House: The Only Way Out Is in

by Frank Peretti

Paperback, 2006



Call number



Thomas Nelson Publishers (2006), Edition: Special ed., 404 pages

Original publication date



Fiction. Suspense. Christian Fiction. Thriller. HTML: A mind-bending supernatural thriller from the creators of This Present Darkness and Sinner. Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti�??two of the most acclaimed writers of supernatural thrillers�??have joined forces for the first time with this non-stop thrill ride. Enter House�??where you'll find yourself thrown into a killer's deadly game in which the only way to win is to lose . . . and the only way out is in. One game. Seven players. Three rules. Game ends at dawn.


Original language



159554156X / 9781595541567



User reviews

LibraryThing member readingrat
I found the plot to be disjointed and the characters not very likable.
LibraryThing member MadameGuillotine
Where was the supposed twist ending? Absolute bore. I could care less about all characters involved. Total waste of my time.
LibraryThing member debs4jc
Plot Summary: What happens, When & Where, Central Characters, Major Conflicts
"Jack and his wife Stephanie are on their way to a counseling session for their troubled marriage when a series of detours end up leaving them stranded in the backwoods. The only option they have for shelter is an old
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plantation style house which seems to be an inn of sorts. There they find another couple who has also been stranded there for the night and Betty, Stewart, and Pete--""Inbreds"" and ingracious hosts. Things just seem to getting more and more bizarre and creepy, eventually leading Jack and the others into a fight against evil and for their lives after a can is dropped down the chimney with the following message: 1) God came to my house and I killed him.
2) I will kill anyone who comes to my house as I killed God.
3) Give me one dead body and I might let rule two slide."

Style Characterisics: Pacing, clarity, structure, narrative devices, etc.
Tight suspense with creepy stuff happening almost immediately. Jack is a well drawn character, struggle with the death of his marriage and his spiritual beliefs. The other couple at the house seem like no more than foils to Jack's struggle. The point of view shifts, even to the killer's mind. The character of Susan, an angelic figure, is pulled off well. The middle gets a little bogged down, as it just seems like one neverending chase scene repeating itself over and over.

How Good is it?
A powerful message/metaphor about how sin can trap us and how we need to face it.
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LibraryThing member Sonkissed
this book was fast paced, and definitely suspenseful. However, I was sorely disappointed by the cheesy story book ending. my recommendation would be to read something by the authors separatly, before reading this. Though a good book, it isn't great.
LibraryThing member bluenichols
good book thought it would have been better though with the combination of Dekker and Peretti
LibraryThing member nm.fall07.kstinnett
i love this book! its scary and adn keeps you in the egde. Its keeps you wanting more. It isnt like other books that you can predict waht will happen. There are many twists and surpises.It makes you think twice! I would suggest this book to anyone!
LibraryThing member jcsoblonde
This book thoroughly freaked me out! Stayed up all night reading it! I would not recommend doing it in full daylight! It was good...I cannot read these books that much or I'll go insane, and I am very picky with this genre, but this book was very good.
LibraryThing member takieya
I wasn’t sure this book was going to be very good from the beginning, and it proved to be very predictable the entire way through. It really didn’t keep me guessing until the last page, like the dustcover states. If you’re looking for a formulaic horror novel, I suppose this is right up your
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alley. In the end though, it just left me shaking my head, and wondering why the more thoughtful parts of the story couldn’t have shined brighter. Oh well.
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LibraryThing member rebeccaday1
I listened to this book today at work, it was good, I didn't care for the narrators voice, and I was a little confused about the twist of the story but over it was good listen! It wouldn't be the first book that came to mind when making recomendations but hey everyones a critc lol!
LibraryThing member bibliophile1887
I’m a Ted Dekker fan. I loved Thr3e and strongly recommend it to anyone. I also really loved the circle trilogy (Black, Red, and White) and although I thought the ending was predictable, I would also recommend these. I reviewed Showdown back in January, and I recommend it as well. I’m afraid I
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cannot be as complimentary about House.

Although I’ve never read anything by Frank Peretti, I’ve been told that his books are very good. He’s been on my list of “I should really read something by him one day” for ages. When I saw that he was co-writing a book with Dekker, I was thrilled. When I held the book in my hands I was not.

They say that you should not judge a book by it’s cover. And this book certainly proves that point. The cover is awesome. The book isn’t. I opened it and was dismayed to see a large-print sized font and big white spaces between the lines and even between the words. I know that the authors have no real control about how the publishers print their books, but this was ridiculous. I have never read a book with fonts like that, and with large spaces and liked it. I complained about this on the Ted Dekker forums, and was promptly ripped apart for it. Still, I went ahead and read it.

Due to two rather odd accidents, four people are left stranded in a house in the middle of an Alabama forest. The house is “hosted” by an insane family of three: father, mother, and son. After a truly bizarre meal the four “guests” decide to leave. Which is when the can is thrown down the chimney. Written on the can are the following rules: “Rule #1 God came into my house and I killed him. Rule #2 I kill anyone who comes into my house like I killed God. Rule #3 Give me one body by dawn and I might let rule #2 slide.” Sounds interesting? Sounds exciting? Sounds suspenseful?

It’s not.

I will grant that the book is fast moving, and very difficult to put down. Not because it’s so addicting, but because the action never stops. The action starts within the first few pages and apart from a brief slow passage in the middle of the book, it never lets up until the end. Unfortunately that’s the only real positive thing I can say about it.

The characters are so poorly drawn as to be less than one-dimensional. There is absolutely no interest in any of the characters and the reader is left not caring who makes it to the end. Even the villain is laughable as his motivations aren’t even mentioned. The plot is predictable, and by half-way through I knew how it would end.

Overall, I cannot recommend it. However, the main villain is tied to the villain in Showdown and in Dekker’s next book, Saint. So I felt obligated to finish it. Unfortunately I can’t yet see how they fit together. Well I can, but I didn’t think it was very significant.
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LibraryThing member nesum
I have to say, I'm rather tore about this book. On the one hand, I really liked the metaphor here, and I thought it was a really picture of the way we are in sin. On the other hand, it was just a little too lost in fantasy for my tastes (I think horror novels are scarier when they are grounded in
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reality first, but this one is nothing but wild fantasy that did not connect with me), and I didn't like the characters.

I will say that this is an improvement to the other Dekker novel I ahve read, where the characters were unlikeable and two-dimensional. At least here they have some depth. But I like Peretti's solo novels a bit better.

This is worth a read as a metaphor for the nature of sin and ourselves, and the freeing power of Christ, but as a story I just didn't think it worked.
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LibraryThing member Bookshop_Lady
Without doubt, one of the worst conceived and most poorly written books I have ever read. The set-up was right out of a Stephen King or Dean Koontz novel, and some of the happenings inside the house were reminiscent of plot points from the old television series, "Dark Shadows." But for all the
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promise of horror, there was nothing remotely frightening. I've packed the book away in a box and will read it again in a few years. Until then, my advice is - if you really have to read this book, borrow it from a friend or from the library first. Don't buy it until you've read it.
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LibraryThing member navets
This is the first time these two Christian authors have collaborated - and I must say that they can do it again as far as I’m concerned!

I have yet to read any Dekker novel, but I have read each Peretti book.

The book isn’t quite the caliber that I was expecting, though it did keep my interest
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and I read it through in about 3-hours. The last page of the book promises the movie adaptation coming in 2007. I hope it’s better than The Visitation’s movie adaptation.

After reading this book I am a bit curious about other Dekker novels. I noticed we have a few others in the church library, so I’ll start there.
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LibraryThing member chickadeegirl
very heavy...and demonic(?) mature audience only :)
LibraryThing member sdav65
Pretty good read. Quick and not too bogged down with details.
LibraryThing member Spiceca
I grabbed this book randomly since the synopsis looked like it might be interesting. The whole concept of good vs evil is not a new idea and has been done much better in other books (I.e. Stephen King's "The Stand" is a good example)

The story was choppy and incoherent. The characters were poorly
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constructed and made little sense with their actions. I could have also done without the overly "righteous" ending.

I did not like this book in any sense. I wouldn't even recommend it to those who like Christian fiction because of how crudely written it was. Give this one a miss.
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LibraryThing member trueturquoise
This is my favorate Frank E. Peretti book. It shorter than the rest. And I think there is more mystery and it's harder to grasp maybe. Which I like.
LibraryThing member hidden_lyric
I have a habit of not finishing books if I am not interested. I was determined to finish "house," so I can honestly say, it is horrible. I thought that with two great authors it would have been fantastic, but I was sorely disappointed. Don't waste your time.
LibraryThing member Calwise
Good idea, but poorly executed. I like both authors, so I was disappointed with their team-up. They basically beat the reader over the head with their spiritual message using several cheap copouts and alot of improbable dialogue.
LibraryThing member elbakerone
I am a long time fan of Frank Peretti and recently impressed with the works of Ted Dekker, but in the case of House I don't think that the sum of these authors was greater than their individual parts. Although it contained some of the suspense and intrigue that both authors are known for it also
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seemed predictable and the villainous characters were a little over the top. To anyone looking for Christian thrillers from these authors I would much more strongly recommend Peretti's This Present Darkness or Monster and The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red and White) or Obsessed from Ted Dekker.
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LibraryThing member Buttonholed
This story is a haunted house that represents the evil of each person's heart without having Christ. The book starts off with Jack and Stephanie are on their way seeking some marriage counseling in Alabama. On the way, Jack is almost rear-ended by a state-boy and he eventually pulls them over. Jack
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stops and the officer races past them. WTH? They drive on and Stephanie convinces Jack they are lost. Jack sees the lights of a police car ahead and stops to ask for directions. It's the same cop who almost rear-ended them earlier. Officer Lawdale, asks Jack to step out of the car and walk to the back of the car. He uses his billy club to point out a brake light on their car that isn't working. As they talk about the light officer Lawdale tells Jack the road ahead is under repair but how kind is he to point out a shortcut through the backwoods. Mmm. He warns the two that if they have car trouble they should stay in their car until he comes back through in the morning on his way home. Stephanie doesn't like the idea, but, Jack takes the detour. Men, right?
Jack and Stephanie travel on this back road for quite some time and the only sign they have seen is one for a hotel called the Wayside Inn. Just after Jack suggests they stay there the night, their car hits a spike strip and all 4 tires are slashed. They walk to the Inn where they find another couple who have had the same problem.
Soon the lights go out in the house and the two couples meet the owners of the Inn who are pretty damn rude. They all eventually sit down for dinner and the food starts to rot in front of their eyes. Stephanie gets up to run from the house and is stopped by a man with a shotgun who chases her back in and locks the two couples and the "owners" of the Inn in the house. He throws an old soup cap down the chimney that outlines the rules of a game that he decides to play with them. He makes them go against each other by seeking one dead body in exchange for the freedom of the others. You've gotta read this and see if Officer Lawdale...or.... ~ Evilicious.
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LibraryThing member Mirandalg14
2.75 stars:
A fun horror with some interesting twists.
LibraryThing member ABookVacation
I really liked this book. It was full of suspense, though it's alittle pbvious who the killer is, but even so, very well done. I kept thinking this was like a movie I saw at some point, and it turns out this book was made into a movie, but it was a lot better than the movie. It wasn't "in your
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face" Christianity either, which is nice, because I don't like being preached at, but the moral of the story is there, very blatant, and makes you think.
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LibraryThing member Elizabeth.Wong98
House is about four people trapped inside a house with a serial killer. The killer not so coincidentally place two mats with nails in the road for people to drive over. The four people are Stephanie, Jack, Leslie, and Randy. The killer, White, tells them to give him a dead body by sunrise. While
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the four are debating this, the family who lives in the house makes the house a horror for them. They don't know if the person around the corner is going to kill them. They don't know how to get out. They can't trust anyone. They move around from room to room trying to get away.........will they succeed?

I am not usually a fan of horror, but this book got me hooked from the start. Its a maze of twists and turns where you don't know what will happen next. When I finished reading it, I was like WOW. Now I want to read more of these kind of books but I'm not sure which one yet. One thing I didn't like was that it was a little gory. But overall, this book was amazing and I loved it.
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LibraryThing member Kiwiria
Honstly? I was really disappointed by this one. It doesn't live up to the standards set by neither Ted Dekker nor Frank Peretti, but was more the sort of book I'd expect somebody like Stephen King or Dean Koontz to write. The symbolisms were more heavy-handed than even Narnia (don't get me wrong, I
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love that series, but subtle it is not). To give the book the benefit of doubt it may just be that it's not a book appropriate for audiobook format, and I might have thought differently if I'd read it myself instead.
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