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The House of Tomorrow

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  2,249 ratings  ·  363 reviews
Sebastian Prendergast lives in a geodesic dome with his eccentric grandmother, who homeschooled him in the teachings of futurist philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller. But when his grandmother has a stroke, Sebastian is forced to leave the dome and make his own way in town.

Jared Whitcomb is a chain-smoking sixteen-year-old heart-transplant recipient who befriends Sebastian, a
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 4th 2010 by Penguin Adult Hc/Tr (first published December 17th 2009)
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Cloris aw come on you spoiled it

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Kelly Hager
May 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I could tell you what it's about but it'll just sound weird and you'll think, "Yeah, that'll be fun."

Instead, I'm going to tell you what it's like. It's basically like if Nick Hornby, Douglas Coupland in his Generation X/Microserfs days and Tom Perrotta teamed up to write a book about a teenage boy and his introduction to punk music. It's a story about teenagers and it actually is like what it's like to be a teenager. It's a book that is pretty far outside of my experience (I could not tell you
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
This didn't seem like a book I'd like--teenage boy raised in futuristic geodesic dome by eccentric grandmother forms punk band with an angry teen heart-transplant recipient.

But, it grew on me. I will admit it took me awhile to get into it, and I did debate tossing it aside during the first 30 or so pages. What was the problem? I found myself distracted by Sebastian's very unique voice (imagine a kid who uses absolutely no slang and sounds like he swallowed a dictionary). Soon, though, I noticed
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
full disclosure: i'm friends with the author -- and I'm breaking with my "never write reviews of friends books in public" just because I liked this book so much.

first things first, As a YA book, this book gets five stars. It's probably one of the best YA books released this year. As an adult book, it's a little too saccharine at points, but you still can't fault it. It's like your favorite movies from the 80s -- a little too formulaic and a few too many scenes that are set up in either improbabl
Mar 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Ah, the power of a good endorsement (by that girl Riva Galchen [sp?:]) and a great price ($1).

This was a nice little book. Which is kind of a dickish thing to say: since the book is over three hundred pages, I mean "little" in the patting-a-kid-on-the-head kind of way. Maybe this is a result of everyone always ragging on me for rating everything too high? Maybe I will feel guilty later and bump this up to four stars? But it really was just a solid, average book.

It kind of follows a template, in
May 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Short of It:

Brilliant, beautifully written and touching in a way that surprised me.

The Rest of It:

After losing both parents in an accident, sixteen-year-old Sebastian Prendergast lives with his eccentric grandmother Nana in a geodesic dome. Nana, who studied with the infamous R. Buckminster Fuller (architect, philosopher and futurist), continues to share his teachings by conducting tours of their very unique home.

Most people visiting Iowa come for other reasons, but every once in awhile they
Wendy Hines
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sebastian Pendergast has lived with his Nana in a geodesic dome since he was four years old. He never leaves the dome, working the gift shop while his Nana gives tours. She has homeschooled him all of his life with the futuristic teachings of R. Buckminster Fuller. She feels that Sebastion will pick up where Fuller left off - hence all of the grooming.

Jared Whitcomb is a sullen, sixteen year old boy who recently had a heart transplant. He feels guilty that someone had to die so he could live. Hi
Chris Blocker
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sa-barer
In many regards, The House of Tomorrow isn't a spectacular book. It follows a formula that has become trite in fiction. The story largely rolls out as most readers would expect from a coming-of-age story. Every time a new character pops up, you can guess the role they'll play. Stylistically, The House of Tomorrow doesn't stand out.

Despite its lack of surprises, Peter Bognanni's debut novel is still an interesting and entertaining read. Though it sticks with the formula and is peopled with predic
Karen Germain
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I picked up Peter Bognanni's debut novel, "The House of Tomorrow" after reading multiple positive magazine reviews. I'm happy to report that this was a wonderful first book by an new, original voice in modern literature.

"The House of Tomorrow" is narrated by Sebastian, an orphaned teenager living with his new age spiritual grandmother in a geodesic dome. The pair live alone, mostly cut off from society except for giving weekly tours of their usual home, which supplement the grandmother's Social
Jun 08, 2011 rated it liked it
If your parents die in a plane crash, and the Futurist grandmother who is raising you has had a lifelong passionate devotion to the teachings and person of R. Buckminster Fuller, you might end up like Sebastian Prendergast, a quiet, highly intelligent boy living in a geodesic dome on the outskirts of a small town in Iowa. The kid's rarely been into town, and has had interaction with other people only through the visitors that come to marvel at the spherical oddity of his home, but his heart is t ...more
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I want to recommend this book but I don't want to say too much about it. I didn't read the back cover or anything and it was all a wonderful surprise. I read a lot of books and many are very good but only a few are this enjoyable. Check it out.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
stop that was so good
Dalton Gregory
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
The House of Tomorrow is a coming-of-age novel with a virtuoso twist and a hint of science fiction. I heard about it in-class, from my teacher, Claudia Swisher, coupled with a book trailer on YouTube.

It's peculiar. I do not know if this book is formally classified as a coming-of-age novel, but it has all of the elements you'd expect from one. But there's one thing that makes it different from other novels of the same vein: I didn't care about the protagonist, Sebastian. One would think that in t
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I find myself at a point where I'm impatient. As a child, I would read a book to the end, no matter what. As a teenager, I read through the first hundred pages, at least. Now? If I'm in the mood to read, I want something that has me clicking along by the first few pages. I don't have time to waste. Peter Bognanni didn't even try to waste my time. Within a few pages, I understood the relationship between Sebastian Prendergast and his grandmother. There's something uncomfortably close about them, ...more
Mr. Allain
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I usually find it easy to rate a book based on what it's trying to be - but I struggled with this one. I genuinely love the premise: oddball kid raised in the home of an aging wannabe-futurist finds an outlet in punk rock. Buckminster Fuller research? Check. Some fun, knowing references to punk rock? Check. Depth? ...... Check? Well, least when the narrator is comparing and contrasting futurist ideology with punk-rock anarchy.

Then it does a sloppy pivot into YA...which
Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great coming-of-age story about a boy who lives an isolated and home-schooled existince with his eccentric grandmother in a geodesic dome. One day while the Whitcomb family is touring the geodome, Sebastian's grandmother suffers a stroke and is taken to the hospital. This is the catalyst that pushes Sebastian out into the world, specifically into the Whitcomb family. Janice (the mother) is still reeling from a divorce, and her son Jared is recovering from heart transplant surgery. Jared finds Se ...more
Started listening to the audiobook off and on yesterday. Not sure if it's the format or what, but I could only get through the 4th chapter of nine. I found that I could care less if this poor boy was able to keep his new friend, if they were able to make a punk rock band(or even if he learned how to play an instrument), if granny lived much longer, really had psychic abilities when she slept or if she levitated, or if the boy's crush Meredith actually gave him a chance or not. I returned this au ...more
Mary (BookHounds)
Jan 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing

This is wonderful debut with a unique voice. I think it is somewhere between The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Life of Pi with my favorite punk songs mixed in. This is my the best book I have read so far the year. This coming of age story really captures some great geek moments and the account of two misplaced teens finding meaning in their lives just hits right on every note.

PLEASE READ THIS BOOK! You won't be disappointed...well, you might be if you
Sep 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bc-yellow-suit
1 Yellow Suit Book Club Sept/2016
Writer is from the UI Writer's Workshop, now lives in Minneapolis. Set in IA. Makes many local references throughout story. (There is actually a geodesic dome somewhere near Cedar Rapids, IA - off of Hwy 30). Wiki indicates that a movie is in the works.

I enjoyed the story. Quirky characters and storyline, short, I can envision this as an indie movie. An afternoon/weekend read. Fills the time, doesn't stick with you.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favorite kind of book: one that doesn't need any action because the characters and relationships are story enough. Great descriptive writing that doesn't try too hard and a sweet story that made me smile.
Apr 17, 2018 marked it as abandoned
the parts of the book that appealed to me -weird, unsocialized homeschooler, bucky fuller, etc. didn't outweigh the parts that didn't - young man finds himself via punk. And the adults were really annoying.
Rob Schorr
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book, can't wait to see the film.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm anxious to see the movie !
Ok. Ok. Where to start. Well, since a lot of the GoodReads friends liked this book, I guess I am sorry that I didn't. Of course, high expectations lead to bigger disappointments, so really you all should be apologizing to me. Just kidding. I finished this over a week ago and have been ruminating over how I feel about it. I’ve vacillated between love and hate. And it boils down to this . . . maybe if I didn't have high hopes, maybe if it had chosen Heavy Metal (or really any kind of music) over p ...more
Sara Whizbanger
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Totally captivating with no poser schlock about punk rock. Gets it right.
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I discovered The House of Tomorrow when I learned that a band from my hometown,The Accidentals, had written a song called "Bulletproof Glass", which was inspired by this book. When trying to quickly describe the book plot during one of their gigs, the band described it as being about a boy who lives in a glass dome with his crazy grandmother, and sees little of the outside world. After meeting a punk rock kid with a heart defect, he starts a band with said punk rock kid. Needless to say, I was i ...more
Shelley M.
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
The House of Tomorrow is an adult novel, but could be called young adult pretty easily. The main character, Sebastian Prendergrast, is 16, and has lived with his grandmother in a geodesic dome since his parents’ death when he was young. His grandmother has raised him according to the teachings of R. Buckminster Fuller, and Sebastian’s only interactions with the outside world are with the customers who come to tour the dome. This changes early in the story, when Sebastian’s grandmother has a stro ...more
Charlie Quimby
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The House of Tomorrow is charming, and I say that in the way I would say it to Peter Bognanni's face, not behind his back.

The unusual setting of a geodesic dome in Iowa and the grandmother's fixation on Bucky Fuller bring a wide generation of poignancy to this coming of age tale.

Since Bognanni played in a terrible high school rock band, I'll have to trust his renditions of the music and the angst of Sebastian Prendergast that didn't quite ring true to this pre-punk rocker. I have a hunch I'm a
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: actual-books
This didn't have to be as shitty a book as it was. The characters could have been interesting... except they reverted back to flat, boring cutouts as soon as Bognanni didn't need them to act sad to show how their character had progressed from the start of the story. Jared is godawfully misogynistic, and there's only one half-hearted stab by Sebastian to call him out on it. Meredith exists only for Sebastian to be creepily overprotective towards. Janice could have been an amazing character but we ...more
Apr 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Was happily reminded of memorizing GOD SAVE THE QUEEN and ANARCHY IN THE UK in 8th grade, to little or no effect when I sang them at the dinner table. (Such is the nature of being third of five). Oh I loved this book. I love little Sebastian. He is the sort of flesh-and-blood punkrocker that, like Franny of my own adolescence, I'll carry around with me. I loved the unexpected tenderness. I loved Janice. I loved the shock of recognition (in dialogue, as when the m.c. starts up at the talent show; ...more
Jan 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Sebastian, orphaned as a child, lives with his grandmother in a geodesic dome in rural Iowa. The poor kid has been raised in isolation, so it's not his fault that he talks like a college instructor. Befriended by Jared, a punk-rock enthusiast recovering from a heart transplant, Sebastian finds out how "normal" families live--and he wants in. This is a fun, oddball book that somehow merges punk music with Buckminster Fuller's philosophies, but Sebastian's remoteness keeps the story from having a ...more
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