GUTTED: Down to the Studs in My House, My Marriage, My Entire Life

Lawrence LaRose, Author . Bloomsbury $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-58234-392-1

LaRose (The Code: Time-Tested Secrets for Getting What You Want from Women—Without Marrying Them! ) and his wife, Susan, have just bought a "small toenail-yellow Cape Cod" on Long Island. The "hapless victim" of decades of "punishing" remodeling, this ruin of a house needs full-blown CPR, not TLC. As the couple navigates the Kafka-esque local planning commission's permit process, they begin demolition—tearing off siding, pulling out asbestos and taking out walls. Short on funds, LaRose signs onto a series of construction crews, not because he's got carpentry skills, but because he hopes to gain a few. As LaRose's days become increasingly blue-collar, married life morphs unexpectedly. Half the people they'd invited to their wedding seem to have disappeared from their lives completely. Free time is spent razing sections of their house, wandering the aisles of Home Depot, or wallowing in "home porn"—Trading Spaces or This Old House —on TV. As the bills and stresses pile up, this once-carefree couple contemplates divorce, but decides to stick together, which is a good thing, since not long after, Susan finds herself pregnant. In time, the baby is born, the house gets finished, and LaRose can even let himself wax philosophical, noting that this "little shit hole of a house" was the "transformative event" that taught him "how to be married." In the process of renovating their home, they were both "opened up, gutted, and painstakingly put back together." LaRose's readers may also find themselves wiser, and they'll certainly be very well entertained. Agent, David McCormick. (June)

Forecast: LaRose shows the flip side of Ty Pennington–type perfect home renovations, and his book will be appreciated by anyone attempting to spruce up their home, as well as those addicted to Trading Spaces. He'll do a 20-city radio satellite tour; Bloomsbury will run national ads.

Reviewed on: 05/03/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-59691-841-2
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-58234-574-1
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