The High House

high houseFile under “almost forgotten but excellent” fantasy novels. The High House, by James Stoddard, is a grand adventure story about a fantastic mansion that may contain the Cosmos itself. One of my favorites, and despite being award winning, I don’t hear it discussed very often. I often describe it as being what I thought the Gormenghast books might be like, but weren’t.

It also pays homage to the wonderful old Ballantine fantasy series. If you’re familiar with those, I think you’ll enjoy The High House even more.


6 Comments on “The High House

  1. I loved this book and should go back and reread it. I also need to read the sequel.

    Thanks for reminding me of it.

    • What bad have you heard about it?

      There are no truly important female characters — but then it’s mostly the story of a young man coming to grips with the legacy of his father and becoming a man himself, so it’s kind of a man’s story.

        • I’m not sure that’s fair of whomever said that. “Characterization is weak” might translate into “many of the characters are archetypes.” But then critics can decide strange things — like “having first person narrators robs a story of tension.” (Please, somebody educate these people and hand them any number of great works that are told in first person with plenty of tension. It makes me want to hide my face in shame, it does.)

          As to insufficiently developed, I think the story evokes wonder and makes me wish I could spend more time wandering the house and seeing what more can be found there.

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