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The House that Groaned Paperback – 5 Jan 2012


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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: 17.1 x 1.9 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"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

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Larry Ger on 14 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julian C. Giddings on 29 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
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 By Ms. Madeleine B. Burrows on 15 July 2012
Format: Paperback
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.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eleanor TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Aug. 2012
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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