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The House that Groaned [Paperback]

Karrie Fransman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: 4.65 (31%)
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Book Description

5 Jan 2012 The House That Groaned
The House That Groaned is a graphic novel that explores bodies and the spaces they inhabit. It is set in an old Victorian tenement housing six lonely individuals who could only have stepped out of the pages of a comic book. There is the retoucher who cannot touch, a grandmother who literally blends into the background and a twenty-something bloke who's sexually attracted to diseased women. Yet, as we learn the stories behind these extreme characters, it becomes apparent that we may share simlar issues - as individuals and as a society.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Square Peg; First Edition edition (5 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224086812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224086813
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 17.3 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"In a world where people know ever less about their neighbours, this graphic novel is both a fantasy.and a cautionary tale. Anyone who has ever lain in bed at night listening to the sound of unknown voices on the other side of the cardboard wall will relish the way she lets her imagination off its leash.funny.beautiful looking.this book might almost be alive" (Rachel Cooke Observer, Graphic Novel of the Month)

"An enjoyable tale, dark but full of energy, fascinated by the private lives and perversity that bulge beneath suburbia's facade" (James Smart Guardian)

"A damn fine book; hugely, spectacularly impressive" (ForbiddenPlanet.co.uk)

"Karrie Fransmen breaks all the rules of storytelling accumulated over the past thousands of years. She creates a confusion at first, then bursts into the obvious and simplest fact; that all the stories of and in our lives are personal and private.... The only way this wonderful book could have been written is by illustration...not by word... rather like the hidden stories drawn on the walls of caves" (Nicolas Roeg, director of Don't Look Now and Walkabout)

"Fransman's dual background as a psychology and sociology student and a creative advertiser helps underpin her skills at both characterisation and communication. By its melodramatic finales, The House That Groaned acknowledges some scars that miss their chance to heal, but also gives us a kind of happy ending for two tenants" (Paul Gravett Independent)

Book Description

Introducing a fresh and utterly original new star in the graphic novel world.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our house, in the middle of the street 14 Jan 2012
The book follows the lives of the 6 inhabitants of a nondescript, old Victorian house on a place called Rottin Road. One is a cosmetics saleswoman who's recently moved into town, another is an odd fellow who touches up photos of models, one is a diet consultant, one is a man who only loves women with disease or disfigurement, one is a homebody, and one is a hedonist. Their lives intertwine and the reader slowly gets to know each of the characters' strange pasts and how they became the people they are today.

Karrie Fransman's debut comic book is an oddball story that starts slow and builds gradually to a rollicking pace, completely enrapturing the reader into its fantastic story. I thought each character was well written and completely fascinating. What you quickly realise when you read it is that no-one is as they seem and the flashbacks to the characters' pasts shine light on new elements to their person that completely change the way you view them.

Fransman draws the characters as kind of bizarrely warped humans with doll/marionette-like faces, all circles, but she is still able to convey expressions and emotions through these faces while retaining a unique look to other comics out there. I particularly liked how she drew the old lady at the top floor who stayed in all day - she's drawn as a literal homebody where her body is moulded into the furniture she's standing next to/sitting on at that moment.

"The House That Groaned" is an original, well written, and completely enrapturing read that deserves a wide audience. I loved it and highly recommend anyone who enjoys contemporary comics to seek it out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy Cunning 14 Jan 2012
This work left me amused, disgusted and entranced - exactly what you'd want from a contemporay graphic novel.
I have a penchant for dark humour so I loved the various crazy characters. They all come with a delectibly twisted personality tick. Although morbid and morose the darkness is tempered with refreshingly light humour.

Its not only the written narrative that impresses, but the visual artwork is a delight. The angles, detail and characterisation in the drawings are entertaining, humorous and clever in their own right.
Of all the crazy characters, the main protagonist - the house - is brilliantly narrated through drawing and story throughout.

The story is absurd and surreal. Yet its not too far off from a cynic's view of the murky underworld of the London sublet.
That in itself is what made it such a relevent piece too.

I highly recommend this if you care for contempory, funny,zany, intelligent narrative in any which way or form.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fanstastic read! 29 Jan 2012
I was drawn to this superb graphic novel by the cover. That alone should make anybody pick up the cover and at least flip through the pages. And the colour. The shades of blue are really appealing. I'm not going to bleat on but I couldn't put this awesome story down 'til I was done. I used to love Tales of The Unexpected as a child and this goes down that road... and further... much further! Buy, like, recommend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twisted graphic novel 21 Aug 2012
By Eleanor TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
141 Rottin Road is a Victorian townhouse which has been converted into six flats. In "The House that Groaned" we follow the residents of these flats (for the most part grotesques, living bizarre and often lonely lives), as Fransman flits from room to room and life to life, weaving the past and present into a satisfying whole.

I can imagine this book offending some people as the storylines are pretty twisted, featuring, for example, a man who is sexually attracted to, and preys on, diseased and disfigured women and literal orgies of overeating. Fransman's humour and brio, however, make this a very enjoyable read and I frequently found myself breaking out into shocked laughter. I think Fransman shows a real affection for her damaged characters which is transmitted to the reader.

"The House that Groaned" is an attractive book, with nice thick pages and a cut-away cover. Personally I disliked Fransman's style when drawing people and didn't always feel that her illustration effectively conveyed their character. However, I would urge you to watch the video on the product page and make up your own mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was surprised 15 July 2012
An illustration student, and an advid fan of graphic novels, I got given this book for my (20th) birthday. My mother was a little hesitant; she had ordered the book off Amazon after reading very positive Guardian reviews (graphic novel of the year), totally ignorant of any sexual content. After she got the book, however, and had a casual flick through (her degree was in fine art, so she's also quite interested in graphic artwork) she came across a couple of scenes and, although she's not prude, was not prepared for it, so it caught her unaware. However, as I am now 20, she saw sense, and gave it to me anyway.

So let's be clear, this book IS for a mature audience, of course, the majority of well rounded culturally educated people do know that graphic novels can be very graphic, but there are some people, slightly less gifted in the upstairs department, who will think: Graphic novels= cartoons= must be for children! I say this loosely after being annoyed at some reviews of Pan's Labyrinth... That, however, is a different rant, I will not diverge any further.

I started off with a mild reluctance, half expecting a watered down version of 50 shades of grey; I'm happy to say that this was ignorance on my part. The artwork is beautiful. Fransman's style is truly unique, and it drew me in from page one. The line art is clean, without appearing lifeless, and the character designs are superb. I love the way she manipulates body shapes, without making them seem unnatural. There are many other things that I could say about it, but this is not an art essay.

The plot is a bit deeper than I thought it would be.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it !
Picked this up randomly while working at a summer camp , and loved it !
I had colleagues who had never ventured into the world of graphic novels before and they where hooked... Read more
Published 10 months ago by C.Devlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Unique!
The House that Groaned was my favourite read of 2012 and now one of my all time fave books. It is quirky, imaginative, bizarre, funny... utterly unique! Read more
Published 14 months ago by Abi B
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting
this comic is interesting but contains a little too much of depressive feeling all over. anyway, this is a good book and I'll recommend it for those who like comic books about... Read more
Published 16 months ago by adriano godinho
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and thoroughly enjoyable!
This book is beautifully presented and deals with very dark but comic subject matter. Interesting insight into who may live next door to you................
Published 22 months ago by pretzel87
1.0 out of 5 stars Shallow, Crude and Trite
The cover is the best thing about the book, which is a shame, because it fooled me into paying money for this load of rubbish. Read more
Published on 27 Mar 2012 by Henrietta Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastique!
A fantastic new genre of book. It will keep you on the edge of your seat from the get go. If you are expecting a normal fairy tale then you will be bitterly disappointed - this is... Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2012 by Benji
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
I haven't read many graphic novels before so I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. However I really enjoyed it and devoured it in one sitting. Read more
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars What a treat!
Inventive, fearless and totally bonkers!
KARRIE FRANSMAN'S graphic novel THE HOUSE THAT GROANED is what I've been waiting for since finishing STRANGERS IN PARADISE years... Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2012 by Jan Wheatley
5.0 out of 5 stars The House Sings!
Literary graphic novels feel pretty rare. I could be wrong as they are outside radar or more exactly they fall between my main interest in novels and the cursory eye I keep on... Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2012 by Amazon Customer
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