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The Rich Man's House

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  226 ratings  ·  45 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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Average rating 3.89  · 
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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,
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
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 ...more
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy gods was this a book

This was so well written if I didn't know better I would have been Googling to find out more. Even knowing the Wheel is fictional I still found myself googling events and historical people that I knew the story wasn't telling the truth about just because it was so convincing

The Wheel in and of itself was amazing and Walter Richman, as the only man who had ever climbed it was fascinating as well. The story was a complex, well written, scary, edge of seat, brutal thriller
Dec 09, 2019 marked it as couldn-t-finish  ·  review of another edition
No, no, no, no, no! No way do I have the patience to read 200 pages before the book gets better. Two-hundred seems to be the consensus. I really wanted to give this a good effort before giving up but twelve pages was all I could manage.
Ron Titley
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books-read
Whoa! A great story start to finish. I was so looking forward to reading this book I neglected to record the date I started reading. But upon checking my library list, I finished "The Rich Man's House" in 5 days.
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 ...more
C a m i l a
Sep 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
- 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
Jessica Smith
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Daniel Ruben
We are warned at the start that due to McGahan's declining health the rewriting and editing process for The Rich Man's House was all too hurried, and it definitely shows, especially at 600 pages long. The Rich Man's House is a great yarn, a gripping supernatural thriller set in a parallel universe just slightly askance to ours, but it takes a very long time to get into. It takes about 200 pages in fact, before which we're informed at length about the backstory regarding the stupendous 25km high ...more
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘The Rich Man's House’ is the eleventh and final novel for Miles Franklin Award- winning author Andrew McGahan, published posthumously after his too soon passing at only 52 years of age earlier this year.

A thrilling mysterious paranormal tale set on a haunted mountain, the tallest mountain in the world that sits just south of Tasmania.

Eccentric billionaire Walter Richman is the only man to have conquered the summit, “the wheel” as it is known- becomes fixated on building his dream home so he can
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, general, horror
The Rich Man's House tells of a mansion built at the base of the world's tallest mountain, The Wheel, located between Tasmania and Antartica and rising 25km into the stratosphere. The house itself is on top of the observatory 2kms high, built by billionaire and first conquerer of the Wheel's summit, Walter Richman. The deceased architect who designed the house's daughter comes to visit and pay respects, but things start to fall apart after a cataclysmic event traps them in.

This was a
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
Emma Balkin
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
This novel was indeed epic. I was drawn to it because I had heard of Andrew McGahan’s death, and had read Praise and 1988 a long time ago. I am not a fan of long books, and felt that the story suffered somewhat from the tragedy of McGahan’s impending death during the writing process, as the background information about the Wheel and mountain climbing could have been reduced significantly. Nevertheless, once the disaster struck the Mount, the pace picked up and I found myself eager to keep ...more
Faye Weston
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book containing several subjects tied into one epic novel by a dying author who has the liberty of literary freedom. He apologises for any disputed facts but won’t be accountable. The history of the discovery of these islands and mountains will have you reaching for reference material and the geology is a mind blowing experience.
Six people are trapped in a house called the Observatory with a view point to a mountain named ‘The Wheel’. Now comes the story of how humans perform and
Sue Smith
Still not sure what to make of this book. Page after page I moved through anticipation, intrigue to fear, horror. When I turned 40 I took a trip to Uluru rather than have a party. The rock left me pretty cold, although it was a magnificent spectacle and continues to be. We drove to The Olgas/Kara Tjuta and when walking around I was struck by the sacredness of the place, a presence that gave me raised hairs. The Rich Man's House is a long, mixed bag of genre that has been influenced by Aboriginal ...more
Kimmy C
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not in my usual genres, but my curiousity was piqued by the blurb. It does delve into the mildly supernatural realm, but in essence is a tale of revenge, and what a long memory the Earth has. I found some of the characters to swing between credible and slightly unhinged, but it was necessary for the situations described in the book. I did like the author’s method of putting random ‘articles’ and ‘news clippings’ in between the chapters, as it gave context to the story, what happened ...more
Bree T
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Andrew McGahan has truly been a literary giant. He’s a winner of the Miles Franklin award and is the author of numerous critically acclaimed and beloved novels. Unfortunately, this is his final novel and he passed away before it was officially published, of pancreatic cancer. This novel has a little note from McGahan at the beginning, a sort of farewell to readers and almost a small plea for understanding about anything that might not be perfect within the pages. Although he considered it a ...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.