The House That Groaned is a graphic novel that explores bodies and the spaces they inhabit. It is set in an old Victorian tenement housing six lonely individuals who could only have stepped out of the pages of a comic book. There is the retoucher who cannot touch, a grandmother who literally blends into the background and a twenty-something bloke who's sexually attracted to diseased women. Yet, as we learn the stories behind these extreme characters, it becomes apparent that we may share simlar issues - as individuals and as a society.
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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 - 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 - Guardian
A damn fine book; hugely, spectacularly impressive - ForbiddenPlanet.co.uk
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 -
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 - 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
About the Author
Karrie Fransman's autobiographical comic strips 'My Peculiar World' were published in the Guardian's G2, and her graphic story, 'The Night I Lost my Love' was published in the Times in 2010. She also makes Comic Apps and sculptures and her work has been exhibited in London, Belgium and Russia. She runs projects at the London Print Studio and House of Illustration. Born in Edinburgh, Karrie now lives in London in a house not dissimilar to the one in her book. You can see more of her work at www.karriefransman.com