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The House that Groaned Paperback – 5 Jan 2012
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"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)
Introducing a fresh and utterly original new star in the graphic novel world.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
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.
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.
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.
I will also admit, that I didn't realise that it was a graphic novel. However, this was a pleasant surprise. i don't usually read graphic novels, thinking of them as comics for grown ups. I was unsure how I would get on with it, not expecting to like it - however much I liked the synopsis I had already read.
I was, however, pleasantly surprised. It was a quick read, and a funny read. We get to meet each of the eight residents, including the 'Do or Diet Club Leader', Barbara, the new resident, and Brian, from number one, to name but a few. They are a mad mix of people to all be under on 'communal roof' and their antics in the book have to be read to be believed.
I would say this is a book that I believe would appeal to men rather than women, but that is just my opinion, women may enjoy it too. It is rather 'adult' content though and not one to leave around for youngsters to flick through.
I will say that I thought the artwork throughout the book was fantastic, great comical cartoon drawing and the dark colour scheme of bluey green (teal?), black and white throughout was perfect for this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
I felt that the characters themselves were there more for shock value than for...Read more
I had colleagues who had never ventured into the world of graphic novels before and they where hooked...Read more
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