by Dan Pope


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Housebreaking 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book. Even better than his first. Highly recommend.
TopReviewer More than 1 year ago
Completely engrossing, emotional, and real. Housebreaking peels back the clean white layers of the American suburban experience to reveal something truly remarkable, a colorful world of complexity and emotion reminiscent of Tom Perotta and Wally Lamb at their best. But unlike these authors, Pope’s voice is uniquely funny and totally sincere. Pope never gets lost in the murky waters of suburban ennui, nor does he demonstrate disdain for the ordinary world he’s chosen to exist in. Even the darkest subjects, from impending divorce to the loss of a child “our personal 9/11,” are well-balanced with incredibly smart humor and enough levity to keep you turning the pages, craving more as the momentum of the story builds. You’ll fall in love with each character despite their flaws, and you’ll root for them to make the most of the cards they’re dealt. You may even find yourself consciously slowing down in order to appreciate the artfulness of Pope’s writing. It’s an old cliché that the last page of a book feels like losing a friend, but the personalities that Pope has created feel so genuine, you honestly won’t want to let them go.
LeslieLindsay 10 months ago
look behind the facade of a so-called 'perfect' suburban neighborhood, which is at times, wry and funny, but disturbingly gripping. HOUSEBREAKING has long been on my TBR and I finally got the chance to dive in this summer. And I loved it. Audrey and Andrew are tired of their life--they move into an old farmhouse and decide to renovate it. Their daughter, 17 year old Emily is a mess and looking for love in all the wrong places. In fact, this entire family is disintegrating. Meanwhile, Benjamin Mendelbaum's wife has kicked him to the curb and so he moves in with his 84 year old father. But the father is charming and adorable and soon has a lady friend of his own...but it's not exactly what you think. Meanwhile, Benjamin learns his high school crush has moved into the old farmhouse... What might appear predictable, HOUSEBREAKING is not. Told from three distinct POVs--Audrey's, Ben's, and Andrew's, with touches of Leonard and Emily, HOUSEBREAKING is powerful and provacative, taking readers deep into suburban secrets, revealing darker truths. At times, this story is a bit disturbing, but how I loved the multiple layers, about how we all have good intentions, but those can often go awry. I marveled at the writing, the nuances, the details, how Pope was able to weave effortlessly and astutely throughout different POVs. Overall, I found HOUSEBREAKING a gorgeously written, gripping literary drama that is both authentic, clever, and yet melancholy.Those who like the work of Tom Perrotta (LITTLE CHILDREN) will appreciate this read, with a touch of THE IMMORTALISTS (Chloe Benjamin) meets Elizabeth Berg (ARTHUR TRULUV). L.Lindsay|Always with a Book
Wienke More than 1 year ago
Reading about the Mandelbaums, in the first half of the book, is both engrossing and comforting, because Pope shows how loveable people really are—even boring suburbanites! But it turns out we owe our encounter with the Mandelbaums to Pope’s grand symmetrical plot; they’re only there to interlock with the page-turning drama of the Martin-Murrays, who take up the second half of the book. The second half is gripping, but in an unpleasant way, and the Martin-Murray characters don’t ring true. Pope handles the Martin-Murray trauma-drama easily and forcefully, but I hope his creation of one incidental family to spoon into the other has revealed to him where his true mastery lies. More Mandelbaums and mild plots in suburbia, please. Show us how much there is to like under the placid surface.