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3.38  ·  Rating details ·  2,797 Ratings  ·  180 Reviews
Damaged Houses A master craftsman, Don Lark could fix everything except what mattered, his own soul. After tragedy claimed the one thing he loved, he began looking for dilapidated houses to buy, renovate, and resell at a profit--giving these empty shells the second chance at life he denied himself.

Damaged Souls

Then in a quiet Southern town, Lark finds his biggest challenge
Hardcover, 430 pages
Published January 25th 2005 by Turtleback Books (first published 1998)
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Cathrine Bonham
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Orson Scott Card is an exceptional wordsmith. The beginning of this book was really slow not very much of anything happens. But I kept reading. And then some very predictable and stupid events intruded into the plot. But still I kept reading. And though the climax picked up action wise I still have to say If this was movie I would have rolled my eyes and said "Yea Right." But I finished it. Because this is not a movie it is a book written by a man who is very good at using words to draw readers ...more
Timothy Neesam
Man who lost everything and is haunted by his past purchases house that has a squatter refusing to leave. I'm a sucker for haunted house books (and movies) and enjoyed Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. This follows many of the traditions of the haunted house genre, with a few twists and turns. The writing is clean and clear and,while I wondered on occasion if I was reading a gothic romance, I was absorbed enough to read the entire book in a single day. Recommended if you like haunted house novels ...more
Card es Card, con sus vicios y sus virtudes... con lo cual quiero decir que, no siendo ésta una de sus mejoras novelas, al menos resulta de tan amena lectura como el resto. El tema de la casa encantada, de por sí interesante, está tratado de forma bastante original dentro del estilo habitual del subgénero, pero quizá hay un exceso de intimismo en el planteamiento, con esa historia de amor que resulta un tanto excesiva en su concepción súbita y fulminante.

Diría que se trata de una obra menor del
Feb 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not a single person.
Recommended to Nikki by: No one. And I'm sure they never will.
I had heard good things about Orson Scott Card, so when I saw this book at the library, I gave it a try. Horrible. PAINFULLY horrible. I was planning to read the Ender's series, but after this book it will take me a loooong time to want to read another Card book. Maybe someday...

(If you feel you need more detail: None of the characters in the book are interesting. Who cares what happens to a bunch of irritating people, you know? The plot is laughably ridiculous. There's a random and pointless lo
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most ghost stories are mysteries at heart, and Homebody falls more strongly on the mystery side than the spooky side. There were a few moments towards the beginning of the novel when I forgot I was reading Card and thought I was reading Stephen King, but a King novel with the same concept would have gone in a totally different direction and been a whole lot scarier.

Which is not to say that Card's book is bad--it's sweet, and well told, and compelling ... it's just not a "keep you up at night wit
Oct 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I enjoyed our Halloween read this year. It was not scary but had supernatural twists to it. I lived the thought that a unique home with lots of love in it has power.

I didn't have problems with the story line but I still appreciated Tracy's comments at book club. "If a book touches on areas that are part of your own life, you need them to be accurate and realistic." There can be ghosts and supernatural happenings but when the things that are supposed to link the story to the real world are off it
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was given to me by my father for something to read on my long plane ride home from visiting him and my family.

The story is about a young contractor who has had some tragedies in his life and is confused about where he is heading in the future. One moment he thinks he's ok, the next not. Many of us can relate to these feelings. I found it hard to put down and that's why I'm giving it 5 stars. It's so quirky and fun. Not to be taken seriously at all. Not like other Orson Scott Card book
Sarah Delacueva
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always enjoyed Orson Scott Card's forays into the more-or-less real world. While Homebody certainly has its fantastical elements, its setting is modern-day Greensboro, North Carolina, aka my home town. It is always great fun to read a novel set in a place that you know really well, as you can vividly imagine the setting and frequently think "yup, got that one right" when the author references local culture.

Besides the setting, I enjoyed the set-up: Don, a lonely former contractor, having
Mustafa Acungil
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Orson Scott Card Stephen King olmuş. Çok güzel bir romandı. Card'ı sevenlerin ya da Stephen King'in doğaüstü konularla ilgili kitaplarını sevenlerin kesinlikle okuması gereken bir kitap.
Mar 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very different than his other books I have read. What really impresses me about OSC is that he does SO much extensive research on every book he writes, and you can tell throughout each of them. He has written books on Bible history, Science Fiction, Russian History, Home repair, and you can tell he knows his stuff. What bothers me about many authors is about how their predictable books always seem to be about a "jaded writer of journalist". He takes on new subjects he probably isn' ...more
I usually do not figure out whodunnit stuff, even in the most obvious cases, but the weird stuff to be figured out here, I had a pretty good handle on it early on. But I don't think that's a bad thing, and is probably written to be that overly obvious. There were some slow spots where I felt like we were treading water and not learning anything new. But then somehow the turning point where Don started figureing out and accepting what was going on still seemed sudden. I didn't really feel like he ...more
Stephanie C
I pulled this book off the shelf at the library and opened at random to read a few sentences. I just wanted to get a feel for the book. I then continued to read for at least fifteen minutes standing in the library shelves before I finally gave up and found a chair to finish the whole thing. Then of course I had to check the book out and take it home so I could read it again, this time from the beginning.

Definitely some creepy stuff in this book, but great storytelling and characters!
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
pretty goofy but not a total waste of time. (Prob what my Tinder dates say about me)
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This plot-twisting ghost story is everything you want it to be without rehashing the too-familiar. Orson Scott Card and his innovative story-telling draw you in and hold you until the last possible second. From a care-worn protagonist who won't give up to an old magician living next door, the characters are complex, emotion-worthy, and real.
Don Lark buys a house in desperate need of repair, planning to fix it up and turn it for profit. Because he would otherwise be living out of his truck, he p
Amanda Young
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderfully dark supernatural story that manages both to scare the pants off of you slowly throughout the book, but make you fall in love with the characters and their flaws. This one is pretty clear from the get go. A house that is more than just a house. And a man burdened by the loss of his daughter trying to fix his way through every rundown house he can. BUT the story doesn't end like you'd expect and what you thought you knew at the beginning of the book was completely flipped by t ...more
E. A. London
Like a lot of fiction, this book could have been trimmed down a ton and still felt like a complete story. Card's writing is so clean though that despite the unnecessary-feeling parts of the story (much of the whole Cindy arc and that drama, honestly), pacing didn't feel bogged down.

Although it is a ghost story, it really doesn't feel that way until the end, so if you want only those kinds of thrills and you'd be bored reading about house construction and tearing down old lath and plaster, this m
S.j. Thompson
I picked up a copy of this book at a used book store, and knowing a little about the author's other works i figured it was a good read. Well, it wasn't horrible, but it was fairly flat, with a predictable plot full of holes, under developed characters, and a silly ending. The dialog between characters felt contrived and the gender based stereotypes were poorly cobbled together to create characters that weren't that likable or believable. Unnecessary interpersonal dramas in the beginning added no ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great haunted house story with a surprising discovery near the end. I loved how the two main characters fell in love. Great romantic ending

Katie Sunsdahl
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like his books. This one was a bit silly, but enjoyable to read.
Marc Goldstein
Call it a ghost story or a gothic romance, one thing is certain about Orson Scott Card's novel, Homebody: it's not science fiction. One of the most celebrated SF authors of the last twenty years, Card has rarely written outside the genre. But his passion for characterization and spirituality make him exceptional in a genre too often obsessed with high-concept plots and technological gimmickry. He is, perhaps, better equipped than most SF writers are to be able to stray from its parameters.

Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wonder why we’re so fascinated by the idea of houses being sentient beings? I know this is not the first book I’ve read where a house has reacted to remodeling and renovation. It’s as if our homes embody who we are or who their previous homeowners were; then become entwined with the living and the dead, until they take on a life of their own. There are several lives (and deaths) involved in this house and this story, and people (both living and dead) are embedded in this old, rambling house th ...more
Lindsey Faye
I didn’t really know what I was expecting or anticipating when I started this story.  I had an idea of a horror story, which then turned into a mystery story, which then turned into a general story about this guy who was fixing up this house and finding himself healing while he did so from the loss of his daughter two years ago.  What actually ended up happening was different than I had thought.  The house was alive in a way and there was a ghost in the story which was being kept alive by the ho ...more
Adam Heine
About half of the book reads like a season of This Old House. If I hadn't just had my own house built, I'd have probably gotten very bored before page 100. That's probably the only reason I gave this 3 instead of 4 stars: because the house parts make it slow.

Of course the house parts are important. Every part is important, and you can see that at the end. That's what Card does. That and characters, and it was the characters that brought me through the story. Even though I should be bothered that
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is sort of a horror story. Ish.

I read this so long ago I'm not sure if I read the entire book, or skipped around. Either way, it was an unusual read with some interesting concepts--like a woman getting energy to fight a curse by eating (she gets to be the size of a truck).

The book gets kind of weird at the end. If I recall correctly, there was one corny moment where someone springs toward another character shouting, "Die!" And then it gets super SUPER weird, but I won't spoil it for you.

Nathan Burgoine
This was fairly enjoyable - a ghost story done by the man most known for his Ender series and the Alvin Maker fantasy series. It is contemporary, and revolves mostly around a man who lost his family, and who know restores old homes to their former grandeur, making enough money to get by, buy a new home, and continue. When he discovers a spirit, and a trio of powerful women who are keeping a dark soul in check, the house itself begins to act out against him. A good solid ghost story with enough t ...more
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me pasa con este hombre que tiende a cojear. Los personajes y los diálogos son flojetes; demasiado sólidos, inqubrantables, poco verosímiles.


No puede ser que un hombre acepte que la persona con la que lleva semanas conviviendo sea un fantasma. Pero aceptar así, de un segundo para otro y sin mayores sobresaltos. No es verosímil.

Cómo nace y evoluiona la historia de amor tampoco es verosímil.

Lo mejor sin duda es el carácter de la casa y las vecinas de al lado, que a mí me
Jona Cannon
May 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don Lark is a master craftsman who is trying to live out the rest of his life hiding in his work. He rebuilds homes and restores them to their former glory, bringing the past back to life while hiding from his own past and his own life. When he starts renovating the Bellamy house he finds that bringing the past back to life might not be in everybody's best interest. Between the odd ramblings of the weird sisters next door, and the mysterious squatter residing at the house, Don has a hard time fo ...more
Christopher Smith
Homebody is a fairly run-of-the-mill supernatural thriller about a magical, haunted house. (Probably it is a spin-off from the magical, haunted house in Treasure Box, published a few years prior.) The writing is decent compared to other books in the genre, but lackluster for Card. The book is at its best in its descriptions of the protagonist's deep and abiding grief for his deceased child. Card himself lost a child, so these passages spring directly from his own personal experience.

It may also
J.A. McLachlan
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Orson Scott Card always produces an excellent book. He takes you right into his characters' thoughts and hearts so that you can't help but be engrossed by their story. At the same time, he leads you to think about something in a new way. Homebody is the story of a man haunted by a grief in his past, who buys up old, rundown but structurally sound houses and renovates them, then sells them. In this case the house is haunted, but this is not simply a haunted house story. It is the house itself, a ...more
I thought this was a pretty good ghost story overall. I love our book club tradition of reading something kind of spooky in October. I liked the setup, which talked about how the house came to be; about the original construction and then Don's renovation. But then I could read architecture books all day long! I also thought it was kind of suspenseful with the mysterious neighbors and all that.

What I didn't like; I never like when I feel as if I'm reading a screenplay. When the romance moves alon
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The House 2 3 May 09, 2016 02:15PM  
  • Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show
  • The Still (Rodrigo of Caledon, #1)
  • Merlin Dreams In The Mondream Wood
  • Rod Serling's Twilight Zone
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  • Robota
  • The Tower
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  • Image of the Beast
  • Iris
  • Suki: A like story, Vol. 02 (Suki, #2)
  • The Pirate's Daughter
  • Noise
  • Apartment 16
Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th
More about Orson Scott Card

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