Summary and book reviews of This House Is Not for Sale by E.C. Osondu

This House Is Not for Sale

by E.C. Osondu

This House Is Not for Sale by E.C. Osondu X
This House Is Not for Sale by E.C. Osondu
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2015, 192 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2016, 192 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Naomi Benaron
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A vivid, fully imagined portrait of an extraordinary African family and the house that holds them together.

A powerful tale of family and community, This House Is Not for Sale brings to life an African neighborhood and one remarkable house, seen through the eyes of a young member of the household. The house lies in a town seemingly lost in time, full of colorful, larger-than-life characters; at the narrative's heart are Grandpa, the family patriarch whose occasional cruelty is balanced by his willingness to open his doors to those in need, and the house itself, which becomes a character in its own right and takes on the scale of legend.

From the decades-long rivalry between owners of two competing convenience stores to the man who convinces his neighbors to give up their earthly possessions to prepare for the end of the world, Osondu's story captures a place beyond the reach of the outside world, full of superstitions and myths that sustain its people.

Osondu's prose has the lightness and magic of fable, but his themes - poverty, disease, the arrival of civilization in an isolated community - are timeless and profound. At once full of joyful energy and quiet heartbreak, This House Is Not for Sale is an utterly original novel from a master storyteller.

Excerpt
This House Is Not for Sale

Whenever the uncle we all called Gramophone, behind his back, walked into any room with a radio on or some music playing, it was immediately turned down or turned off. He would sometimes use two fingers to block both ears when loud music from the record store down the road wafted into the Family House. He was called Gramophone because he would clean and dust every part of the sitting room but would not go near or touch Grandfather's four-in-one Sanyo stereo. When this was pointed out to him once, he shrank back and said he could dust and clean everything in the sitting room but not that Gramophone, he said, pointing to the Sanyo stereo. We were warned not to whistle songs around him. Whistling was not encouraged in the Family House at any rate, whistling in the daytime was said to attract snakes while whistling at night attracted evil spirits.

He sought refuge in the Family House many years ago, having killed a man or, as we were told, he ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The characters in This House Is Not For Sale are deeply flawed. They are greedy, deceitful, quick to commit “crimes of passion,” or overly ambitious. And yet, Osondu brings them all to life with love. The dialogue, flavored by its ever-present chorus of unnamed voices, sparkles with humor, playful wickedness, and zest. Osondu gives us a strong and joyful sense of place in this novel. It is clearly a place he cherishes, and one that we, as readers, will come away cherishing as well...continued

Full Review (779 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Naomi Benaron).

Media Reviews

Booklist
Vivid... Beguiling in their simplicity and resonant in their universal themes, This House is Not for Sale offers a striking appraisal of people's basest ambitions.

Kirkus Reviews
A wide-ranging portrait of an African community largely at odds with itself.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Osondu uses the house as a prism through which to depict the events of the neighborhood, proving that our stories outlive the places we inhabit.

Author Blurb Jeffery Renard Allen, author of Song of the Shank
Remarkable... Though Osondu tips his hat to tradition, this book is a distinctive and singular achievement, all the more remarkable for being a debut novel.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Beyond the Book: Orality, Politics, and the Evolution of Nigerian Literature

GriotE. C. Osondu's debut novel, This House Is Not For Sale, is rooted in Nigerian oral tradition. Orality, the transmission of thought and idea through speech, was the primary method of communication before the advent of the written word. In West Africa, this function falls to the griot, a singer, storyteller, and musician who serves as librarian and library, both storing and performing the history of his or her people. The modern day griot is often hired to document and preserve the ancestry of village inhabitants, and as this griot states: "plays a key role in west African society." In her article "Nigerian Literature: Oral and Written Traditions," Laura Gardner cites Bade Ajuwon: "Pre-literate Nigeria once enjoyed a verbal art civilization ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked This House Is Not for Sale, try these:

  • The Opposite of Everyone jacket

    The Opposite of Everyone

    by Joshilyn Jackson

    Published 2016

    About this book

    More books by this author

    A fiercely independent divorce lawyer learns the power of family and connection when she receives a cryptic message from her estranged mother in this bittersweet, witty novel from the nationally bestselling author of Someone Else's Love Story and gods in Alabama - an emotionally resonant tale about the endurance of love and the power of stories to ...

  • Say You're One of Them jacket

    Say You're One of Them

    by Uwem Akpan

    Published 2009

    About this book

    Uwem Akpan's stunning stories humanize the perils of poverty and violence so piercingly that few readers will feel they've ever encountered Africa so immediately.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Divide Me By Zero
    Divide Me By Zero
    by Lara Vapnyar
    Divide Me By Zero begins with an encounter between the narrator, Katya Geller, a 40-something mother...
  • Book Jacket: Mighty Justice
    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree , Katie McCabe
    What it's about:
    Dovey Johnson Roundtree was one of two lawyers who won the landmark case "Sarah ...
  • Book Jacket: The Seine
    The Seine
    by Elaine Sciolino
    Of the 24 members who reviewed Elaine Sciolino's The Seine: The River that Made Paris for BookBrowse...
  • Book Jacket: Fireborne
    Fireborne
    by Rosaria Munda
    Inspired by classical political theory and the French Revolution, Rosaria Munda's YA debut Fireborne...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Seine
    by Elaine Sciolino

    "A soulful, transformative voyage along the body of water that defines the City of Light."
    —Lauren Collins
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The In-Betweens
    by Mira Ptacin

    "A fascinating history of an American community of Spiritualists... a fabulous read."
    —Elizabeth Gilbert
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

From the author of
Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W G Up M C D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.