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Extended Audio Sample House Audiobook, by Tracy Kidder Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,133 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tracy Kidder Narrator: Adrian Cronauer Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2017 ISBN: 9781456124113
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Why on earth should the nail-by-nail building of a house hold any fascination for anyone? Because when you put a lawyer, an architect, and a hippie builder together, that spells trouble. Kidder tells his story so well that you can’t help but take sides.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alison | 2/19/2014

    " Carpenters, construction--how interesting could it be? Endlessly. Kidder spins an epic tale about the building of his house. Anyone who's been through the process or dreams of starting from scratch with a fresh set of blueprints will enjoy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lillian | 2/3/2014

    " I love this peak inside the workings of home building, all the emotions mixed up in sawdust. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 1/28/2014

    " Everybody and everything concerned with a home build from planning to move-in. All the decisions, emotions, conflicts, resolutions. Only Tracy Kidder could make this compelling... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 1/20/2014

    " Probably the best book that will ever be written about the building of a house. Not "building" a house as in a how-to-do-it guide, but "the building" of a house as a process of personalities, philosophies, histories, trends, class status, power, and economics. Mostly, personalities. As a contractor I read it with a sense of recognition and as a writer I read it with admiration and awe. Jim, the contractor in this project, seemed like a clone of my own personality - the drive for quality, the disdain for haggling, the over-sensitivity to the slightest insults of class warfare that seem to come with the job. I recognized all the carpenters in the crew - Vietnam vets, college grads, the likable kid clawing his way out of poverty, the equally likable one rejecting his father's bourgeois life, the dyslexic, the screwup, the perfectionist, the speedster - mix and match - and became very fond of them. But Tracy Kidder brought so much more than just the carpenters' points of view. He followed the thoughts and actions of Bill Rawn, the architect, who I came to admire. And Kidder described equally the drama of the house-building from the clients' point of view. I never warmed to Jonathan Souweine, the attorney husband, as he used his advantages and self-justifications to beat down the price, completely oblivious of the demoralizing effect it had on the workers. Meanwhile I liked Judith, Jonathan's wife. The fact that I reacted so strongly to each of the characters in this project shows how well Tracy Kidder described them. I'm not an objective reviewer here; I'm somebody who has lived through most of the scenes that he portrays. House, the book, is about the birth of one particular house, a birth filled with drama, conflict, history and hard work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/13/2014

    " The first nonfiction book I ever read by choice . . . 25 years ago, I was in college, and I was completely riveted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen | 1/10/2014

    " A book you can read before tackling something yourself or before working with others. It's about management, but it's not a management handbook. It's about getting what you want, but it's not a negotiation manual. It's definitely not about a house. It's about a project and the journey one goes through to see it completed. Still, it also provides a different perspective of the places where you and I spend more hours than anywhere else in the world. Did you ever think of the nameless, faceless men who financed, designed, and built the house you are in right now? I never did until I read Kidder's book. I could see myself reading this one again someday. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samantha | 12/30/2013

    " Interesting topic, but it drags a lot "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah Mcintosh | 12/12/2013

    " Absolutely lovely "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 12/6/2013

    " If you ever have any inclination to have a house built, you must read this book. I read it when it was originally released and enjoyed it greatly. Kidder weaves in many stories and it's all fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 M | 11/21/2013

    " This nonfiction book that reads like a novel filled me with fear (and elation) about building our own "house." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 10/23/2013

    " A couple builds their house in Amherst, Massachusetts. Comforting, interesting bedtime reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 10/22/2013

    " Oh hot damn, this is a good book. I want to be a carpenter "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna | 9/19/2013

    " A great nonfiction writer and a great chronicle of a common process--trying to build a house with an architect and contractors. Sounds boring but Kidder makes it all very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Harris | 9/5/2013

    " Not a bad read but I did not enjoy this as much as Soul or Mountains. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robin | 8/11/2013

    " Maybe I would have enjoyed the book more if it was written more recently. It is hard to be sympathic to the contractors and building owners when charge orders are just $700. I'd be curious to read an update on how much houses haave grown in size and quantity of builidng materials. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Pappalardo | 8/3/2013

    " It's a good book. For this style of writing, I'm most fond of John McPhee. Kidder has a couple terrible lines in this book, but on the whole it reads quite well. I will have other comments to make on this book this summer, when my kitchen renovation/expansion is complete. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 7/17/2013

    " An intimate, informative narrative of the construction of a house as seen from the perspectives of the owners, architect, and builders. As one who is considering building a house, I found realistic and sobering. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 7/6/2013

    " I wanted to like this book more than I did. I ended up really disliking the home owners and I found the lack of photographs disappointing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charlee | 6/30/2013

    " A house is a complicated thing. To build or to buy. I got bored with all the details. But did learn something about building in 1982 on the East Coast. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 3/4/2013

    " How much do I care about home construction? Not at all. But this look at the human part of the story is fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruthy | 1/21/2013

    " how three people can see a situation so differently "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joellen | 4/19/2012

    " I loved seeing the process of building a House from the perspective of the architect, builder and owner. Even if the owners are a little full of themselves. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 katymoo | 3/27/2012

    " Before the days of reality TV Kidder began writing about real life - this one follows a couple and their architect and contractor as they design and build their dream home. Good! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lysergius | 3/24/2012

    " Fascinating. Kidder manages to extract something essential from very simple activities known as work... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn Broquet | 12/7/2011

    " I read this decades ago but I loved it. The story of the building of one house told by three different parties, the owner, the architect and the contractor. "

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About the Author
Author Tracy Kidder

Tracy Kidder has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award, among other literary prizes. He is the author of The Soul of a New Machine, House, Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends, Home Town, and others.