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The Gray House

(Дом, в котором... #1-3)

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  6,914 ratings  ·  828 reviews
The Gray House is an astounding tale of how what others understand as liabilities can be leveraged into strengths.

Bound to wheelchairs and dependent on prosthetic limbs, the physically disabled students living in the House are overlooked by the Outsides. Not that it matters to anyone living in the House, a hulking old structure that its residents know is alive. From the co
...more
Paperback, 732 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Amazon Crossing (first published November 2009)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  6,914 ratings  ·  828 reviews


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Joanna
This is not going to be a review. This is going to be a confused ode, a drug-induced paean, an out of tune song and a nonsense fairy tale about this incredible book; because that’s the only way I know how to talk about it.

I read a lot. I rarely truly dislike a book, even if I don’t think much about it, there are very few one-star ratings in my reading history. Most books sit comfortably on 3 or 4 stars because that’s how I feel about most books I read. Enjoyable but forgettable get 3, ones that
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¸¸.•*¨*•♫ Mrs. Buttercup •*¨*•♫♪


The amount of time I spent recommending this book to every single person I know who could be remotely interested in reading an epic 900 pages saga about the most unlikely heroes you ever met is only equal to the amount of time I spent thanking my russian fiancé for recommending this book to me after he read it and fell in love with it when he was in high school. Both of them are superior to the actual amount of time it took me to read this amazing masterpiece. While reading this, I couldn't do
...more
MK
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What, how did this end up with a one-star from me!? Some kind of accidental click from my phone or Kindle!! Five stars!!!!

I finished my first audible/Kindle whispersync, and immediately started right back at the beginning. This book is an investment, and it repays you many times over!

I'm halfway through my second listen/read whispersync, and have already ordered the physical book.

Read thru number three is going to be the physical book. This book is amazing.


---

Edit - I just suggested this book fo
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Jo (The Book Geek)
Hell, this was bad. I did not enjoy this book in the slightest, which is a shame, as this book was a birthday gift for last year, and as much as I usually LOVE receiving books for such occasions, I'm relieved that I didn't spend my own money on it.

Now, before I list what I didn't like about this novel, I will say, that it is obvious much dedication and hard work has gone into this, but unfortunately, for me, it means jack shit when the plot itself is disjointed, there are meaningless characters
...more
Nelly Aghabekyan
One of those books that demand to be read for the second time - just to see how many nuances you've missed when reading for the first time, how many hints and clues you've passed by without proper attention. I dare not to call this fantasy, and cannot agree with those who say this book is the second "Lord of the Flies". It's not, and it has only one thing in common with ".. Flies" - the children. Though when reading, you barely even remember they are really children, and some of the heroes aren' ...more
Olga Surmaca
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads does not have enough stars for this one.
Para (wanderer)
As a rule, I prefer reviewing books that are brilliant but flawed, since usually they are the only ones that can't be reduced to a couple of sentences. This is not one of those. For the past few days I've been gushing about it to everyone who'd listen. Seeking out fanart. Taking pauses and breaks, because just like its inhabitants I didn't want to leave. It's brilliant, it's criminally underrated, and while I realise that it's not for everyone, it's probably the best book I've ever read.

The H
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✨Bean's Books✨
Not sure about this one...
"Bound to wheelchairs and dependent on prosthetic limbs, the physically disabled students living in the House are overlooked by the Outsides. Not that it matters to anyone living in the House, a hulking old structure that its residents know is alive. From the corridors and crawl spaces to the classrooms and dorms, the House is full of tribes, tinctures, scared teachers, and laws—all seen and understood through a prismatic array of teenagers’ eyes.
But student deaths and
...more
Lauma Lapa
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (oh, when was it... cannot believe it was 1998) there has been no book that has kept me awake through the night, enthralling me, charming to the extent that i almost lost myself in the story. that alone should say something of the quality of the narrative, plot and characters.
the multiple viewpoints, the elegant characters, the legends and the stories all work towards one purpose - to tell a story that leaves no bitterness in the soul, only that whi
...more
Kitty G Books
Decided to DNF this at 61% as I found it too much of a struggle to want to read. Whilst I do think there are some really weird and wonderful parts to a House with a life of its own, filled with children who all break the norm, I think this book just lost me in the vague sprawling thoughts and metaphors...

Overall, I think this is a book literary readers or magical realism readers may really enjoy, but I consider myself to be more of a fantasy reader and I think for me this book just felt too abst
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Silvia Cachia
If you want to follow our bookclub, we read, blogged, and commented over 10 weeks here,
https://silviacachia.wordpress.com/ca...

And an interview with Yuri Machkasov, the translator of the English edition, https://silviacachia.wordpress.com/20...

As with any bigger than life book, I'm at loss after reading the last page of The Gray House. All through the book, I've been reading some pages and chapters many times. I think I'm on my 4th reading of the last 30 or 40 pages.

Long ago I became interested
...more
H.A. Leuschel
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was one of the most original and unusual books I've read in a long time. The Gray House is a school for students with disabilities who like any young teenagers are searching for their identities, want to fit in and find a group of friends they can trust and grow up with. However, from the first page, I sensed that I would need time to get in tune with the setting (the house has a supernatural feel to it, moves and shifts and hence has a life of its own which adds an eerie sense of mystery), ...more
Katie
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am not exaggerating when I say that this was one of the most phenomenal reading experiences I've ever had and that this book may very well gain a permanent place among my absolute favorites of all time - rubbing shoulders with Steinbeck and Jane Eyre.

I was so very blessed to read and talk about The Gray House with my lovely friend Silvia and others. Yuri Machkasov, the translator, even joined us and became a wonderful source of insight and anecdote. If you ever pick up this book, I highly rec
...more
Arina Duggins
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The best book I have ever read.
Anna
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
‘The Gray House’ is the first and apparently last book by Mariam Petrosyan. It took her 18 years to write and was an immediate bestseller in Russian when published in 2009. I am fascinated by this success, as its appeal seemed to me obscure and niche. All 721 pages are set in a strange institution for disabled children and teenagers. Although the atmosphere is distinctively creepy, the plot is practically non-existent. There is absolutely no narrative urgency. While I was happy to wallow in the ...more
Magen
2.5 stars I wanted to love this book and I was incredibly intrigued by the story at first. There were two major problems with the book. First, it was incredibly difficult to keep track of the characters and what house they belonged in. I saw another review mention this, but what she didn't explain is that it is challenging for two reasons: one, the names of some characters change over time but it's rarely explicit and two, time is not linear even when excluding the fantasical time periods. I lis ...more
Viv JM
DNF @ 100 pages.

So, I read 100 pages before deciding I couldn't face going on with this. I think that's giving it a fair chance!

Those pages were surreal and grotesque, without showing any signs of an actual plot, or any characters that I felt any connection to. I really couldn't face another 650 pages :-(
...more
Hank
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr-clean-2019
This will likely be a long review, there is so much packed into this book it deserves a bit more thought and attention. I will probably do something that I haven't done in years which is to re-read it. I felt like I was always playing catch up with what the author wanted to communicate and some of the inferences and other worldliness I missed because I was focusing on other parts.

First, there isn't much what I would call fantasy elements to the book. On the surface there are several descriptions
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Λίνα Θωμάρεη
Wonderful work with special characters and I don't mention the special needs of them but the character of their personality. The only thing in this book that I didn't enjoy it at all was his large volume, It was tiring in reading. If this book was less pages or even was in series maybe it would be more easier for me to focus on the plot of this book rather than the pages of its own. Now I'm just happy that I finally finised it....

2,5 stars
...more
Nikolai
Jul 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-russian
The great huge funny sad prosaic metaphysical ultimate endless book about the House of disabled children with a strange worldview (at least that's what you understand and see in the very beginning; this is true; and this is not true; and this is not important). The book itself equals to the rhythm; it's the infinite (in some higher sense) "sun of its parts". Must-read. ...more
Kristin B. Bodreau
Jun 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
I'm wavering between 1 and 2 stars. I almost want to give it the two just for the sheer amount of work that must have gone into this novel. The interweaving pieces, relationships and symbology. However, it's hard to appreciate when it was all so nebulous, meandering and surreal that it was almost impossible to make the connections without graphs, charts and a master's degree. So, I'm sticking with the 1 star because what it comes down to for me is "did I enjoy reading it?" In this case, that is ...more
Beatrix
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I guess you must be in the right frame of mind to accept this book, or the book to accept you (but let's not get mystical).
When I first started reading it, about three years ago, I never got further than the end of the first part, and reading the first part took me about two months. I remember thinking at that time that it's amazing - all the words are perfect and beautiful and unexpected yet right where they need to be. But still - I didn't go on. (Or couldn't.)

This time, I knew from the start
...more
Wendy
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably one of my favorite books that I've ever read, so much so that I'm starting it over again because I think it'll be like reading a whole new book, in a good way! But, on the flip side, it's not a book I could recommend to everyone. Much of it is confusing and surreal but personally I loved being immersed in the world of The House. Another thing worth mentioning is that this took forever to read, 4 months is a long time for a book I'm reading almost daily. But the characters were j ...more
Shalini Nemo
This was one weird book.
Marianna Neal
Sometimes you read a book and immediately realize you're going to want to read it again at some point because you probably missed a bunch of stuff, once the ending puts all of the puzzle pieces together. That's this book. It's actually hard to review - it's simultaneously too long, and not long enough, it's a book where not much happens, but also everything happens. Fans of this novel like to say that the House has to "let you in" as a reader, and I'm not going to lie, the House took its time de ...more
Christine Sandquist
Execution: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Enjoyment: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Key Descriptors: surreal, quirky, ergodic literature, slice of life, magical realism

Premise: The novel is set in a boarding house for disabled children; a House which may or may not be alive in some senses. It’s unclear whether the House is truly an entity, whether it’s simply a conduit for something entirely different, or if, perhaps, it really is all something its denizens have created on their own. We follow the lives of those who inhabit the House, and it’s u
...more
Stephanie Jane
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-asia
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

I received my review copy of The Gray House back at the beginning of 2017 but, being intimidated by its 700+ page length, kept putting off even starting to read it until now. This was a serious mistake - The Gray House is absolutely brilliant! Seclude-yourself-for-a-week-with-your-phone-turned-off breathtakingly brilliant! I could easily write a whole review of fangirl superlatives, I loved this book that much. Yet, that said, it won't be to
...more
VexenReplica
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-bingo-2019
This was read for /r/fantasy's book bingo, at the insistent shilling of Para.

I'm a mixed bag on this review. The book was brilliant in many ways--but the payoff/effort ratio hurt it, a lot. I would probably feel comfortable giving it five stars, easily, on my next readthrough, but it's a CHONK and I don't have the luxury of a re-read now.

My other issue with the book was, unfortunately, its characters. Some of them grated on me that made reading their sections more of a chore than a pleasure. An
...more
Ineffable7980x
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantasy like none other I have ever read. It's long, but that is part of it's charm. I felt like I got sucked into the books imaginary world. Highly recommended. ...more
Sara M
Dec 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wait... it's over?

Is it possible to love a book deeply, while not being fully sure you've even understood it? Because that's me with The Gray House. This book is just special.

The Gray House is a wonderful, flawed, brilliant telling of the coming of age of a group of disabled kids/teens who reside in a mysterious House - sort of like a boarding school. There are what feels like hundreds of characters and some magical/paranormal/fantastical elements, though they remain mainly opaque and obscure, n
...more
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Following college, Mariam Petrosyan became a cartoonist at the Studio of Armenfilm in 1989. She subsequently moved to Moscow and worked at Soyuzmultfilm Studio. In 1995, she returned to Armenfilm, where she worked until 2007. She is married to Artashes Stamboltsan. They have two children. She is a great-granddaughter of the Armenian painter Martiros Saryan.

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