Read The House That Hugh Laurie Built: An Unauthorized Biography and Episode Guide by Paul Challen Free Online
Book Title: The House That Hugh Laurie Built: An Unauthorized Biography and Episode Guide|
The author of the book: Paul Challen
ISBN 13: 9781554903085
Edition: ECW Press
Date of issue: November 1st 2007
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.88 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.5
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I picked this one up for free after the series came to an end because it was very outdated, having been written after the third season, and thus I didn’t have particularly lofty expectations. The first third of the book is a biography of the major players in the show, focusing primarily, as one may have guessed from the title, on Hugh Laurie, but also giving us a glimpse into the lives of the supporting players and writer David Shore. Laurie’s biography is decent, but unmemorable, and contains few, if any, tidbits that a true fan of the show wouldn’t have known already. For those who are more casual fans, however, it does provide some insight into the man behind the role, even if it does glorify him a little much, as biographies are wont to do. Still, there’s not much here that some time spent browsing the Internet wouldn’t have turned up and most of the information is culled from past interviews; don’t expect a Hugh Laurie exclusive here. The other biographies are a bit stunted but if, as the author predicts, the success and appeal of House is due mainly to the man with the cane, then the average fan won’t find this to be a problem. If you’re more interested in the Lisa Edelstein or Omar Epps, however, I suggest looking somewhere else.
The remainder of the book is an episode guide that lacks true substance, or at least a guiding theme. It tends to be inconsistent on the amount of depth and detail that it provides for each episode, but the annotations add a layer of analysis that can be intriguing, if sometimes facile. Some are little more than re-printed trivia from IMDb (interchange the section heading “booboos” with “goofs” and you’ve got the same thing) and others, such as the medical analysis, have been done better elsewhere, even contemporary with the book (Polite Dissent, probably the most notable, is actually mentioned in the annotations). Others are somewhat more involved, like the author’s tracking of the symbolism of the cane and the use of lies, or pointing out where seemingly trivial occurrences actually foreshadow much larger or more important themes. And if you’re the type of person who likes spotting inconsistencies in the personalities and beliefs of the characters, there’s some of that here too. As I mentioned above, however, a lot of the annotations lack substance and he does not appear to have an overall thesis for his notes on the symbolism, which reduces them at times to little more than random facts, subjective interpretations, or just space-filler. The gems, while present, are few and far between and the lack of cohesion makes it difficult to retain specific details.
Overall, I think that this is a decent collection of information, but one that doesn’t seem to have a particular audience in mind, since serious fans are likely to already know what is presented here and casual ones aren’t likely to pick it up at all. Thus, if you’re already a hardcore fan of the show, then you should probably skip this one, since the tidbits you might pick up aren’t worth digging for. For its time, someone wanting to get their House fix between seasons might have enjoyed this but, as is to be expected with works such as this, it hasn’t stood the test of time and seems now more as a cash-in on a fad rather than a work with lasting, original insight.
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Read information about the authorChallen, Paul, 1967-
Challen, Paul C. (Paul Clarence), 1967-
Paul Challen lives in Dundas, Ontario.