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Story House Paperback – Feb 20 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (Feb. 20 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676977650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676977653
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #519,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“Cities reflect the souls of their inhabitants, and nothing lays claim to the soul of a city more than a novel that uses it as a character…. Timothy Taylor does it right…. [He] knows Vancouver’s arteries and bones. His portraits of that spectacular city … are as complex and well-rounded as a Tolstoy character.”
Calgary Herald

“Taylor has a knack for imbuing his stories with lyric realism, unearthing beauty in the mundane and trivial…. Story House is never less than eminently readable.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“A writer with chops…. Story House is a mesmerizing novel, populated by strong, complex characters and driven by a multilayered plot that is both archetypal and completely original…. Although this is a serious work, there are short bursts of brilliantly funny writing that demand to be reread.… He clearly challenged himself to write a more complex novel than Stanley Park, and he succeeds in stunning fashion.”
The Vancouver Sun

"Taylor’s very good at conjuring vivid visuals, a talent played out in spades in the novel’s tragic final act. . . . Story House is a big, brainy novel. An ambitious project. . . . Taylor’s book [is] intelligently and solidly built."
The Globe and Mail

"Taylor is a master of the dramatic in medas res and abrupt transition. . . .tour de force writing. . . . Taylor harrows the house of the dead in gripping fashion; he deserves all his accolades, and then some."
National Post

"Story House reveals all of Taylor's hallmarks and strengths. No one writes about work with such attention to the minutiae. It's not merely getting the facts; Taylor enters the language and customs of distinct societies and reveals them with astonishing verisimilitude. He immerses readers in alien worlds. . . . Story House is a thrilling tour de force, a most impressive achievement of idea and implementation, of structure in service of function. It's architectural, really. And Timothy Taylor is one of very few writers who could have made it work so well."
Ottawa Citizen

Praise for Timothy Taylor:


“[Taylor is] one of the most graceful young stylists around… unflaggingly intelligent.”
Maclean’s

“Taylor writes with the wonder and joy of a kid who has had his nose pressed to the candy-store window and all of a sudden finds himself inside, with one cautious eye glancing back over his shoulder.”
Georgia Straight

“Taylor reminds me of Munro: an edgier, hipper version. He has the miniaturist’s eye for telling gestures and objects, and a magical ear for cryptic dialogues about ordinary things … It was said of James Joyce that he could create a character by describing the way he held an umbrella. Taylor has that talent …”
The Vancouver Sun

“Timothy Taylor is a major talent who continues to make his mark on the Canadian literary scene.”
Times Colonist (Victoria)

“Taylor is a fine prose craftsman.”
—Andre Mayer, eye Weekly

Praise for Stanley Park:
Stanley Park is an assured debut that stands well above many first novels. Taylor is a writer of undeniable talent who has proven himself adept at both the long and short form, and whose wave will no doubt reach the shores.”
—Stephen Finucan, Toronto Star

“Timothy Taylor writes straight, strong, unadorned prose ... Taylor is as good as the American novelist Jim Harrison when it comes to writing about textures and tangs, colours and sensations.”
Quill & Quire

Praise for Silent Cruise:
“An intriguing collection of short fiction [from] a master stylist … Taylor’s use of language is exact. He has a gift for choosing exactly the right word to express an idea or an emotion, giving his writing a feeling of strength and precision. Each character rings true, enabling the reader to become engrossed in the stories. Silent Cruise is excellent writing and enjoyably hypnotic.”
The Hamilton Spectator

“Taylor has an obvious gift for plots, one of the storytelling arts that is irresistibly alluring, but which has fallen somewhat into disuse among short-story writers. These are page-turners, with dramatic turns of events and ‘hidden stories’ that are revealed in surprising, trump-card endings … Taylor is blessed with a prodigious dramatic imagination … Nearly every story Taylor has published has been singled out for some prize or honour, and this first collection affirms that he is more than just lucky.”
The Globe and Mail

From the Back Cover

Praise for Stanley Park:

• National Bestseller
• Giller Prize finalist
• Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year

“Taylor has fashioned an intriguing two-track tale that takes readers on a tour of the Vancouver restaurant scene as well as on a startling journey into the darker reaches of the city’s famed Stanley Park. The novel’s two-pronged approach gives it balance and heft, and its depiction of the West Coast city’s trendy urban atmosphere is nothing short of superb.”
London Free Press

“A charming first novel. . . [Taylor is] one of the most graceful young stylists around. . .unflaggingly intelligent.”
Maclean’s

Stanley Park is an assured debut that stands well above many first novels. Taylor is a writer of undeniable talent who has proven himself adept at both the long and short form, and whose wave will no doubt reach the shores.”
Toronto Star

“There is plenty of wit in the renegade chef premise of Stanley Park, and there’s no question that Taylor is a fine writer who offers much to look forward to.”
–Noah Richler, National Post --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am delighted with the newest novel by Timothy Taylor, who seems to have successfully avoided the so-called sophomore jinx.

Story House is a very well constructed novel. The characters are very strongly represented, the tensions between them entirely believable, and the poetics of his words weave a literary spell on the reader. I was so drawn in by the novel that I wanted to hop into my car and drive to Mary Street.

If anything, this novel is better crafted than Stanley Park, (which I also enjoyed immensely).

Timothy Taylor has found a permanent spot on my bookcase, and I'm leaving room for his next one.
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Format: Hardcover
Timothy Taylor's novel Story House offers an intriguing premise, battling brothers and a restoration project honouring their late father, a famous architect. However, Story House is not as successful a novel as Taylor's first novel Stanley Park, the storyline is missing an energy the brothers seem to promise but never deliver.
I wanted Story House to be the 'big' Canadian novel of the year so far but I found myself disappointed. In this case, the blueprint looked better than the finished house.
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Format: Paperback
Now that I've gotten that out of my system, let me say two things up front:

1) This *should* have been a 4-star review
2) I think Mr. Taylor is a helluva writer, with some tremendous novels in him...but this most certainly isn't one of them.

'Story House' was probably more of a labour for me to read than it was to write. (There's a ton of 'stuff' in there, all of requiring research and knowledge and scope.) Seriously; I couldn't wait to finish it, it was an absolute chore.

Now, I love intelligent writers. I love writers who have capability and energy and verve and a love of language and audacity and...and...

Mr. Taylor has all of these. But in this instance anyway, the one thing he's lacking is the storyteller's gift.

I didn't care about the story he was telling.
I didn't care about the characters within the story he was telling.
I certainly didn't care about the subject -architecture- and moreover, Mr. Taylor didn't seduce me into caring about it...or anything else in the novel.

I was *confounded* by 'Story House'. I was infuriated. I kept wishing the remaining pages would shrink to a scant few so I could be done with it.

There are portions that are illuminating. Lyrical. Playful. But they don't make for a good story, and they certainly don't make for a good read.

If I was being blunt (understand that I just finished the novel and I'm not a happy camper, not even remotely) I'd say it was an effing mess, and desperately needed editorial guidance. (As do most books I'm reading these days; funny, that...)

Next up is his début effort; I sure hope that its reading isn't as painful an effort for me to exert.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9c9742ac) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c7ea030) out of 5 stars Huff & puff, but you ain't gonna blow STORY HOUSE down, m'kay?... Dec 26 2006
By Adam Daniel Mezei - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As I gently placed this novel down at my bedside yesterday and sprinkled a pinch of twinkledust into my baby blues, the penultimate thought I'd had in before nodding off to Neverneverland was that rarely has a novel been as meticulously-researched as Double-T's STORY HOUSE. (I'm happy to report that I had pleasant dreams all night long, and I woke up refreshed and ready to tackle a new piece of fiction, preferrably one belonging to to this author). Oh yeah, the last thought I'd had before hitting the hay was whether I'd snugly closed my bottle of twinkledust. It's expensive, even off of eBay, and even if I pay in Canadian funds.

Alright.

Time for a little digression towards the specifics of this tome, folks. You've just GOT to love (said with heapful James Brown-ism) how this writer's done his homework.

Gadzooks! I'm totally shocked. I mean, there's not a single t nor i--uncrossed or undotted, respectively--in this here work to be found.

Not only was I entertained--yarn-like--throughout the 400 or so pages of this bookaroonie, I was also massively educated. If that doesn't garner an "edutainment" award from which Canadian Council funds that, then the category's gotta be redefined, okay?

In any event, Taylor, like a Talmudist, dips into the storybook trail mix of the entire architectural field in this one, folks. Not only has he evoked a sense of drama between his four or so protags (Graham, Elliott, Esther, Avi, etc.), my babies, but he's also managed to teach you a thing or four about how to build a home. Properly. Sturdily. Differently.

And punch this: several other little gemstones make an appearance inside these pages as well. Displaying a jack-of-all-trades flourish as Mr. Everyscribe, Tim Taylor unsheaths the mother of all skills in his STORY HOUSE, giving us a Pepsi-challenge-like taste test re: his bona fides on the film biz, Hollywood-style, slapdashing some TV savvy in there for good measure, even peppering us with a few on-set antics courtesy of the man called (Avi) Zweigler, ostensibly a Tamil gentleman (probably from Jaffna, or maybe he's Nigerian?), and very definitely against Tinsel Town type (tongue firmly dans la bouche here, kids).

In any event, mix this with a little gun-running shtick care of younger Gordon brother Elliott, some contraband tschotchkes and assorted swag, not to mention the Kung-Fu Hustle, and you've got the makings of a Giller Prize winner here, kids.

Gosh, my hands are getting all clammy just imagining shaking Governor-General Michaelle Jean's palm (gosh, Timmy, isn't she just a fox? Yum!).

What you'll love about STORY HOUSE is that it's not in any way a facile read. Rarely *are* the Canadian novels I enjoy reading. Mr. Taylor combines his characteristic authorly smarts and several whopping metric *tonnes* of style in this tasteful depiction of a Jacob-ian/Esau-ian family feud about who's got their hands deeper into daddy-o's inheritance cookie jar, and what they're willing to sacrifice of themselves, their comfort zones, and their reputations to attain it.

You're going to majorly dig STORY HOUSE's introductory segments, with its more pugilistic undertones, as deft as a left-right-left setup (or right-left-right if you're a southpaw like 3 out of 10 of our Czech women) for that "battle royale" sequence which takes place somewhere along the lines of this plot--but--PSYCHE!--if you think I'm telling you about it, you might as well wait for the next solar eclipse.

The magnificent thing about a writerly trifecta, as in the case of Mr. Taylor's SILENT CRUISE, STANLEY PARK, and now his STORY HOUSE, is that it goes to show you that our man's totally here to *stay.*

Not once, mesdames et messieurs, not twice, but three-times-a-w'ady, Timothy L. Taylor has shown that he can outpace the fillies, getting out there to rub two narrative sticks in constructing a smokin' hot bonfire. He puts firmly to rest that oft-bandied about saw about how the novel is in its death throes.

Nuh-(four-letter word)-uh.

When I read something this cute-as-a-button clever, I bow down in hosannahs of joy. Why, you query?

Well (and here's my very frank admission folks) it's because one day I hope to write as well as this. One day I just hope to be able to move a reader along as much of an emotional path from first page to the last as Tim did me.

I got to that final paragraph, read what needed to be read, and it stuck with me like crazy glue, long after I'd shut the hardcover.

Treat yourself to something more pensive after a kvetchy holiday season, folks. Something to take your mind off that debt servicing, that credit card fraud, plus the fact you're going to have to break into your kids' trust fund just to finance all those hi-tech whiz-bang purchases you thought looked like a wicked score way back in the middle of November--ages ago, in 21st-century speak.

STORY HOUSE is the House That Taylor Built. It's an abode you're going to want to dwell in, too. I already do.

Hand on the heart,
--ADM in Prague
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c7ea3a8) out of 5 stars ARGGGGGGGGHHHHH!!! June 13 2009
By Schmadrian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Now that I've gotten that out of my system, let me say two things up front:

1) This *should* have been a 4-star review
2) I think Mr. Taylor is a helluva writer, with some tremendous novels in him...but this most certainly isn't one of them.

'Story House' was probably more of a labour for me to read than it was to write. (There's a ton of 'stuff' in there, all of requiring research and knowledge and scope.) Seriously; I couldn't wait to finish it, it was an absolute chore.

Now, I love intelligent writers. I love writers who have capability and energy and verve and a love of language and audacity and...and...

Mr. Taylor has all of these. But in this instance anyway, the one thing he's lacking is the storyteller's gift.

I didn't care about the story he was telling.
I didn't care about the characters within the story he was telling.
I certainly didn't care about the subject -architecture- and moreover, Mr. Taylor didn't seduce me into caring about it...or anything else in the novel.

I was *confounded* by 'Story House'. I was infuriated. I kept wishing the remaining pages would shrink to a scant few so I could be done with it.

There are portions that are illuminating. Lyrical. Playful. But they don't make for a good story, and they certainly don't make for a good read.

If I was being blunt (understand that I just finished the novel and I'm not a happy camper, not even remotely) I'd say it was an effing mess, and desperately needed editorial guidance. (As do most books I'm reading these days; funny, that...)

Next up is his début effort; I sure hope that its reading isn't as painful an effort for me to exert.

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