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About the book
  • Published: 5 January 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446433423
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

The House that Groaned

Introducing a fresh and utterly original new star in the graphic novel world.

141 Rottin Road
'A cosy, one-bedroom apartment on the first floor of a charming Victorian conversion. Newly decorated and with a separate kitchen and reception room. Located just a bus ride away from a wide range of shops, restaurants and bars.'

Welcome to The House that Groaned and the six lonely inhabitants of its separate flats, characters so at odds with themselves and their bodies that they could only have stepped out of the pages of a comic novel. There's Barbara, our make-up artist heroine and man-made blonde bombshell; Matt, the photographic retoucher who can't touch; Janet, the tormented dietician; twenty-something Brian, the diseaseophile whose sexual penchant takes him to the edge of perversion; old Mrs Durbach, who literally blends in to the background; and the gloriously fleshy and hedonistic Marion, matriarch of the Midnight Feasters. Behind the house's anonymous facade, the building is decaying. As pipes explode and walls collapse, events force the residents out of their doors and into each others lives - with dramatic consequences.

Exploring the themes of body image, sexuality and the loneliness and isolation of contemporary urban life, The House that Groaned is a modern-day fairy tale full of magic realism and farcical symbolism which will woo both comic fans and attract new readers to the medium.

  • Pub date: 5 January 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446433423
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

About the Author

Karrie Fransman

Karrie Fransman studied Psychology and Sociology at university and began writing her first graphic stories after reading Ghost World. She’s created comics for the Guardian, The Times, the Telegraph, New Statesman, Time Out and Psychologies Magazine. Her first book, The House that Groaned, was published by Square Peg in 2012.

Also by Karrie Fransman

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Praise for The House that Groaned

“In a world where people know ever less about their neighbours, this graphic novel is both a fantasy…and a cautionary tale. Anyone who has ever lain in bed at night listening to the sound of unknown voices on the other side of the cardboard wall will relish the way she lets her imagination off its leash…funny…beautiful looking…this book might almost be alive”

Rachel Cooke, Observer, Graphic Novel of the Month

“An enjoyable tale, dark but full of energy, fascinated by the private lives and perversity that bulge beneath suburbia's facade”

James Smart, Guardian

“A damn fine book; hugely, spectacularly impressive”


“Karrie Fransmen breaks all the rules of storytelling accumulated over the past thousands of years. She creates a confusion at first, then bursts into the obvious and simplest fact; that all the stories of and in our lives are personal and private.... The only way this wonderful book could have been written is by illustration...not by word... rather like the hidden stories drawn on the walls of caves”

Nicolas Roeg, director of Don't Look Now and Walkabout

“Fransman's dual background as a psychology and sociology student and a creative advertiser helps underpin her skills at both characterisation and communication… By its melodramatic finales, The House That Groaned acknowledges some scars that miss their chance to heal, but also gives us a kind of happy ending for two tenants”

Paul Gravett, Independent

“You can't help but be by turns moved and repulsed by the inhabitants of 141 Rottin Road. But beneath their outrageous behaviour and serious hang-ups, they still have a touching humane side that we can all relate to, with their issues with body image, loneliness and pitiful attempts to overcome past traumas that have shaped the people they have become. I'm not usually a huge fan of graphic novels because I find them too shallow with superficial, stereotypical characters but that is certainly not true of The House That Groaned. Love it or hate it, you will be thinking about the characters long after you've turned the final page”

Madhouse Family Reviews

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