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

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9781582343921: Gutted: Down to the Studs in My House, My Marriage, My Entire Life
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One man's hair-raising and hilarious account of the reconstruction of an old house and the near demolition of a new marriage.

Only a few years ago, Lawrence LaRose won a place on bestseller lists as coauthor of The Code: Time-Tested Secrets for Getting What You Want from Women - Without Marrying Them! But then recklessness set in: LaRose fell in love. In the course of a few months, he became engaged, got married, and bought a decrepit fixer-upper in Sag Harbor, New York. Days before closing, he lost his job. This unemployed writer and Manhattanite lit on a preposterous plan: he would bluff his way onto a Hamptons construction crew in order to learn the skills he needed. Soon he was building stadium-size "cottages" with $600 toilet paper holders while barely scraping by with his own meager renovation. But as challenges mounted and confusions multiplied, LaRose and his wife found they had something extra keeping them safe from divorce: tons of debt, and the risk-taking inclination to stay together.

Whether you're a single person, a newlywed, or one of those harried married folks lumbering through Home Depot, you'll find Gutted to be an outrageously original view of trading spaces, giving up unfettered freedom for marriage, and building a life and a home. Part cautionary tale, part hands-on advice, Gutted shows that the best improvements in life all start with a little demolition.

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About the Author:

Lawrence LaRose is a seasoned editor and writer, an amateur homebuilder, and a freelance smart-ass. He coauthored the internationally bestselling The Code: Time-Tested Secrets for Getting What You Want from Women - Without Marrying Them! and then promptly forgot his own best advice. He lives with his wife and son in the paint section at Kmart.

From Publishers Weekly:

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.
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