Books, Non-Fiction, Reviews

Book Review: House and Philosophy- Everybody Lies

After watching more than hundred monotonous episodes of HOUSE M.D., I still find Dr. Gregory House one of the most challenging and a bit complex protagonist/antagonist of all the television shows I have watched. Believe me, that’s what I have been doing on New Year’s Eve. Reading it.

House, if one closely observes, can be of those influential characters in the life of a curious person. Characters that would stick with you. Another one would be, Sherlock Holmes.

House and Philosophy: Everybody Lies, edited by Henry Jacoby is a collection of essays in the series created by Bill Irwin of philosophical examinations of various popular, even iconic television shows or films. The series explores a range of shows from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the function of superheroes in our culture to animated series like South Park. 

The content varies from literary analysis to arguments presenting which philosophical perspectives the character of House espouses. With respect to the individual scholars, the quality of the content of these essays varies dramatically. For example, there is one essay that discusses in-depth about the inspiration of the character of House from the character of Sherlock Holmes, points out fascinating correlations between House’s television program and the literary world of Doyle, and proves that ‘Dr. Gregory House’ the name is derived from the main characters of Conan Doyle’s The Study in Scarlett. Another one discusses House’s presentation of Sartre’s philosophy, and an entire section of the book discusses the ethics of the physicians in the show as they correspond to accepted medical ethics in the ‘real world’. Other essays leave you flipping pages quickly to reach the end of the them because they lack all credibility.

The philosophy isn’t presented at a deep academic level, but rather in a well-balanced style. The language is accessible, and overall the book goes by very quickly once you begin.

As I aforesaid about the show being monotonous, yes it is if you watch it back-to-back you will notice that there isn’t much except few glimpses from the lives of all other characters’ and their lives being planetary about Gregory House. There is something about the character of Gregory House which is undoubtedly attractive to a viewer. As a viewer, that thing definitely motivates me to admire the character of Gregory House. The book, however, fails to attract my admiration.

2.5 out of 5!


20 thoughts on “Book Review: House and Philosophy- Everybody Lies”

  1. Ah haven’t watched House in a very long time, but yep it’s very philosophical – and such a shame that the book wasn’t that good.


  2. Nice review (I think you’ve warned me off this book).
    My wife is crazy about House, but I find him wearisome. Still, though, the idea is inherently fascinating–a bad man who does good things for entirely selfish reasons.
    Edgar Rice Burroughs did it decades earlier when he created Ras Thavas, “The Master Mind of Mars.” Ras and House have more in common than most sets of twins.


  3. Sounds like an interesting book. House is such a fascinating character. He is such a jerk, and i can’t help watching him, and even being amused by some of the things he says.


  4. I find the though of an analysis of Dr. Gregory House abhorrent. To try and analyse him is an insult to his mad and wonderful genius. Furthermore, he is a fictional character.

    We should simply marvel at him and maybe also hate him everytime he is a jerk and be done with it. He himself would laugh at his book.


    1. It’s in human nature to analyse characters whether fictional or not. If we do not analyse something, how will we know whether it’s good or bad or something else for us?

      I cannot simply be astonished by anything that exists. It’s take a lot of factors to do that, for me.

      Of course, I agree, he would laugh at this book, fictionally.


  5. I agree. The character of House was intriguing, however the plots were the same old-same old. A baffling illness afflicts some odd character. The staff can’t diagnose it. House swoops in, insults the staff, insults the patient, dishes out homework assignments to all, then brilliantly solves the case.

    I enjoyed it 2-3 months. Then ….

    Liked by 1 person

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