...more
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rarely read this genre, paranormal. However this is a great book. I was engaged with the novel from the get go.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, I was not expecting this.

This book was a pleasant surprise. I must say, when I first picked up “The Rich Mans House” I did not think at all it would take the turn that it did. After reading the blurb, I expected the usual ‘stuck in a mansion while a murderer is on the loose, killing the guests one by one’. Wow, was I wrong!

During the making of this book Andrew McGahan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and in the ‘Authors Note’ at the beginning of the book he claims that he had to hurr
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a book I would have normally chosen had I known more about the plot, and that would have been my loss because I got completely engrossed in it and couldn’t put it down! The plot is original and totally gripping, McGahan builds suspense very effectively throughout and even when you start to guess what’s coming, it doesn’t diminish the horror of the events at all. I also enjoyed the way the book switches back and forth between historical articles and the contemporary events of the stor ...more
I love Andrew McGahan. And the thing that I love most about him is you never know what to expect, each book is usually so different from the last. I adored White Earth with its historical base and found Underground hilarious (how can you not enjoy the idea of the destruction of Canberra). However not all his books have been hits for me, notably I struggled with the magical realism of Wonders of a Godless World. Unfortunately The Rich Man’s House is a return to this genre. I loved the opening cha ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
Wow ! What a book ! Unputdownable ! A great read ! Full of suspense ! An edge of your seat page turning story !

It’s hard not to use exclamation points and superlatives when it comes to this, the last of Andrew McGahan’s novels. He certainly went out with a bang and left us wanting more ! RIP to a wonderful talent.
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! This is a perfectly constructed, delightfully written, and thoroughly engaging fiction. I would recommend it to anyone with an open mind and a vigorous imagination ( if you don't have those, you won't enjoy it) ...more
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
596 pages. WAY way way too much minutiae. Way.
Al Bità
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there was one word that could be used to refer to this novel it would be “astonishing” — if for nothing else than for the basic premise McGahan expects his readers to accept: that there exists a vast 45 kilometres long curve of extruded rock in the seas south of Tasmania, the central part of it being a massive mountain which rises to a height of some 25,017 metres (for comparison purposes it should be pointed out that Mt Everest is “only” about 8,900 metres high!).

This gigantic mountain was a
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Andrew McGahan is dead. And this is his last work. I've enjoyed a lot of his work from Praise onwards – thanks to the excellent movie adaptation first, text later – and have appreciated the descriptive examination of the personal throughout his texts. The way he looked at lives that might be considered a failure by any measure, and shone tiny lights of relief on their struggles.

So naturally, his final book is a thriller, set on the edge of the world, in which degenerate wealth and animist reveng
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica (Read book. Repeat)
You can find this review over at

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Allen & Unwin in exchange for an honest review.

The Wheel. A mountain discovered in 1642, estimated to be twenty five thousand meters, three times the height of Mount Everest, and even more perilous. 1975 sees the fist conquering of the magnificent beast, one man alone stood at the top in what has been called - The Hand of God, Walter Richman. In 2016, the eccentric billionaire
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Loved this book and days later, I'm still thinking about it. It eludes genre-classification and all I can compare it to is Stephen King's works - a thriller that is real and realistic in all but one little aspect which changes everything. If someone were to describe the plot to me, I would have brushed it aside as not my thing and would never have read it. So I urge you to give this one a go even if the blurb sounds kind of weird to you. An interesting point is that this book has a lot masculine ...more
Andrew Cox
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story got me in and kept me reading. Imagine an authentically Australian Michael Crichton novel, with Stephen King undertones. It’s a thriller, well executed. Some reviewers claim it’s too long, but I found the pacing quite acceptable. Go at it, but bargain to lose sleep at some point.
Giovanna Walker
A lockdown read. If it hadn't have been lockdown I wouldn't have persevered. The descriptions and atmosphere around the Wheel give it a great sense of place - the isolation, loneliness, the wildness. Man vs Nature, a greedy profligate man with no regard for anyone but himself vs the natural world. Who takes its revenger? The story itself way. too. long. Like many others I got tired of the technical details and 'ramblings' of the first 300 pages. The premise of 'the presence' ok, I went with it. ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At almost 600 pages, and requiring some suspension of disbelief, particularly at the end, Andrew McGahan's final book before his untimely death last year is a total page-turner. It kept me up late into the night to finish it.

It's well written and using the device of interspersing the action chapters with newspaper articles and scientific journal entries interweaves the history of the mountain adeptly with the current storyline. McGahan's research is impressive too, he clearly spent much time lea
Camila - Books Through My Veins
- thanks @allenandunwin for sending the copy my way💕

I was super excited to read The Rich Man's House as, unfortunately, it's the last book the author wrote. McGahan passed away earlier this year, and his author note in this book is ultimately moving as he knew this was going to be his last book.

This book is a strange combination of various genres, but I'd define it as a thriller, even though I couldn't feel "the thrill". The idea was there, but it was quite hard to get into the story because of
Andrew Dun
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Earlier this year, I found myself thinking about Andrew McGahan's books and idly wondering if there was a new one coming out soon, so I Googled his name. I was surprised and saddened when the top result was his obituary. The silver lining however was contained within that obit, being that his final book was due to be published posthumously. Therefore, to me, The Rich Man's House feels like a parting gift from a favourite author.

The author concedes that his impending demise set a very finite time
The author warns us at the outset - this is not a completed book. Or more to the point, this is not the book he would have written had time been on his side. He wrote this in the last year of his life and his illness made it impossible to revise as he would usually do.

As an adventure thriller then it certainly could have done with a few more revisions. And it’s still a good book, just we have been spoiled by his previous works.

As allegory however, the text needs no revision. If death is represen
Ystyn Francis
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Hands down my favourite book of the year. I really hated putting it down. McGahan's "The White Earth" is a beloved part of my library and, while this doesn't scale those heights - pardon the pun - it's still definitely part of the conversation. Having just finished watching the television series "The Leftovers" and being blown away by its absolute originality, I had the very same experience with "The Rich Man's House". In equal parts totally grounded and utterly fantastical, some of the set piec ...more
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Andrew McGahan (b. 1966) was an Australian novelist, best known for his first novel Praise, and for his Miles Franklin Award-winning novel The White Earth. His novel Praise is considered to be part of the Australian literary genre of grunge lit.

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