Dragon House: Book summary and reviews of Dragon House by John Shors

Dragon House

by John Shors

Dragon House
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2009
    384 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

From the critically acclaimed author of Beneath a Marble Sky and Beside a Burning Sea—a new novel set in modern-day Vietnam.

Dragon House tells the tale of Iris and Noah—two Americans who, as a way of healing their own painful pasts, open a center to house and educate Vietnamese street children. In the slums of a city that has known little but war for generations, Iris and Noah befriend children who dream of nothing more than of going to school, having a home, and being loved. Learning from the poorest of the poor, the most silent of the unheard, Iris and Noah find themselves reborn. Resounding with powerful themes of suffering, sacrifice, friendship, and love, Dragon House brings together East and West, war and peace, and celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In a large cast of appealing characters, the street children are the heart of this book; their talents, friendships, and perils keep you turning the pages." - Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

"There is a tenderness in this moving, deeply descriptive novel that brings all those frequently hidden qualities of compassion, purity of mind, and, yes, love—the things we used to call the human spirit—into the foreground of our feeling as readers. This is a beautiful heart speaking to us of the beautiful world we could and should find, even in the darkness that so often floods the world with fear." - Gregory David Roberts, bestselling author of Shantaram

"A sprawling, vibrant novel." – David Oliver Relin, bestselling author of Three Cups of Tea

"This is strong, important work from a gifted writer." – Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

Fictional characters serve mainly as mouthpieces for an admittedly noble mission (portions of the novel's proceeds will support a Vietnamese children's foundation); nonfiction might have better served the author's purpose." - Kirkus Reviews

The information about Dragon House shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Nina R. (Hot Springs, AR)

Hard to put down
I enjoyed this book from start to finish and hated to see it end. My book club will definitely be glad for my recommendation.

Karen D. (Chestnut Hill, MA)

Most Enjoyable
Having read "Beneath a Marble Sky", I was anxious to read another of John Shors books. I am not quite finished with "Dragon House, but I think it is so good, that I wanted other BookBrowse members to know how much I enjoyed this read. So descriptive of the city it makes you feel like you are there. The children, their hardships, their lives and yet they endure. Noah is a great character study. So angry with how his life was so badly changed. Iris and Thien, two women out to change the outcome of children' lives.

A great book and I give it as many stars as I could.

Lucy B. (Urbana, Ohio)

Children of the street
Dragon House is a great read. Several topics were covered by the author: children with no parents, persons handicapped by war injuries, people using drugs who use children to benefit themselves, people looking after the interests of the children by providing a place for them, a child dying from cancer because the parents were not able to afford a doctor, the love between a child and her grandmother, etc. I enjoyed the book even though it made me sad to read about all the problems involved. But the fact that there were people willing to help those children in need made it not so sad.

Sue J. (Wauwatosa, WI)

A Must Read
Dragon House is themed around Vietnam street children. John Shors captures their life through his words. His descriptions of the sights and sounds of Vietnam were vivid, I can still feel the thrill of being on a scooter in Ho Chi Minh City. Dragon House is a real page turner. I highly recommend it!

Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL)

Dragon House
This was a very well written book - characters were marvelous. It's a book you hate to see end and there is a very poignant message to be learned here.

Sandy C. (Houston, TX)

A well written book that will sweep you away to another world
Dragon House tells the story of two American friends, Iris and Noah, who travel to Vietnam to finish the work that Iris’s deceased father started to establish a center for street children in Saigon.


John Shors’s writing transports the reader to another world, from vivid descriptions of the gorgeous landscape beyond the walls of Saigon and Hanoi to the heartbreaking depictions of the squalor and cruelty of street life. I could see (and smell) the streets of Saigon as well as the shores of Nha Trang and Halong Bay. Shors also does a good job of developing the characters - from Noah, an Iraq war veteran who is battling back from a debilitating injury and struggling to find himself, to Mai and Mihn, two street children struggling each day to survive in a storyline a bit reminiscent of Slumdog Millionaire.



Dragon House also wraps in a love story and a plot filled with intrigue and suspense. I would definitely recommend this book to others. A real page turner.

...10 more reader reviews

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Author Information

John Shors Author Biography

After graduating from Colorado College, John Shors lived for several years in Kyoto, Japan, where he taught English. On a shoestring budget, he later trekked across Asia, visiting ten countries and climbing the Himalayas. After returning to the United States, he became a newspaper reporter in his hometown, Des Moines, Iowa, winning several statewide awards in journalism. John then moved to Boulder, Colorado, and helped launch GroundFloor Media, now one of the state's largest public relations firms.

John has been lucky enough to spend much of his life abroad, traveling in Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, Africa, and North America. Now a full-time novelist, John spends his days writing and going on family outings with his wife, Allison, and their two young children, Sophie and Jack.

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