1. Christian says:

    Hi Matt,
    Glad you enjoyed House. I’m also a huge fan of Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti’s works. I thought the story was good but that the blending of two very good (but very different) authors left us with a half-baked story and underdeveloped characters. It’s a real pity too because some scenes are fantastic and suprisingly creepy. That the house is a metaphor for the human heart brings proper stakes to the story and real depth to a tired genre. House both challenges and encourages the reader. I wonder how different the end-product would’ve been had Ted Dekker written it alone (as he was going to do originally). We’ll never know. I found it to be one of Dekker’s and Peretti’s weakest works but the premise is most intriguing and thought-provoking. There’s also a movie based on the book. It’s not great but it’s decent. Some parts improve on the book (those originally designed by Dekker), and others detract from the story. Decide for yourself.

  2. Matt Koceich says:

    Hi Christian,

    Thanks for the great comment. I didn’t realize Dekker had originally intended to write it alone. When he signed my copy of House, I asked him what part(s) did he write. Ted told me he wrote chapters 10 and following. I did hear that they made a movie, but I haven’t seen it yet.

  3. Nikole Hahn says:

    Dekkar is hard to get into for me. But I am always intrigued by his plots. One of these days I will read his books, most especially House, since this post has snagged my interest.

  4. Matt Koceich says:

    Hi Nikole,

    Thanks for your reply! This was my hope from the post–to share thoughts. My favorite of his is Obsessed. Very emotional story.


  5. Obsessed was one of the very few books (by Dekker or anyone else) that I actually stopped reading halfway through. Perhaps I wasn’t paying attention and this story was actually brilliant; I remember finding it difficult to relate to. Also my only memories from what I did read involve flashbacks to former Nazis, and a real-estate agent going into a house he’s trying to sell, going into the house over and over and over.

    It’s likely I missed something, and maybe I’ll go back and try it again sometime soon.

    As for House, I’m thinking I must not be understanding the horror genre. Some have said it’s not the best of Peretti’s and Dekker’s works; I would say more, but most of what I said was in a review I wrote shortly after its 2006 release.

    Is House for Christians or non-Christians? The whole thing — let’s just come right out and say it — is an allegory for the evil of self and the need for Christ’s redemption. But in the manner presented, surely non-Christians will be even more confused about exactly what message is at the center of House, if not annoyed when the novel’s Christianity becomes quite blatant near the end.

    Meanwhile, thoughtful Christians will find nothing new here. The salvation allegory is quite transparent throughout, and like too many Christian novels, the authors never go beyond that. The only “final twist” that movie producer Ralph Winter says he “never saw coming” in a quote on the front cover, is the fact that there is no final twist, not really. Goodness vanquishes evil, though not without cost. The last Devil ex machinas explain away all the inhuman weirdness, and finally the leads are saved. That is all. Also, never look away after talking with an angel — you’ll double-take and then find it’s gone.

    To me the whole thing felt rather rushed. And try as I might, I cannot make any sense of this line at the bottom of page 110 (maybe they fixed it in other printings).

    [W]e read this: “Randy tells Betty to shut the door.” Not only did Stewart actually say that, but the narrative suddenly became present tense. What happened?

What do you think?