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The Gray House
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2016-19 Activities & Challenges > Buddy Read for July The Gray House - Hide Spoilers!

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message 1: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl  (cherylllr) The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan has SF as one of its tags, but I've heard it's much more than that. I've also heard that it doesn't read as long as the page count.

Join Cora and me in July and let's see if it lives up to its promise!


Cora (corareading) | 1457 comments I am looking forward to it.


message 3: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Originally written in Russian, translated into several languages including French.

I don't think I've ever read a Russian novel before. Certainly not the classics W&P or A.K.


Cora (corareading) | 1457 comments I think the only Russian novel I have read is Night Watch.


message 5: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Ellie says that in French the title is "La maison dans laquelle, in English it would be "The House In Which"."


Elise (ellinou) I'm assuming it means "The House In Which" lots of stuff happens :D


message 7: by Yuri (new)

Yuri Machkasov The author wanted the title to be an allusion to "The house that Jack built", so it was "In the House That"; the original editors switched the order of words around, which (in Russian) made it "The House in Which".
I tried to restore the allusion, but Amazon went with "Gray House".
In Italian, BTW, it's "The House Where Time Stood Still" (or "Is Suspended")


message 8: by Cheryl (last edited Jul 01, 2018 09:35AM) (new) - added it

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Thank you, Yuri!
And welcome to the discussion!


message 9: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Does anyone know, will this count for our 'Dystopian' tag? Or is the answer to that spoilery?


message 10: by Cora (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cora (corareading) | 1457 comments Just popping in to let you know that I am going to be out of town this week so I may be a little quiet depending on my internet access.


message 11: by Cora (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cora (corareading) | 1457 comments I have started the book. I think it will take me a bit to get used to the nicknames and the groups. I hope once that happens it will go a little bit faster.


message 12: by Yuri (last edited Jul 13, 2018 12:47PM) (new)

Yuri Machkasov Cora wrote: "I think it will take me a bit to get used to the nicknames and the groups."
The "present time" nicks are all collected in the tables; the "six years back" ones might take some time to figure out, that's true.
(but don't hesitate to ask - I'll list any "old-new" nick pair you need)


message 13: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl  (cherylllr) I hope to start reading this tonight. I'll try to take notes! :)


message 14: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl  (cherylllr) p. 100, struggling...
... found a review that DNF'd at that point, to which you, Yuri, commented something I think I'm going to find helpful as I continue:

(view spoiler)

... to which I say, why (view spoiler)?

(Don't answer; I want to try to figure it out myself. :)


message 15: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Btw, those are serious spoilers, folks, don't peek!


message 16: by Yuri (new)

Yuri Machkasov You're close; the "past-time" interlude (p. 129) is already more fun, and the next chapter after that is stepping away from that character.


Elise (ellinou) I just got it from the library (in French, they didn't have it in English), but it's a brick so I'm not sure I'll be able to finish it before the end of the month!


message 18: by Cora (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cora (corareading) | 1457 comments I think I am about at the point that Yuri referred to. It is finally starting to come together a bit. I haven't looked at the spoilers yet, just in case I am not as far as I think.


message 19: by Cora (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cora (corareading) | 1457 comments I am about 1/3 of the way through now and things are definitely getting interesting. It is one of those books where I feel like I am working hard to figure out what is going on, but that is not a bad thing.


Elise (ellinou) I'm at page 200 and I'm loving it but I'm not sure why exactly :D


message 21: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl  (cherylllr) I had to put it down, and just cannot make myself pick it up again. It's brilliant, and the translation is gorgeous, but it's just too much for me. Sorry.


message 22: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue | 1403 comments I read The Gray House earlier this year and loved it!

It's been my favorite book so far this year. And it's the first book I ever finished and wanted to start right back at the beginning. (I didn't - too many other books wanting to be read!)


message 23: by Cora (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cora (corareading) | 1457 comments Sorry it didn't work out for you Cheryl. I am about half way through and racing to finish it before the end of the month. I am enjoying it so far.


message 24: by Elise (last edited Aug 03, 2018 08:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elise (ellinou) I'd be interested in knowing what the nicknames are in English! Some of them I can guess (like there must be a Smoker, Lord, Macedonian, Sphinx...) But in French we have Chacal Tabaqui, Larry le Bandar-Log... and the blind guy, in French he's l'Aveugle, but I can't think of how it would be translated into an English name!


message 25: by Yuri (last edited Aug 03, 2018 08:53AM) (new)

Yuri Machkasov In English few people know that Alexander the Great was connected to Macedonia - he's simply "the Great", so I had to make the character Alexander, and spell out the reason for his nick in his chapter. Tabaqui is Tabaqui, and Blind is Blind. Also, in Russian Red and Ginger have the same nick, except in masculine and feminine form, which is impossible in English.


Elise (ellinou) Jeez I hadn't even realized you were the actual translator XD How long did it take you?


message 27: by Yuri (new)

Yuri Machkasov Ellie wrote: "Jeez I hadn't even realized you were the actual translator XD How long did it take you?"
A bit less than 2 years. I have a day job, and was doing it for myself, never intending to sell it, so I was in no hurry.


message 28: by Cora (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cora (corareading) | 1457 comments I finished the book while I was on vacation last week. I really liked it. It was creepy, mystical, and a bit dark, yet hopeful too. I appreciated all the characters in their own way. It was not an easy book to read, and there is still a lot that happned that I don't understand, but that was part of the appeal of the book. Yuri, the translation was wonderful. Nothing felt out of place and although it is a Russian book, it felt universal.


message 29: by Cora (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cora (corareading) | 1457 comments Ellie wrote: "I'd be interested in knowing what the nicknames are in English! Some of them I can guess (like there must be a Smoker, Lord, Macedonian, Sphinx...) But in French we have Chacal Tabaqui, Larry le Ba..."

The names you mentioned in English were Smoker, Noble (instead of Lord), Alexander (instead of Macedonian), Sphinx, Tabaqui, Blind (the blind guy), and Lary. Are there others you wanted to know?


message 30: by Yuri (new)

Yuri Machkasov Cora wrote:
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.


message 31: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Yuri, wow, doing it for yourself... maybe that's part of the reason it's so lovely. Or maybe you and the author are both geniuses. I really wish I'd been able to finish... maybe I'll try again at another point in my life.


Elise (ellinou) Just so you know, the translation in French is also beautiful!

Thanks guys for the nicknames! The others I think of right now are pretty straightforward, I think I can guess them.

Wait. Do you guys have a Catwoman? That would be funny!


message 33: by Yuri (last edited Aug 06, 2018 09:02AM) (new)

Yuri Machkasov Ellie wrote:"
We surely do have a Catwoman. I don't think there's the superhero connotation to the Russian word, but I felt that it's OK to have it in the translation. The House kids are big on irony (like Black being Black because of his blond hair).
BTW, I've met Mlle Pache, the French translator, last year in Paris, where Mariam was invited for the Days of Russian Literature. And the cover of the French print edition is gorgeous.


Elise (ellinou) In French, Black is "Noiraud". I guess it would be more like "Blacky" than straight up Black. And Catwoman is "Femme à chats", so no superhero connotation at all!

The cover is nice, but I keep having to explain the title XD Since the author's name is written in the same size and font as the title, people look at it and go "La maison dans laquelle Mariam..." and I'm like "no, just 'La maison dans laquelle', Mariam Petrosyan is the author," Every single time XD


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