House on The Rock!

My family and cohort are huge fans of Neil Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS (The book, I haven’t yet seen the TV version). Last year Rich and I visited one of the three tourist sites highlighted in the novel, the geographic center of the continental United States. And yesterday we went to the crazed visionary House on The Rock in Wisconsin. Here in a pivotal scene in the book the protagonist Shadow realizes his road trip companions aren’t just eccentrics but gods. And gods bent on war.

House on the Rock is ultra-weird. Is it like Hearst Castle? Yes, but lowbrow. Like outsider art site Eliphante? Yes, but with money and mad collecting. It’s just plain weird, fun, and if you are sensitive to that kind of thing–a little scary.
NONE of the photos I snapped came out–so I’ll use this one from Roadside America, which also offers a useful analysis:

House on the Rock is unlike any other house in the world — unless you consider a funhouse a house. It was the mad vision of Alex Jordan Jr., a recluse who turned his home into America’s largest, strangest indoor sideshow (And later served as a rendezvous point for deities in American Gods).
Some believe it was originally built as a spite house to taunt famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who lived only ten minutes away in his Taliesin home. But no one really knows what motivated Jordan. We’re willing to accept his vague explanation that “one thing just sort of led to another.”

Much–all?–of speculative fiction is based on a journey, a quest, a pilgrimage. Often on the road we ask ourselves what kind of traveling we are doing. AMERICAN GODS is about a road trip, as epic as Kerouac’s or more so because it is divine. And each immigrant god has taken a journey to arrive on these shores. As have we.

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well ( The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

1 thought on “House on The Rock!

  1. Love House on the Rock! There as a child on a family road trip. And Neil Gamien’s American Hods is one of my fave books!

    Jules Nyquist, MFA

    Founder, Jules’ Poetry Playhouse, LLC Writing Classes, Events & Coaching

    Homesick, then 2018 NM/AZ Book Award Winner

    NM/AZ Book Awards finalists Poets Speak Anthology Series Trumped, Hers & Water Finalists Appetites 2012 Finalist Behind the Volcanoes 2014 Finalist Amazon author page


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