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Houseby Tracy Kidder
Synopses & Reviews
Tracy Kidder takes readers to the heart of the American Dream: the building of a family's first house with all its day-to-day frustrations, crises, tensions, challenges, and triumphs.
"And House is finally a happy story. A collection of highly abrasive people succeed in getting along with one another and producing something worthwhile. Whether this was chance or design will be up to readers of this intriguing book to decide." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times
"One learns about architecture, about how lumber is produced, how a house is designed, how a builder goes about his trade ? about building a house in general. The only thing I wanted to see, but didn't, in House was the finished product (which later won a design award from the Boston chapter of the American Institute of Architects)....The result is a book better than even The Soul of a New Machine, his Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the computer trade, and it puts Kidder right at the top of the class of contemporary writers of literary nonfiction." James Kaufmann, The Christian Science Monitor
"Understandably, in a work of this scope there are issues raised but not fully pursued. But in general Kidder does the reader a fine service in simply telling the story, richly and with honesty, making no judgments. House is in fact remarkable for its impartiality, and it is in part this refusal to take sides that allows Kidder to write with such clarity and depth. The triumph of this book is that it has taken something enormously complex and broken it down into terms that are simple and direct and human, seeking always to find what is universal in a particular experience. In this sense, House is sure to stand at least as long as the house it describes." Sal Alfano, Psychology Today
"The author is a virtuoso of lucid and compelling narrative. Here he gives equal time to client, architect and builders. The result is a three-dimensional view of an activity instinctive to the species, and a subtle examination of cultural and class differences....Rawn is a 'contextualist' who forsakes the intrusive shapes of modernism for structures that blend with a community's character and history. The Souweine house is Greek Revival accented with designer windows and a red roof. Kidder provides floor plans and a few sketches of detail, but no elevations that could show the reader the front, back and sides of the building. Yet the message is clear: the spacious, functional and comfortable place is the home of good, unpretentious citizens....Kidder also provides bonuses: vestpocket essays on architecture and the lumber business; insights into bidding, building techniques and the pleasures of physical labor." Time
Includes bibliographical references.
About the Author
Tracy Kidder, whose most recent book is Home Town, is also the author of Among Schoolchildren and Old Friends. He has won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He lives in Massachusetts and Maine.
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