Chapter One
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Chapter Two
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Chapter Three
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Chapter Four
Part One
Part Two
Part Three


Own Your Own Home

Vital Statistics  |  Notes  |  Begin Reading


Sport & Play
Symptoms of Being 35
Own Your Own Home
In the Wake of the News
Short Stories


Vital Statistics



Bruccoli & Layman bibliography number:  A9
Originally published in 1919 (only printing) by Bobbs Merrill, Indianapolis.
Illustrated by Fontaine Fox
Approximately 4,385 sold between September 1919 and June 1920.
The stories first appeared in The Red Book Magazine as follows:
  • "Own Your Own Home" January 1915, pages 488-500 (B&L D12). 
  • "Welcome to Our City" June 1915, pages 29-40 (B&L D17).
  • "The Last Laugh" July 1915, pages 16-18, 30 (B&L D20).
  • "Uncivil War" September 1915, pages 938-949 (B&L D24).



  • Because Own Your Own Home is often ignored in Lardner criticism, I didn't expect to think much of it when I first read it.  I was pleasantly surprised.   It is not his greatest work, to be sure, but it also isn't his worst.  Far from it.  Lardner has captured the experience of modern home building and suburban living in such a way that I think he is writing about me.  My contractors and bankers are on the page. 

    Later in the story, when the actions of the characters become cruel and unusual, I am reminded of the "practical jokes" in later stories like "The Maysville Minstrel" and "Haircut."  The seeds of Lardner's greatest stories are sown here.  For that reason alone, it is worth a look. 
  • I have tried to maintain as much of the look and feel of the original volume as possible in my web edition.  All of the original illustrations are included, and they are placed close to where they were in the Bobbs-Merrill edition.   The font I used, Book Antiqua, is not an exact match, of course, but it is similar.  
  • There are some inconsistencies in spelling and usage that I have chosen to keep as published.  I will check the magazine pieces at a later time to determine if they were peculiar to this volume; without original manuscripts, the magazines will have to act as the ultimate source.  Given Lardner's attention to detail, though, one would assume that the inaccuracies are proofreading/typesetting errors.   



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