The House That Hugh Laurie Built: An Unauthorized Biography and Episode Guide Paperback – Oct 31 2007
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"An exhaustive guide for fans of the TV show House and its cast." The Record
"Tells you everything you ever wanted to know about House and its star." The Tampa Tribune
About the Author
Paul Challen lives in Dundas, Ontario. He is the author of Inside the West Wing and Get Dutch! A Biography of Elmore Leonard, and writes regularly on pop culture and sports for magazines, newspapers, and radio in Canada and the U.S.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you don't know much about Hugh Laurie, then this book is a good primer - but if you are a dedicated fan, then it probably isn't for you.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Unfortunate thing - all is black and white; very very very few pictures, but very very wordy for those that like that kind of thing.
Basically, it gives you a biography of the main characters such as when they were born, how they got started in acting, what they did previously, and how they got the job on House.
After that, the big half of the book is basically a summary of each episode from Seasons 1 - 3 with trivia facts or memorable moments from each episode.
The book is definitely about "House", not Hugh Laurie himeself. Just used his photo and name on the cover.
I was disappointed that there were so few pix, however the smoking cover shot of Hugh Laurie is so hot that I have to put the book face down on the side table to avoid incinerating the room!
I definitely enjoyed the detailed episode guide for the first three seasons. Nothing in the author's analysis was really new for those of us who have been dissecting the show for a long time but it was good to see all the cast details, plot overview, major themes, and intriguing mistakes toted up in one convenient place. The writing is not brilliant, but servicable and even amusing on many ocassions.
I was quite struck by the absence of "shipping" in the episode descriptions: the author neutrally notes the passing interest of House in Cameron but sees it as teasing only, he continually picks up on Cuddy's sexy interactions with House beginning with episode 2 of season 1, and he totally skips any hint of House/Wilson.
This is noteworthy because I think this approach represents the way that most casual viewers and serious fans watch the show: strong interest in House as a character of humor, genius, sorrow, and intrigue, little interest in romantic entanglements. The author's insights are balanced, not worshipping House but seeing him as the difficult, tortured, hilarious, enchanting, complex, and discomforting character that he is.
Appropriately, the book devotes four sizeable chapters to Hugh Laurie and one each to the other five actors. All of these essays are syntheses of the articles, interviews, online discussions, and biographical summaries many obsessed fans have been reading since the show began. No new material that I could see, but again, it is quite good to have so much compiled in one convenient place. I was not so familiar with the extensive professional resumes of Omar Epps and Lisa Edelstein, so those chapters were particularly interesting to me.
The chapter on David Shore was good in that it captured information from several Canadian newspaper interviews that offered challenging insights into how the entertainment industry works in North America.
This book was definitely not an expose in any sense of the word: the approach is highly respectful (but not cloyingly worshipful) of Hugh Laurie, his personal life, and his many professional accomplishments.
Overall, I think this would be an excellent gift for someone who is just getting to know the show and wants to catch up quickly on the phenomenon that is Hugh Laurie. I am quite glad that I bought it.
Still, I enjoyed reading the book and picked up a few details I had missed when first watching the episodes. Also, some of the conclusions drawn were definitely food for thought.