Dragon House
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Dragon House

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  681 ratings  ·  173 reviews
From the critically acclaimed author of Beneath a Marble Sky and Beside a Burning Sea—the new novel from “a master storyteller,”* set in contemporary Asia.

From John Shors comes an unforgettable story of redemption 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...more
Paperback, 354 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by NAL Trade (first published August 28th 2009)
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Another John Shors Triumph!

John Shors continues to establish his reputation as one of this decade's more important writers, an author who understands the art of blending artistic prose with an always surprising depth of knowledge of the cultures he chooses to explore in his fascinating novels - from India in his debut BENEATH A MARBLE SKY, to war time South Pacific in BESIDE A BURNING SEA, and now to Vietnam in this absorbing novel DRAGON HOUSE. There are passages in his works that suggest the g...more
Aug 20, 2009 Weavre rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Weavre by: Amazon Vine
Iris, a successful Chicago writer, feels abandoned by the father who was absent for much of her childhood. When he dies, her decision to go find out what he found so compelling about a project in Vietnam changes not only her life, but the lives of many others. She's accompanied by Noah, a veteran whose body and soul were terribly injured in Iraq and who sees no way out of his pain. In Vietnam, we discover street children Mai and Minh, abused by their opium-addicted "protector"; gentle Qui and he...more
Jaime Huff
How do I write a review about a book that tugged, actually, YANKED at my heart strings as much as this book did and give it the credit that is due? I am not sure but I will do my best.

The children of the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon, Vietnam) are the heart and soul of "Dragon House". Tam, a child who is dying from Leukiemia, and her grandmother Qui beg on the streets just so Tam can have medicine to ease her pain. Mai and Minh held under the "protection" of Loc, an Opium addicted...more
When I first got this book I have to be honest I did not think it was going to be my kind of read. It is something I don't usually read. Wow was I wrong! I loved this book!

It has a slow buildup at the beginning but once it gets going it sucks you right in. I read it in 3 sittings with the majority of it in one sitting. I finished up the last 40 pages this morning and would've finished last night but I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer. In fact I think a nap is calling my name today. It was t...more
Darcy Odden
Author John Shors brings to life the street children of Vietnam in his poignant novel, "Dragon House." He introduces readers to Iris Rhodes, a young professional from Chicago and daughter of a Vietnam veteran. When Iris' father is dying from cancer, she tells him she will finish his dream of building a center for the street children in Saigon where the children will be safe and go to school. Iris is joined in her mission by Noah, an old schoolmate wounded in the Iraq War.

Shors beautifully descr...more
Iris Rhodes has a neat and ordered life in Chicago, but her father's death changes all of that. Her Dad was a Vietnam veteran who was so tormented by the atrocities he had seen and participated in during the war that he was often absent from Iris' life when she was growing up. His demons caused a rift in their relationship that they tried hard to mend. And he was healing himself, in a way, by working on his project. He wanted to open a center for street children in Vietnam, to help in whatever w...more
Iris' father, a troubled Vietnam veteran, never lives to see his dream of opening a center for Vietnamese street children fufilled. As a man haunted by the atrocities of the war, Iris' father was not able to give her much emotional and physical support throught her life. Nevertheless, after his death, Iris picks up where her father left off and travels to Vietnam. Noah, a childhood friend and Iraqi war veteran, also decides to accompany her. After losing one of his legs overseas and witnessing h...more
Nov 11, 2009 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
I hope this message finds everyone well. As many of you know, I’m trying to raise money for homeless children in Vietnam through my new novel, Dragon House (www.dragonhousebook.com). In eight weeks, we’ve raised enough money to buy sets of school books for 350 street children in Vietnam. And this is just the beginning.... As the holidays approach, if you’d like to help someone in desperate need, please visit www.bdcf.org. Anyone who makes a $100 donation to Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation will...more
This book, by one of my favorite authors, was not as highly rated by the 'critics' as his last two. I never let that keep me away from anything, as I rarely agree with the 'critics'...about anything. I've loved John Shors' other books and am nothing if not loyal!

I read it...and I loved it. The authors descriptions of Vietnam have completely changed my view of that country so far away. My husband was one of the Americans who fought in that wasteful, useless, destructive war, and I wanted nothing...more
My sister is a part of the Amazon "Vine" program, so I got to read this novel before it's publication date. I'm so glad that I did! What a wonderful novel. Dragon House is the story of a group of Vietnamese street children who are helped by two Americans and a Vietnamese police officer. The Americans have come to today's Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to open a center for the street children. This center will educate, protect, and house the street children. And they need protection, because many are...more
Oct 15, 2009 Jennifer rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who are into sappy tales
Sorry to say that this was the sappiest, preachiest book I've ever read. We go through various POVs as two americans (Iris & Noah) attempt to help open Iris' father's home for wayward (see: street) children in Vietnam. We follow Iris, Noah, a female helper Thien, two street children Mai & Minh, a grandmother (Qui) and her sickly granddaughter (Tam) as they all cross paths and attempt to help each other.

Between Noah spouting off (what could be the author's feelings about the U.S. initiati...more
Iris Rhodes is a young woman, a book reviewer, trying to fulfill her departed father's wish, to open a center for Vietnamese street children. A place for them to stay and to be educated. Her father came back from the Vietnam was a shell of the man he was before, suffering from PTSD, and unable to ease his suffering once he came home to his wife and daughter. He travelled to Vietnam after the war with a dream of doing some good, and by doing so, little by little he began to heal.

As Iris makes pla...more
I first encountered John Shors when I read his novel Beneath a Marble Sky. This new novel, Dragon House, has stepped up John’s impressive writing skills another notch. Dragon House is a love story; the love of a daughter for her father, a sister for her brother, a grandmother for her granddaughter and soldiers for their country. And it is a story of the courage it takes to follow your heart and protect the ones you love.

The Story: After Iris’ father dies, she decides to go to Vietnam and comple...more
Oct 27, 2013 Wendy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Wendy by: Library
"Dragon House" by John Shors is a captivating story that is poignant and heartbreaking. It takes place in Ho Chi Minh City years after the Vietnam war and follows two Americans, Iris Rhodes and Noah Woods who struggle not only to open a Centre for Children but to heal their painful pasts. It's a story that weaves together violence , corruption and depravity with elements of hope, forgiveness, sacrifice, friendship and love.

This well-written, captivating plot is filled with contrasts. The bustlin...more
Dragon House by John Shors is a wonderful story of healing, redemption and love. I loved this book. It is wonderfully written and touched me personally on many levels and made me cry at least twice. It is my new favorite read for this summer.

Dragon House is the story of many people but the main character who starts the story and brings them all together is Iris. Iris is a book reviewer whose father has been largely absent from her life physically and emotionally. A veteran of the Vietnam war he...more
In John Shors' novels, the reader is always shown the innate beauty and goodness of people. Just the same, the ugly and the bad are not disguised. They are equally presented as part of the harsh reality of our world. The good will not always triumph, the bad will always be there; but the sun will always rise, there's always a new day, there will always be a reason to hope.

Mai is my favorite character of all. She has seen so much suffering and yet she remains a child at heart. She has so much ho...more
Iris Rhodes is a successful writer in Chicago. She has been trying to heal old wounds between her father and herself, as he lies dying in a hospital. Her father is a Vietnam vet and has been trying to fight his demons by working on a very important project. He is opening up a center for street children in Vietnam. It is one way he feels he can contribute to Vietnam's healing. Right before her father dies, Iris has made the decision to go to Vietnam to see her dad's project through to completion....more
The children of Vietnam have a place to turn to instead of living on the streets. Two Americans, Iris and Noah, have created a home for these children and have taken it upon themselves to teach this group of under privileged youth. Iris is taken with these children who have also taught her a thing or two.

This is an uplifting novel that captivated me. I couldn't help but be drawn in by these characters. John is an amazing writer with endless talent.
John Shors' novel, "Dragon House" is magnificent. The story takes place in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. This part of the world is known well by John Shors. He journeyed through many Asian cities after college. Along the way he met street children. "Dragon House is mainly about the street children in Ho Chi Minh City. The book gives a close up view of what life is like for these children. Some of these children are used by adults to get money to support their habits for women and Opium. Other child...more
Maybe it is because I am going to Vietnam in a month; maybe this was just the right book at the right time, but whatever the reason, I really enjoyed this book.

Enjoyed might be the wrong term because there is some real pain in Shors' story. However, I fell into this novel and didn't want to leave. I found engaging characters, a world that I know nothing about and a good story line. Everything I want from a book.

Shors wants his reader to learn about orphans of the world. He is concerned about the...more
"Dragon House," is a novel of exceptional beauty, a love story of multi-dimension, and a healing experience for all who know the Viet Nam War.

John Shors has become one of my favorite authors of the 21st century. I believe he is the voice of our recent past, and a voice of the humanity in all of us as we struggle to keep what is good and moral against a tide of selfishness and instability in our world.

Mr. Shors is an author of exceptional capabilities with characterization conveying feelings and...more
It's sad how little I knew (and still know) about Vietnam, but Shors does all of the little street children justice. They are really captivating characters with sad stories, and I became so invested in them from the start. Everyone in this story needs rescuing, and Shors goes about that in sort of surprising ways.
Jill Gilbert
This is the story of two Americans who travel to Vietnam to establish a center for street children in Ho Chi Minh City.

I found this book slow going. The characterizations are very thin - it's all angels or devils, honestly. Much of it reads like a travelogue of Vietnam, and the descriptions detracted from the story at times. The protagonist, Iris, remains an enigma. We know she's one of the good guys, but other than that, what motivates her? Does she really have no friends or lovers back home in...more
Sep 30, 2009 Tara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Another amazingly beautiful book about the power of a person's ability to love, to hope, and to rebuild. Similar to another book I have read by this author, this book was filled with memorable characters that are realistically flawed. As they learn from each other, they able to rise above their own hurts and nightmares and emerge into something amazing.
The story follows two very different people who together find the better part of themselves trying to build and open a center for street kids in...more
Bert Edens
I really liked the way this book unfolded, telling the story in a lot of detail showing the author had actually spent some time in Vietnam. It has plenty of love and laughter and action and it genuinely warms the heart at points.

My only beef is that it seems to have a bit of a deus ex machina ending with one of the characters, where in successive chapters / sections you go from No Hope At All to Everything Is All Right. It just had a feel of the author trying to fit within a particular page numb...more
This book was a great read. It brings about a lot of current issues that we usually don't think about in America. Issues that people in other parts of the world must face each day such as finding food, avoiding being beaten, making as little as a dollar extra to stay safe for a night...these issues made me angry at the extreme differences in wealth distribution. I also like that Mr. Shors is donating a portion of the proceeds from this book to a charity (his own...?) that is helping "street chil...more
This was the sappiest book I've read in years! The writing was on a middle school level and was so repetitious I skipped about half of the book. The plot (also on a middle school level) held absolutely no suspense - I always knew what was going to happen and I was always right. I read it only because I love books set in foreign lands and this one takes place in Viet Nam, a new book locale for me. Most of the descriptions seemed to be about city noises and smells, but they could have been about C...more
Wew...baca buku ini, harus siapin tissue.

Membacanya membuat terhanyut dalam kesedihan. Anak-anak yang terpaksa berjuang pada titik terendah kehidupan. Anak-anak yang harusnya bermain, belajar, terpaksa menjalani hidup yang sangat keras. Hidup hanya demi hidup untuk hari. Itupun ada saja yang memanfaatkan membuat mereka semakin lemah.

Ini bukan sekedar cerita, mereka ada disekitar kita. Aku tau...aku juga pernah dekat dengan mereka.

Anak-anak jalanan yang rentan dengan kejahatan, semakin besar se...more
Too much narrative for my liking. And now, after 100 pgs, I'm experiencing an emotional connection play out between the two Americans that is painful. Bad writing! I am consistantly reminded as I read on of exactly how presumptuous the narrator can be, with notions that only seem to put distance between myself and the bits of the story that keep me reading- snapshots of the daily workings of people suffering and their inside and their outside life, however incomplete the author has portrayed the...more
I have heard that John Shors is an amazing writer, but after having finishing Dragon House I can say for sure that John Shors is a phenomenal writer. He manages to imbue this story with such tenderness, heartache, and hope that, as a reader, you can't help but cheer the characters along and cry with them during the darkness. Dragon House is a story about healing deep invisible wounds, about family, hope, and the courage to face every new day.

This is the story of Iris and Noah, Mai and Minh, Thie...more
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Hi, everyone. I hope this message finds people well.

I'm the bestselling author of Beneath a Marble Sky, Temple of a Thousand Faces, Cross Currents, Beside a Burning Sea, Dragon House, and The Wishing Trees. My novels have won multiple awards and have been translated into twenty six languages. I have also spoken (via speakerphone) with more than 3,000 book clubs around the world.

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Beneath a Marble Sky Beside a Burning Sea Temple of a Thousand Faces The Wishing Trees Cross Currents

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