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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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09/27/2006 Archived Entry: "Book review: House Beautiful"

House Beautiful
By Allison Burnett
Published by Carroll and Graf

Review by Julia Hendricks

BK Troop, the reluctant hero of Christopher, is back in House Beautiful.

With the death of a friend, BK inherits the House Beautiful, which is large and beautiful and more than he can afford to maintain. Making a virtue out of necessity, he decides to recreate himself as the landlord and mentor of a colony of artists paying reduced rents, and one young scientist masquerading as a poet.

Unfortunately for BK, the life he pictures for himself of carefree patronage in the midst of an instant social circle of admiring beneficiaries doesn't turn out quite as he expects. His tenants aren't particularly grateful or anxious to be advised, his latest lover is given to tiresome scenes, and his innards are rebelling. Most urgently, the government is considering discontinuing his disability payments on the grounds of sanity.

House Beautiful is, as you'd expect, deft and ribald and a great deal of fun (I particularly enjoyed the multiple switchbacks on the reliability of the narration at the end). It's definitely worth your time to visit.

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