Tenemental

Adventures of a Reluctant Landlady
Narrated by: Rebecca Mitchell
Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (333 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An unsuspecting landlady navigates exploding plumbing, financial independence, and the 2008 market crash without a blueprint.

Detouring from the traditional timeline of marriage-kids-house, 26-year-old Vikki Warner skips straight to homeownership. She buys a run-down three-story house in Providence, Rhode Island, and suddenly finds herself responsible for a rotating cast of colorful tenants. Adulthood comes with unforeseen challenges: backed-up sewage, gentrification, global economic downturn.

Tenemental is a candid portrait of how sharing space profoundly reshapes our lives, and forces us to grow into ourselves.

©2018 Vikki Warner (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tenemental is a Great listen

I must admit that I am biased having lived in Providence, RI just a few years longer than the author, but I found her personal story and take of one residence and this city to be beautifully told and a unique narrative structure to explore so many facets of the author's life and experiences. I would definitely recommend a listen

93 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Couldn't get past the first 5 minutes

I couldn't get past the first 5 minutes with the narrator's up and down voice. Maybe I'll try again later when I am not so easily annoyed. I am sure the story is interesting.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I would not want her to be my land lady

It was definitely a good story, I like how it wasn't just about being a land lady but also about how it affected her personal life. However, I just don't understand how the author can claim to love her house enough to give it a name, but is allowing tenants to damage and destroy it. She claims it's because she's anti-gentrification but this book is mostly examples on how not to manage property.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Started great!

But lost stories of tenants in favor of author’s slightly judgmental and tedious world view

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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the end :(

I enjoyed this book at first...and even midway through as the main character shared her struggles in homeownership of a old home and in being a landlord. but the last portion of the book...I almost quit unfinished. The social commentary toward the end was a huge turn off for me. I was looking for a fun, quirky book, not a commentary on how we Americans were flawed in establishing this country and how we are ruining the planet.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

OK, but not quite what I expected

I listened to this because I thought it would be a humorous and entertaining account of issues the author had with her tenants and other amusing anecdotes about her experience as a landlady. It wasn't quite that, because for the most part the tenants were not very amusing and would be people I certainly couldn't tolerate living around. I think the author has amazing patience and ability to turn a blind eye to chaos. I expected humour and didn't really find any of the book to be funny. Perhaps my expectations were misplaced.

There was a lot more of the author's past and other experiences unrelated to her being a landlady that were included in the book. These are somewhat interesting but because I don't feel I have much in common with the author, they didn't resonate much with me. Perhaps also because I have never lived in an area like the one where the house is located, and I've never had experiences with tenants of the type she experienced, I couldn't relate very well overall to the book.

I found her experiences trying to fix up the old house to be interesting and engaging. I've definitely had frustrating experiences with that in the past.

Good job by the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Ugh

I bought this because it was a daily deal and I thought maybe I'd learn some valuable stuff about home ownership and be motivated to do things in my life that I find intimidating. Have you ever had a job where sometimes there was drama and someone was like: "this could be a book [or TV show]", but really it was humdrum everyday life, and not book worthy at all? I'm admittedly so bored and depressed by this book I'm just about ready to return it halfway through. I want my $3 back. It's not a compelling story, and the answer to how did she make this very challenging thing work seems to be that she's a) pretty affluent, and b) she seems to have armies of friends and family members willing to do work for free or at a discount to help her. That's not inner metal, or strength, or tenacity, or resourcefulness, or creativity, that's just capital. It's not informative on how to solve those problems if you don't have that stuff. I haven't learned how to do any life stuff from it, or been inspired to take on new projects.

The house and neighborhood aren't particularly compelling in a way that makes me want to learn more about them. So far, nothing interesting has happened. I've lived in buildings with more interesting leaks and robberies, and we also had a sex worker jamming our door open and and stealing our packages and a guy who sat on the front steps every day with signs predicting Armageddon who followed that family radio guy who scheduled the rapture. In her building, so far the tenants are mostly her friends and the most interesting thing they've done so far is party around bonfires, we've all done that. Even the roof leak was boring. When our building's roof leaks it rains in the elevator. My building also has more interesting tenets.

I also don't care for the narrator's vioce.

The author works in publishing for an audio book company. I think that explains how a book this boring actually got published as an audio book. She just knows people. That's all of it, she just knows the correct people.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Well done, Ms. Warner!

This is a well written and original account of a landlady/house mom’s tireless and passionate commitment to an over one hundred-year-old typical New England tenement. What is atypical is the neighborhood. A thriving underworld cornerstone in the 1950s and 60s, federal a.k.a. “Fregdra” Hill as the neighborhood was referred to back then, emerged into an inner-city melting pot of those just short of the American dream. The author, herself, is a 1960s hippie at heart in a generation X body. Her story is reap with realism and will hit home with anyone who lived in those cramped edifices growing up and with any landlord who has tried for many years to simply do the right thing.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Worried about this next generation of authors

This story line was some sort of re-incarnation of the 1960-1970's rebellion of class and control. Found the writing so disconnected without getting to the bottom line of the issues of real estate. The personal issues glossed over, no real in-depth character development with any character mentioned, just bits an pieces here and there. it was a LIMBO read. Worried about this next generation of supposed writers. Skip this, waste of time

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Best when she stays out of politics

I enjoyed reading about people doing interesting things, particularly when set in the form of an autobiography. Ms. Warner is particularly successful when describing her own relationships, her relationship to the house and to her tenants. When she uses an encounter with a plumber and a paragraph on a local club to write off entire blocks of humanity in monolithic categories, she forgets the rest of her reflections on people as valuable, nuanced and often conflicted beings who almost never fit into said constructed monolithic categories. Why alienate half of her potential readership with a few short political diatribes that have nothing to do with the rest of her content?

1 person found this helpful