Customer Reviews for

The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2009

    very informative and interesting book

    I enjoyed reading the book. It brought back memories of driving to the Cape. I learned alot about the early Bostonian Families and how they built their houses and about all their neighbors.
    I liked seeing the house through the younger families thoughts and how they felt about their parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
    it is a good book club book, lots to talk about

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Flight

    Cool =] I've gotta go to bed now. Can't stay up late on THIS NOOK. Bye! Night XP

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    Welcome back to the summer house you never had.

    The Big House
    A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home
    By George Howe Colt


    No, not everyone has Bostonian blue blood running through their veins or the ability to summer at a family estate on Cape Cod but Colt adopts us all with his engaging prose.

    The author whispers of family secrets and we slide in beside him into a reading nook on a rainy afternoon with the background of patter on the roof and the tinny drips into strategically placed buckets. We can hear that burr of the old fashioned phone Colt so loves. He describes a century's worth of cast off accumulated in the old barn causing us to trip back our own memory lane, "Hey, I remember that collection of jazz records in my grandma's attic."

    When fortunes dwindle, we root for the underdog.don't let that grand house built of blood, sweat, joy and tears be razed from the earth or worse.turned into condos.

    In the end it is our story. The story of those of us who have been here for generations or who have just arrived; those who persevere and believe in the American dream. "It's a great gift that in this house everyone can be alone, off doing things they want to, and yet all be together under one roof."

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    Lovely book

    Great, touching story, wonderful writing, rich imagery. I enjoyed the book all the way through! The only [small] criticism I have is I wish the author had provided some photos, particularly of the house itself. Since the characters are real people, I can understand a reluctance to offer pictures of relatives [living or passed on], but to see the house, its surrounding property and even old photos of the Cape would have been a delightful addition... hence my 4 star rating overall.<BR/><BR/>A wonderful effort Mr. Colt!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2008

    The house as a metaphor

    The first three chapters lure you into believeing the book is about the house, it is really about a way of life- the old money 'it is gone, only their good name remains', the pretense and facade of a life that many in his family could not relinquish, and those that moved forward with the times- welcoming 'outsiders' into their lives, were no longer welcome andor no longer chose to visit. The windows with no rooms attached, the stairs leading nowhere, things not being as they seem- that was his family. But, you have to get well into the book before the dark side is revealed, slowly, chapter by chapter. It is a way of life drowned in secrets and alcohol, and best read about as the past rather than lived.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2005

    Summer Lifestyle

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book. As a Brahmin child who currently summers on Wings Neck, the book was very nostalgic. Everything that Colt writes about could not be any truer. The lifestyle is still very much the same. The Big House does exist! It is the same as pictured on the cover of the novel. A great summer read for anyone (especially someone who summers on Cape Cod!).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    Astro

    Canon ball! Weee!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Zelda

    .....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    Saph

    Big house is at blue result 4

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    Carlos

    Cyclops!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2008

    A self-promoting bore

    I agree - the first few chapters were interesting. The author told about his immediate family and their quest for a last family vacation in the Big House. But from then on, it was ridiculous. If I had to read one more story about how rich his family was, or how many famous people they knew, or how they all had yachts and country club memberships, I was going to hurl. I had to put it down midway through, and it's been a very long time since I was unable to finish a book. If you're familiar with the Cape and/or this family, you're in for a delightful read. Otherwise, it might remind you of the society pages of your local newspaper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2007

    The Thought Was Nice, But...

    The story behind the text is wonderful: a nostalgic tale of a family's summer home being put up for sale. The first three chapters are nice, fairly easy to get through. But come the fourth chapter, so many names have been mentioned, let alone cities I'm assuming are on/near the Cape [I've never been there, but the back cover drew me in. I ended up, unsuccessfully, trying to read the book with a map of the Cape and surrounding towns next to me], that it just became impossible. If you're familiar with the area, be my guest and read on, but otherwise, it's a disappointment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2005

    Conjours Up Fantastic Memories

    A superb read, for anyone who has ever experienced the joys of regular visits to a summer house. Memorable and poignant memoir of growing up by the sea in summer, family life and life's lessons . . . pure enjoyment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2005

    Just Absolutely Lovely

    The Big House is full of love and joy, and yes, even a little sadness, but it is a very satisfying read. George Colt is a generous human being that gives full credit to other members of his family and fully admits some of his past incorrect thinking. It really is an absolutely lovely book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2004

    Despite some tedium, a very lovely read.

    A very lovely read that brought to mind memories of my family's (much less impressive) summer home in the northern Catskill Mountains. In some places, the genealogical details become a little tedious for the outsider, but it's easy to skim over those parts. I might have felt a greater connection to the author's family and the house if the book included some pictures of the house and surrounding areas, and reproductions of the photographs mentioned in the text. I'm not sure, for example, if the watercolor on the cover is actually the house in question or just an artist's conception. Still . . . much to savor here and very readable; I bought the book on a Tuesday and finished it that Saturday.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2004

    The Big House was outstanding

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I like the fact that it gave a great historical account of the cape cod region, of which I am fascinated by, intertwined with a family history. The author painted a vivid picture of the ideal summer vacation for a child or even an adult. The archetectural items were of great interest to me as well. I could empathize with the author about how he felt about that house.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2004

    Recommend!

    This book offered great insight into a world in which I could only imagine living - who knew that 'summer' was a verb. Even though I might not be like all the characters, (or necessarily like them) I consider that a positive. I thought that made it a very good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2003

    Colt has a great sense of humor

    The author describes events from his childhood that seemed normal to him at the time, but now, reflecting back as an adult writer, he sees how odd and genuinely funny much of it was. I laughed all the way through this excellent book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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