[PW] Novels with buildings as characters/main protagonists

d-lien University of Minnesota d-lien at umn.edu
Tue Jul 30 06:57:47 PDT 2019

If a short story would be of interest, Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come
Soft Rains."

Several stories about seemingly sentient house, but again not ones
where the house narrates:

The thematic index to Everett Bleiler's GUIDE TO SUPERNATURAL FICTION,
under heading "Houses -- Miscellaneous Aspects -- Active, Living,
etc." cites:

Emma Dawson, "An Itinerant House."
Vernon Knowles, "The House That Took Revenge."
Fritz Leiber, "The Jewels in the Forest"
David Lindsay, THE WITCH (uncompleted novel)
H. Russell Wakefield, "The Last to Leave"
Hugh Walpole, "The Staircase" -- Bleiler notes this short story is
"told in terms of the house's feelings," so it may qualify (other than
not being a novel)

Noted cited in Bleiler, but a couple of other thoughts:

Joe R. Lansdale's shortish juvenile novel SOMETHING LUMBER THIS WAY
COMES has a sentient house as an antagonist; but it doesn't speak, let
alone narrate.

Manly Wade Wellman has a few short stories featuring a "gardinel," a
sort of were-house:


Aren't there hints in Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE
that the house as a whole is an insane/malevolent entity (as opposed
to the house "only" being occupied/haunted by such)?  No speaking role
for the house, though.

Then there's the MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS tv sketch about "The
House Hunters"

Dennis Lien / d-lien at umn.edu

On Mon, Jul 29, 2019 at 7:30 PM Sherman, James <jsherman at lapl.org> wrote:
> Hello, I have a patron looking for novels  narrated by buildings .  There
> are titles that have been described as having the building "as the main
> character", such as *Life: A Users Manual  by Perec*
> Or  *The Uninvited Guest *by Jones, or a couple of books in Shirley
> Jackson's oeuvre, and there's also Manderley of *Rebecca*.... there's quite
> a few that have the house as more than a setting and something of a
> character.
> Still, none of the examples I or my colleagues could think up or find had
> the building talking, much less narrating the action.
> I am eager to find out if we missed something.  Thank you!
> _______________________________________________
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