Title: The House of Tomorrow
Author: Peter Bognanni
Publication Date: 2010
Purchase Price: $24.95 (hardback)
Sebastian Prendergast lives in a geodesic dome with his grandmother, a rabid follower of the teachings of engineer and futurist Richard Buckminster Fuller.
The fifteen year-old has lived in relative isolation with his grandmother since the death of his parents, reading redacted books and socializing only minimally with the people who come to marvel at the dome in which he lives.
But all of that changes when Sebastian’s grandmother suffers a stroke. The only witnesses are Sebastian and two people, a mother and son, who are touring the dome.
Sebastian, half-excited and half-terrified, is suddenly thrust out into the world. Janice (the witness Mrs. Prendergast’s stroke) immediately takes responsibility for Sebastian, taking him under her wing.
Her son Jared, however, is a tough nut to crack. He mocks Sebastian’s strange patterns of speech and thought, and is horrified when he learns that Sebastian has never heard punk music.
The more Sebastian becomes a part of the family, and the more he learns about the power of artists like Sid Vicious and the Misfits, the more Sebastian starts to see the world from which his grandmother has kept him hidden.
I was a bit worried about how I would enjoy this novel. The book jacket’s summary made it seem as if the narration would be focused mostly on punk rock music and its artists — and although I like music, punk is not my favorite.
However, The House of Tomorrow proved to be a surprisingly comical, moving and meaningful book. Sebastian experiences the pain of first love, brought ever sharper into focus because it is the first girl he’s ever been near; Jared must deal with his father’s abandonment, as well as the foreign body that resides within him.
Peter Bognanni’s novel is well worth the read. It’s a testament to love, music, and all the places we call home.
- Attitude (the Misfits) [NSFW audio and text]
- C’mon Everybody (Sid Vicious and the Sex Pistols)
- Teenagers From Mars (the Misfits)
“My orbit was very small that night. Nearly everything was happening in my head. I wasn’t much aware of the external, so when Janice touched me on the shoulder, I was brought back to reality in a rush. I dropped a bowl of green beans and the stray leftovers bounced off the carpet like grasshoppers. The bowl stayed in one piece.” (p. 277)
” ‘If God doesn’t like us,’ he said, ‘he’s probably going to drop that thing right on your head.’
‘I’ve been baptized,’ he said.” (p. 314)