The House of Rumour

The House of Rumour Larry Zagorski spins wild tales of fantasy worlds for pulp magazines But as the Second World War hangs in the balance the lines between imagination and reality are starting to blur

  • Title: The House of Rumour
  • Author: Jake Arnott
  • ISBN: 9780340922729
  • Page: 402
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Larry Zagorski spins wild tales of fantasy worlds for pulp magazines But as the Second World War hangs in the balance, the lines between imagination and reality are starting to blur.

    • The House of Rumour - Jake Arnott
      402 Jake Arnott
    • thumbnail Title: The House of Rumour - Jake Arnott
      Posted by:Jake Arnott
      Published :2019-05-02T05:17:04+00:00

    2 thoughts on “The House of Rumour

    1. Jake Arnott is a British novelist, author of The Long Firm and four other novels In 2005 Arnott was ranked one of Britain s 100 most influential gay and lesbian people When he was included in a list of the fifty most influential gay men in Britain in 2001, it was declared that he was widely regarded as one of Britain s most promising novelists.

    2. “The House of Rumour” is Jake Arnott’s tour of 20th century curios taking in some of its most defining moments and including some of its most interesting and notorious individuals. Reality and fiction blur as created characters mix with real people, and events have a habit of connecting to other events with tenuous links – “jonbar points”, to use sci-fi vernacular. A classified paper detailing a secret government operation in World War 2 to use black magic and astrology to lure Hitle [...]

    3. An ambitious tale of misinformation and disinformation (there is a difference) which centres on the solo flight of Hitler’s second in command, Rudolf Hess to Britain in 1941. Hess' alleged reason for this was a bid to make a separate peace with Britain, allowing Nazi Germany to concentrate all its efforts on the invasion of the Soviet Union. Around this, Jake Arnott spins a conspiracy story which features famous characters from the past, such as Ian Fleming (writer of James Bond books) and the [...]

    4. Why this wasn't longlisted for the Booker Prize perhaps tells you all you need to know about the Booker longlist. Unconventionally structured, in that the plot is overarching, built up through several cross-chapter strands, with characters ranging from the real (including Ian Fleming on the slide in Jamaica, L. Ron Hubbard on the tap in the Valley, Rudolf Hess on the lam in the Scottish highlands, Jim Jones on the Kool-Aid in Guyana, the eighties Soho tranny socialite Vicky de Lambray on the mak [...]

    5. How I love this book! I've never read Jake Arnott before, thinking he might be a superior form of a pulp writer, judging by the subject matter of many of his previous books. I was amazed then, how literate and elegant the book is. The individual strands hold up on their own as mini character studies, but written with a clarity and flow that are quite intoxicating. No word is out of place, even the most bizarre plot developments seem to have logical consistency, there is beauty, warmth and sadnes [...]

    6. Fact vs. Fiction“House of Rumour” is laid out in chapters that correspond to the Tarot’s major arcana from The Fool through The World. Almost anyone important who played a role in World War II has a least a cameo appearance. It is replete with real people like the Bond book author Ian Fleming including the real life handler M and M’s girl Friday Miss Moneypenny. That’s on one side of the Atlantic. The action in the US takes place in pre and post World War II California among science fi [...]

    7. This one’s a bit of a surprise: a non-genre author better known for his tales of homosexuals, contemporary gangsters and seventies pop culture, a Brit who gave rise to the term ‘geezer chic’, turns in an ambitious piece of genre fiction that cleverly blends facts with fiction. Result: an occasionally brilliant novel.From the outset it’s a combination of disparate ideas that really shouldn’t work together: Golden Age pulp SF writers, James Bond author Ian Fleming, German deputy Nazi Rud [...]

    8. 'I am of a generation that filled pulp magazines with cheap prophecy. Now the events in my own lifetime seem even more fantastic.' Such ponderous blurb should have been a warning, but with happy memories of Jake Arnott's previous bestsellers - The Long Firm, He Kills Coppers, Johnny, Remember Me - I was heedless, and thus begun a gruelling, rewardless slog through this soupy stuff. A few of the usual Arnott ingredients are present - period settings lovingly sketched, the dialogue-driven narrativ [...]

    9. I loved this book. It took me a while to love it, but once the connections start to engage, it snaps into sharp focus and the structure of the whole comes plain. It is a complicated novel and very difficult to review.A series of episodes, a set of lives loosely linked are woven together: the strange prophetic novel that seems to predict Rudolph Hess’s flight to Scotland, a young writer of pulp SF and his relationship to a cult that is connected to Aleister Crowley who is connected to a secret [...]

    10. Jake Arnott is best known for his early novels based in the London ganglands of the 1960s, but since publishing Johnny Come Home in 2006, he has focused on more esoteric aspects of twentieth century history, focusing on radical political groups and occultists. The House of Rumour brings these strands together, with a plot taking in most of the major conspiracies of past 60 years, from Rudolph Hess through to Aleister Crowley, as well as Jonestown and the Black Panthers. Arnott’s characters inh [...]

    11. This has the potential to be a really great book but just warbles on too much. It's a fine idea about how much of 20th Century history was tied in with the occult and how those in power use 'magic' for their own ends. Unfortunately it goes off on way too many tangents for me.

    12. A tangled mess of a book, although some parts were interesting. The era of science fiction and when rocketry began, with bits about Voyager. Overall, I didn't connect because it was so disjointed.

    13. "History is unpredictable. Any number of things might have happened. On parallel worlds or in counterfactual realities, at forking paths and at jonbar points, the world is a speculative fictionUtopia or dystopia is a moment away, just waiting for creation. At every point."These are the closing lines of what may be the best novel I've read this year. Back up for a minute for some explanation: in science-fiction, they talk of "jonbar points." These are the crucial points of divergence between two [...]

    14. Considering just how closely his dark conspiratarian novel The House of Rumour matches my own predilections for fiction, I'm surprised that Jake Arnott didn't get arrested for stalking me (and never mind that he's in London while I am all the way out in UTC-8). Just look at this sentence from the book's jacket:The House of Rumour explores World War II spy intrigue (featuring Ian Fleming), occultism (Aleister Crowley), the West Coast science-fiction set (Robert Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and Phili [...]

    15. Welcome to planet improbable, we've been expecting you!The narrative madness of Jake Arnott The House of Rumouris Jake Arnott’s tour of 20th century mad hatters, dubious scientists and spies. Reality and fiction blur as created characters mix with real people, and events have a habit of connecting to other events with tenuous links – “jonbar points”, to use sci-fi vernacular. History is unpredictable. Any number of things might have happened. On parallel worlds or in counter-factual real [...]

    16. Jake Arnott tends to structure his novels using multiple narrators or a kind of mosaic of incidents which gradually reveals a greater truth, a kind of 'can you guess what it is yet?' technique. In this novel, as elsewhere in his work, a very promising idea is sabotaged by his inability to a) create believable characters (his women are simply awful, as are his heterosexuals), and b) to integrate his research without the kind of clunking explanatory dialogue that so marred 'Johnny Come Home'. 'The [...]

    17. I had to think about this one a little while. It’s a lot to take in. The author mixes fact and fiction (which is sort of a definition of what a rumor is) to connect seemingly disparate historical events and people over the course of the 20th century. Some of the real characters are still well known today, like Ian Fleming. Others are obscure, but nonetheless real, like Jack Parsons (who I googled). If there is any overreaching idea in the book, it is that of use of and belief in disinformation [...]

    18. Yeaaah. Couldn't get more than a quarter in, and that was a slog. The description makes it sound like it is going to be this tightly woven spy story. But it is actually more like a collection of short stories. Every chapter switches narrators. Perspective changes from 1st, to 2nd, to 3rd person, and back again. It is hard to tell exactly what one chapter has to do with the others. Two years ago I probably could have handled this, because I had time to sit and do nothing but read for hours on end [...]

    19. Thankyou to Chris and Emma at Waterstones for this read, it will be my next book I think! I was going to give this 3 stars as my rating but in all honesty, I'm puzzled by this read! For me, there's just too much happening to make it flow effortlessly. Whilst the writing is beautiful, in some places almost poetic, it struck me as trying too hard. I struggled to produce any empathy with the characters though found all utterly intriguing as to their role within the story. The time lines are confusi [...]

    20. So tedious. A meandering tale following various characters, intrigue, and moments in history. I am not a WWII buff so I found most of the vignettes regarding various war characters to be very very boring.I struggled to finish. After reading the ending, was very underwhelmed. Cannot recommend.

    21. Really cool idea- poorly carried out. The main problem was that I never actually cared what was happening. It was all just a bit messy. The whole multiple narrative thing doesn't always work out, and it didn't work here. It's the type of book that would have probably been really good if David Micthell had written it instead/

    22. Ever so clever mix of historical facts and fiction.Towards the second half I (happily) interrupted my reading to check on characters, events and even novels - who would have thought that Katherine Burdekin and her novel 'Swastika Night' were real?!Based to some degree on the tarot, historical events of all kind and importance - from Robert A. Heinlein's Mañana Literary Society to Rudolf Hess' flight to Scotland, the Cuban revolution, Dianetics, the Jonestown Massacre up to the early days of the [...]

    23. good in places a bit rambly and lack of direction but then it does promise us that stories in miniture within stories ultimately a but hollow

    24. Original Post: thefoundingfields/2012/07/“An interesting novel that takes a while to understand what’s happening, but is full of good, creative ideas and as far as I’m aware, is pretty original.” ~The Founding FieldsThe House of Rumour is a novel that is unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s structured around a Tarot card deck (Each Chapter having a card from a Tarot deck as a chapter name), an area that I have little knowledge about, but an area that I would like to read more about [...]

    25. "At the centre of the world where everything can be seen is a tower of sounding bronze that hums and echoes, repeating all it hears, mixing truth with fiction." Such is the the story of Jake Arnott's The House of Rumour.This is a novel that not only mixes truth with fiction in a rich brew of story, but also mingles World War II espionage with pulp science fiction, UFO conspiracy theories with quantum theories of existence. Seem complicated? Trust me - that's just the tip of the iceberg.The House [...]

    26. I'm listening to this book on CD which, from reading the reviews, seems like the only way to read this book (to not get confused by all the little stories). The narrator is pretty good, and his different accents/ways of speech help differentiate between the different narratives and make the reader empathize with, if not particularly like, the characters in that particular story. It's not at all what I usually read, which adds to the allure. I almost never read Science Fiction or books that are n [...]

    27. “If you can’t change the world, build a spaceship.” The protagonist’s motto is the perfect summary of Jake Arnott’s complex novel The House of Rumour – a wacky mix of fact, fiction, and the occasional UFO.Larry Zagorski, a young science fiction writer around the time of the Second World War, begins a series of connections and rumours concerning conspiracy theories, mainly to do with Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess’s mysterious flight during the war. The novel is structured in relation t [...]

    28. A classified paper falls into the hands of a transvestite prostitute in the late 80s. Penned by a retired government spy, the document narrates a secret operation to lure Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s second in command, out of Germany using black magic and astrology. So it begins… “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”Winston Churchill“The House of Rumour” is an elaborate mesh of affairs that will have you wondering where the history les [...]

    29. Wow! This might be the weirdest book I have ever read. Part of me loved it and part of me disliked it. The history buff in me loved it. The novel is a WWII spy intrigue with characters like Ian Fleming, Aleister Crowley Robert Heinlein, L.(for Lafayette)Ron Hubbard, Philip Dick all appear in the new-wave music scene of the 1980s. The twisting plot also covers Jack Parsons, the rocketeer, Rudolph Hess and his flight to Britain during the war, the Jonestown massacre, UFO sightings and B movies. Ty [...]

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