Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Town House” as Want to Read:
Town House
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Town House

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  563 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Jack Madigan should be leading an enviable life. He’s the sole heir of a ’70s rock icon. He lives with his retro-obsessed teenage son, Harlan, in a once-magnificent Boston town house. But now 36, Jack’s painting career is buckling under a raging case of agoraphobia. And when the foreclosure notice arrives, Jack must face losing the only home he’s ever known—and his only sa ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by Harper Perennial (first published 2007)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Town House, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Town House

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  563 ratings  ·  98 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Town House
Aug 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun
What a delicious, funny book! Made me smile, made me laugh. the one eyed cat with the little house on the prairie bonnet... really! Great characters, great story! I'm sure this is going to be a movie at some point, hope John Cusack is in it... and Ozzie as the dad? :-) ...more
Shawna Spinks
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fun read! I loved the quirky characters and the sarcastic side of Jack. It will be a great movie, can't wait to see who plays Jack and Harlan. ...more
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club-reads
You can’t help but think that Tish Cohen is going for Hollywood with her novel Town House. There’s the wacky ensemble cast: Jack Madigan, son of deceased rock legend Baz Madigan; Jack’s son, the eccentric stuck-in-the-70′s teen, Harlan; Jack’s ex-wife, Penelope, and her soon- to- be new husband, Yale; the strangely mature girl-next-door, Lucinda and Dorrie, the real estate agent so inept and adorable you just know she and Jack will end up together. (It will come as no surprise that Town House is ...more
Feb 01, 2011 rated it liked it
A novel that I randomly picked up at the library turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining read. Not a novel that requires much thinking, but entertaining nonetheless.

This is a story about a father who is afraid to leave his security blanket-esque house, his son who has a penchant for the 70's and whose mantra is "uncool is the new cool", their disfigured cat with a sexually ambiguous name, and the various people who enter their lives.

Tish Cohen has a knack for creating amusing descriptions
Jun 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
What a cast of characters! The agoraphobic son of a rock star, the rock star himself who dies after being bitten by a snapping turtle, the little girl next door who pretends to be a dog, the real estate agent who wears exceedingly large thrift store shoes... throw these folks into a compelling, well-written story and you've got a book that will stay with you long after you turned the last page. ...more
Lori Goodwin-Chapman
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book started off slow. Really slow. But the Lucie and Dorrie appear, and suddenly I was laughing out loud at some parts, and smiling at the cute moments happening completely out of Jack's control.

If you don't mind powering through the first few chapters, this story is absolutely worth the read. It was satisfying, heartwarming, and wrapped up nicely in the end.
Aug 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
This was a quick read; it was quirky and funny. I liked the story of the "father-daughter" relationship and the fact that it took place in Boston. ...more
Carol Ann Arseneault
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the Big Rothesay Read reveal for 2013 and I am starting my copy tonight!
Madame Jane
May 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-library
This was an unexpected heartwarming and funny story of a man picking up the pieces in his life.
Cindy Selanders
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have found a new favorite author, love her style of writing. Great book!
Dec 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-other
Town House is a fun, lively read with quirky characters that quickly capture a reader's heart. Jack Madigan, son of famous rock-n-roller Baz Madigan, is an agoraphobic living in his childhood home with his son Harlan. Surviving off of royalty checks, Jack and Harlan are getting by just fine until the money begins to dry up. When this happens, they find themselves facing eviction from the bank who is trying to sell the very marketable house. Enter Dorrie Alsop, the real estate agent given the sal ...more
Weng Cahiles
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
What can I say except that this book reads like a movie. And when I did search for more information about this book, I found out that there is indeed a movie in the makings and Zach Galifinakis and Amy Adams will be playing the main characters. The funny thing was, when I was reading this book on a lazy Sunday morning in the comfort of my bed, I imagined Zach as Jack Madigan, son of the famous, turtle-eating rockstar Baz Madigan. (Or maybe it’s because I just finished watching It’s Kind of a Fun ...more
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was my second Tish Cohen book. I must say I started reading it without expecting anything and knowing only that it was about an agoraphobe.
Although I found myself lost in the first 2-3 chapters... a little unsure how things fit together (I didn't realized that the chapters were skipping between generations). Once I oriented myself timewise however, I LOVED the book.

I have never read a book so saturated with humour and sarcasm! And despite my laughing out loud in public cafes (while other
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-harper-books
Imagine the perfect townhouse in Boston’s south end; cathedral ceilings, black and white marble floors throughout the kitchen and hallway. Four floors, five bedrooms – butler’s pantry, dumbwaiter, three fireplaces, and entire floor that is a stage theater. It’s a dream home, and for his whole life, it has belonged to Jack Madigan.

Jack’s father died when he was five after suffering a fatal case of jaundice when he got bit by the snapping turtle he was planning on eating on stage. Baz Madigan was
Teena in Toronto
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian
I picked this book up at the library because it was on a table of books by Canadian authors. I hadn't read anything by Cohen before.

I enjoyed it. I liked the writing style. Given the subject matter, at times the book was funny.

The story was interesting. Though I have no problem leaving the house and have never known anyone who has agoraphobia, Jack did and I could feel his panic and fear when he tried to. He wanted to overcome it so much but couldn't.

I liked the characters. All were quirky in th
Lydia Laceby
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
Originally Reviewed at Novel Escapes

Town House was a fun, quirky novel. It was witty, full of tender moments, laughs and unforgettable characters. The characters were so well drawn, which they had to be as much of the novel takes place in one location – the Town House - that I could picture them perfectly and many will be remain memorable.

Cohen deftly draws the characters in Town House, making this ensemble of eccentrics unforgettable. Their flaws make them seem real and recognizable and the tow
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Anne
Oct 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
If you are in search of a laugh out loud funny book, search no more. This is The Accidental Tourist meets Woody Allen. The main character, Jack Madigan, has panic attacks at the thought of going outside. But his Beacon Hill town house is being sold out from under him, so he must move. Other characters complete the picture, including the little girl next door, who befriends Jack.
I never would have read this gem if my husband hadn't given it to me on a whim. Really, this is going to be one of my
Apr 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
I have never read about a character as unique as Jack Madigan and his agoraphobia. His disibility is interesting not only in itself but intrigueing in the way that makes you wonder how an agoraphobe functions with any normalcy, and that's the premise of this book. Though there's not much the book has to offer with exciting plot lines, it's Jack and son that captivate you and make you want to read in hopes of a happy ending. A great character book. ...more
Apr 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Canadian Tish Cohen was the writer chosen by The Great Rothesay Reads, founded to encourage high school students, especially boy to read. She is very funny and dramatic. I attended the public talk and a writers' workshop. SHe writes about those with mental illness and the characters surrounding their lives; hard to say who is sane. It may become a movie. ...more
Nov 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It has been a long time since I have read a book with such well developed characters.There was not single stereotype or cliche in this book.Tish Cohen's talent shines through totally in this novel,which is a huge achievement considering she wrote it in 3 and 1/2 weeks. ...more
Dec 09, 2008 rated it liked it
This was chosen for our book club and I was grateful, I don't think I would have chosen it on my own but truly enjoyed it and liked the characters, especially the neighbor girl. I would recommend this book. ...more
May 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
As another person said, I picked this up randomly at the library, having never heard of the author before. Really liked the book, with its eccentric characters. Will look for other books by the same author.
Mar 02, 2012 rated it liked it
About what I was expecting: light, amusing, but not unpredictable. Then again, unpredictability is not why you read, or watch, romantic comedies. You know what's going to happen, and that's kind of comforting. ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully light, and enjoyable story about a person dealing with a difficult struggle. Loved the characters, and the descriptions made me feel like I was right there. I would totally recommend this book.
Jun 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great summer read. Loved the characters, especially little Lucinda.
Aug 19, 2008 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book; I thought parts of it were very funny. I especially liked his relationship with his son and his foibles with the Groper.
Aug 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
I enjoyed this book. It was a quick easy read with engaging characters. Supposedly a movie is being made from this. I think it will make an even better movie
Liz Esse
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Tish has created wonderful characters and an excellent story. I'm always buying Town House and giving it to friends. ...more
Dec 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Cute story with lovable characters.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
  • Queer
  • Peach Blossom Spring
  • The Tenth Girl
  • Oyster
  • Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure
  • Would You Rather? A Memoir of Growing Up and Coming Out
  • The Man in the Wooden Hat (Old Filth, #2)
  • Shadows of Pecan Hollow
  • Funny, You Don't Look Autistic: A Comedian's Guide to Life on the Spectrum
  • Portrait of a Thief
  • The Disappearing Act
  • The Disaster Tourist
  • It All Comes Back to You
  • Interior Chinatown
  • The House of Dreams
  • Golden Boys (Golden Boys, #1)
  • Heartstopper Series Volume 1-4 Books Set By Alice Oseman
See similar books…
See top shelves…
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
Anais Nin quote from Oprah's website inspired Tish Cohen to write her first adult novel.

Tish Cohen is the author of TOWN HOUSE, a 2008 finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize – Best First Book Award (Canada and Caribbean region), and in development as a feature film with Fox 2000. Ridl

Related Articles

  With more than 4.75 million votes cast and counted, the 13th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards are now official. Launched in 2009,...
228 likes · 86 comments