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The House of Special Purpose Summary and Reviews

The House of Special Purpose

by John Boyne

The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne X
The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne
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About this book

Book Summary

From the author of The Absolutist, a propulsive novel of the Russian Revolution and the fate of the Romanovs.
 
Part love story, part historical epic, part tragedy, The House of Special Purpose illuminates an empire at the end of its reign. Eighty-year-old Georgy Jachmenev is haunted by his past - a past of death, suffering, and scandal that will stay with him until the end of his days. Living in England with his beloved wife, Zoya, Georgy prepares to make one final journey back to the Russia he once knew and loved, the Russia that both destroyed and defined him. As Georgy remembers days gone by, we are transported to St. Petersburg, to the Winter Palace of the czar, in the early twentieth century - a time of change, threat, and bloody revolution. As Georgy overturns the most painful stone of all, we uncover the story of the house of special purpose.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Readers who know little about Russian history may find this novel suspenseful, but others will be better off with Boyne's 2012 novel, The Absolutist, which sustains a taut, unsentimental plot without the romantic excess that mars this effort." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Boyne re-creates both Georgy's personal life and the life of pre-Revolutionary Russia with astonishing density and power." - Kirkus

"John Boyne's novel is a tour de force, at once epic and intimate, and above all a marvelous read." - John Banville, author of Ancient Light and The Sea, winner of the Booker Prize

"Georgy and Zoya are a memorable pair of lovers, and as this ingeniously structured narrative takes us deeper and deeper into their shared past, our understanding of their unremarkable present is increasingly colored by the extraordinary secrets, regrets and guilt they carry within them." - Paul Russell, author of The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov

This information about The House of Special Purpose was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

John Boyne Author Biography

Photo: Rich Gilligan

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of eleven novels for adults, five for younger readers and a collection of short stories. His 2006 novel The Boy In the Striped Pajamas sold 9 million copies worldwide and has been adapted for cinema, theatre, ballet and opera. John has won three Irish Book Awards and many other international literary awards and his novels are published in over 50 languages. He lives in Dublin.

Author Interview
Link to John Boyne's Website

Name Pronunciation
John Boyne: BOYn

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