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Written by: Orson Scott Card
Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Damaged Houses
A master craftsman, Don Lark could fix everything except what mattered, his own soul. After tragedy claimed the one thing he loved, he began looking for dilapidated houses to buy, renovate, and resell at a profit, giving these empty shells the second chance at life he denied himself.

Damaged Souls
Then in a quiet Southern town, Lark finds his biggest challenge: a squalid yet sturdy mansion that has suffered decades of abuse at the hands of greedy landlords and transient tenants. While two charming old neighbor ladies ply him with delicious cooking, they offer dire warnings about the house's evil past. But there is something about this building that pushes Lark on, even as its enchantments grow increasingly ominous. Will finishing the house offer Lark redemption, or unleash the darkest forces of damnation upon him?

©1998 Orson Scott Card (P)2006 Audible Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A powerful tale of healing and redemption that skillfully balances supernatural horrors with spiritual uplift". (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DMHVetSurveyor
  • 11-01-07

What a Home Indeed!!

Wow, this was an excellent book. Great descriptions and storyline. Nice surprise ending. Out of 200+ audiobooks I've read this one moves up to the top 20 (at least in the suspense genre). Don't expect Ender's Game or something like that. This is more in the Koontz catagory. Buy and enjoy!!

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AbulletAway
  • 09-04-09

Refreshingly Good...

I normally read Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Anne Rice. I gave this book a try. It was slow to start but still interesting. Then it a has a wow moment and I couldn't stop listening. If you like Koontz or King, you'll enjoy this one.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • dzelika
  • 06-04-08

Tedious!

The first three quarters of the book are totally tedious! The main character is ridden with guilt and pain of having failed as a MAN-the protector and provider, and that is repeated throughout the book ad nauseam. If not for the last part of the book (where something actually starts happening), the whole thing would be a complete waste of time. Quite disappointing.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Melanie
  • 31-07-07

Great Story

This was a great story that kept me interested until the very end. It would make a great horror movie. The character development was great. They felt very "real." But I think that a little too much time was spend developing minor characters. I kept waiting for them to become major players and they never were.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicole
  • 11-05-08

Wonderful

I find that I either love or hate Orson Scott Card's work. This was definitely one I loved along with Lost Boys and Enchantment. It was amazingly involving and I fell in love with the characters.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ty Justice
  • 30-11-07

Slow, slow, slow

I love Orson Scott Card. This was not at all what I expected. I was three quarters of the way through and I still kept wondering when it would get interesting. The last three hours are the only part worth listening to and I don't think it was worth listening to the first several hours.

There are so many other books written by him that are much better.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lady Pamela
  • 01-09-15

Fun Story

Man who lost everything and is haunted by his past purchases house that has a squatter refusing to leave. The book has few characters and they're pretty well developed. What I thought would be a boring tale about a carpenter ends up as a ghost story...surprise, surprise!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 17-03-12

Bob Villa writes a book

If you like Bob Villa and home fix it shows you may love this. If you are a fan of Lost Boys the novel not the short story you will like this. The first half of the book is all about renovating an old house and you get much of the detail.

The main character Dan Lark is a no nonsense he-man. He wants to be a hermit and just work. He can not escape society though and people are consistently tangling themselves in his life. I thought this was an interesting lesson. Many times we may want to ignore the world and other people, but that is not as easy as it sounds.

Most of the characters in the book are women and they are some of the most flawed women you will ever meet. Dan comes off a little too perfect, almost a super hero. The whole book reads like a romance novel written by a man. Even though Dan wants to avoid women he finds himself kissing them almost as soon as he meets them and they love it and him, but he always does the right thing and he never sleeps with them.

I like Card's writing and he can write about anything and I would enjoy it. This is proof as I did enjoy the book, but very little happened, especially the first half. I would have loved the book, if he would have put more fantasy into it and I feel kind of cheated that he didn't.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tryshch
  • 02-05-07

Surprisingly good!

This book was surprisingly good -- a little long and drawn out, but wonderful nonetheless. There were not many surprises, but the plot development, the character interaction, and the story's speed were all excellent. I'll never look at a house the same way again.I look forward to his next book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ben
  • 15-04-07

Good premise but weak execution

Mr. Card is an obvious graduate of the Dean Koontz School of Superfluousity. I found the incessant and schizophrenic navel contemplation by the two main characters to be unbearably grating and often hit the fast forward button. Early subplots were dropped so abruptly that it appears Mr. Card decided to change the direction of the book, but did not want to go to the effort of a re-write. The book did have some plot twists and an ending that could have been entertaining if they had not been telegraphed chapters before they were actually revealed. One line early in the book was very prophetic. It went something like “Books are either stupid or they’re not. If they’re stupid, you just find yourself getting angry.” I never got angry, but I sure did get exasperated on numerous occasions. The only reason I finished the book was out of a curiosity to see just how bad it could get.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mogladite
  • 20-12-19

A bit predictable...

I think that this was Orson Scott Card’s first foray into horror and you can sort of tell.. No big reveals that you hadn’t worked out yourself almost 2 hours into the book, maybe I’ve read and listened to too many horrors but this one just didn’t really grip my imagination. I also think that Stefan Rudnicki might NOT have been the best reader for this tale, he has a beautiful voice (no doubt) but his reading of the story was very slow (at one point I actually increased the listening speed, something I have never bothered doing before but it didn’t improve the storytelling) All in all the best I can say about this book was that it was a little ‘meh’ for me.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-11-19

another dreadful one from Orson

A tedious chore. Largely unexplained and pointless story arcs and weak dialogue. I regret bothering to finish it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • W.M.
  • 12-03-20

Not only the worst story I have heard this year...

....possibly one of the worst stories I have heard in MANY years! If you can't bring anything fresh, original and interesting to a genre, then maybe leave that genre well alone? Apart from the jaw-droppingly preposterous "plot," the characterization of the main female was actually pretty offensive and Card's dialogue and prose relating to his 1970s view of the "joy of sex" is squirm-worthy. Orson Scott Card? Never again.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • paul g
  • 23-11-19

A nice little ghost story

I found this book enjoyable but not gripping. It was as easy to pick up as it was to put down, but held enough if a story to want to finish.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charlie Raybould
  • 30-10-19

Spooky

A great book to listen in the lead up to Halloween! Would recommend this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Neb
  • 12-01-19

Excellent ghost story and very well delivered

the strength of the story is the slow and detailed build up in regard to the characters and the situation. So when things get interesting the listener is more involved. The performance of the narrator is excellent as well. All in all...a great supernatural ghost story with a twist or 2 for good measure.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andy Parsons
  • 21-02-07

Card in King country!

This really is very Stephen Kingish, I mean that in a good way!
It takes quite a long time before it becomes apparent that this is anything other than an interesting, if a little dark, romantic comedy with an historical dimension.
When the surprises come they add darkness and light.
Strangely there are many Card themes that fans of the Ender/Shadow books will be familiar with?Knowing what is right when nothing is wholly right, and the moral ambiguity of doing unconscious bad.

The other things that will be familiar are excellent, intriguing plotting and a sense of pace that draws you on through the book.

Less familiar is that it quite a sexy book especially at the beginning but there is an interesting twist to all the relationships the raises the book above run of the mill fiction.

Scot Card is really on great form in the more or less here and now and demonstrates again what a very good writer he is.

More King than Ender but very good for all that.