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The Gray House
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Group Read > The Gray House - Finished Reading *Spoilers*

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Kristin B. Bodreau (krissy22247) How did you like The Gray House?


Sally McDaniel-Smith | 13 comments Okay, I confess, I haven't yet gotten all the way through this one; I think we can agree it's dense and hefty.

HOWEVER! I am going to finish it, ideally by the end of the weekend. And being that I'm more than halfway through it, I can say:

Wow, this is dense. And hefty. That's not a bad thing; it just means sometimes things need re-reading. The first few chapters were a little less accessible; I didn't connect with the narrator, and hadn't figured out the environment yet, but I did just love the vivid visual images that were created through the author's language and flow. More than once, I stopped to marvel at the translator's skill, as well; I can only imagine how beautiful this must be in the original language, given how sharp the images are even in translation.

It took a while, but I have finally begun to connect with the players...though I do feel a constant sense of apprehension for their nearly inevitably uncomfortable fate. It feels very, very like a Great Russian Novel in that sense...."here's some flawed but lovable characters, now let's watch them suffer for a bit."

I'll come back once I've made it the rest of the way through... Is anyone else still working on it?


Kristin B. Bodreau (krissy22247) I'm still working my way through. I'm at about 40% and I've done something I never do, and I've started another book while I work on this one. I will definitely finish, but it's going to take me a while.

But I will be here to chat about it when we both finally finish it!


message 4: by Yuri (new)

Yuri Machkasov | 5 comments Sally wrote: "sometimes things need re-reading..."
I am slowly coming to a conclusion that reading The House gives one a decent background for reading The House. My own second time through I was mostly slapping myself and mumbling "so that's what this sentence means! so that's why this is mentioned here!"

Or rather, you can read it while being at any point on the scale from "everything has a mundane explanation, it's all just a game" (Smoker) to "the real world is there, and this one is a tedious, but necessary penance" (Blind), and it will be consistent every time - but the point shifts on rereading, and not necessarily in one direction.


Sally McDaniel-Smith | 13 comments Yuri wrote: "Sally wrote: "sometimes things need re-reading..."
I am slowly coming to a conclusion that reading The House gives one a decent background for reading The House. My own second time through I was mo..."


OH MY GOODNESS. YOU'RE THE TRANSLATOR.

You're amazing, and I'm now having a little geek out moment that will probably last the rest of the year, maybe even the rest of the decade. (thank you.:) )

Beautifully done. I can only imagine how much thought and care you must've put into this translation; communicating images and idioms is incredibly difficult, and you've done a marvelous job.

(*please excuse my fangirl moment. *eek*!! )


message 6: by Yuri (new)

Yuri Machkasov | 5 comments Oh. Wow.

I am so, so humbled and grateful and gratified. Thank you thank you thank you.


Kristin B. Bodreau (krissy22247) Yuri wrote: "Oh. Wow.

I am so, so humbled and grateful and gratified. Thank you thank you thank you."


Thank YOU for stopping by to discuss this interesting book with us. The translation really is quite lovely.


message 8: by MK (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 7 comments [I]Yuri wrote ... I am slowly coming to a conclusion that reading The House gives one a decent background for reading The House. My own second time through I was mostly slapping myself and mumbling "so that's what this sentence means! so that's why this is mentioned here!" ..."

I am in the middle of my second listen/read whispersync, and this is so absolutely exactly correct!

This is happening again and again!

I've already ordered the physical book, in readiness for my third read thru :D


One big mystery I haven't figured out yet! I hope it becomes clear


message 9: by Yuri (new)

Yuri Machkasov | 5 comments MK wrote: "This is happening again and again!"
With me, it got so bad that I started imagining things. Like, for example, the first time we see Tabaqui, he spins in the wheelchair and a feather flies out and lands on Smoker, and then we find out that Smoker has been somehow allowed to remember him when he's gone, and Tabaqui's gift to Sphinx is the feather that allows him to pull out little Blind from another loop - so it follows that this feather is important too!
(Except it's not, I checked with Mariam)


message 10: by MK (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 7 comments Yuri wrote: "MK wrote: "This is happening again and again!"
With me, it got so bad that I started imagining things. Like, for example, the first time we see Tabaqui, he spins in the wheelchair and a feather fli..."


Whoaaaaa .... I'm on my second time thru, so I understand the significance of the feather at the end, but I missed the feather reference with Smoker at the beginning! How could this not be important :p

*grin*

Mariam's mind is incredible.
So is yours. I've seen mentions in all kinds of places around the web, wondering how much of the magic exists in the original, and how much is given to us by the excellent translation of ... you!

I've decided it absolutely must be some of both. :)


Pls excuse delay in responding, I only have 1 day a week that I have time to sit at my desktop.

Cheers, mk :)

PS this book is amazing, I can't say how much I love it. Physical copy has arrived, that will be my third read through. Want to read The Jungle Book and The Hunting of the Snark first tho.

How much Jungle Book is present?


message 11: by Yuri (new)

Yuri Machkasov | 5 comments Thank you!

"Jungle Book" references are mostly formal; it's clear that the House kids have read it, but I don't think it's "their" book as much as, for example, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" or Castaneda - they just borrowed some pieces of it, like Lary's gang are the Bandar-logs. And "Hunting of the Snark" provides structure for the second book - eight "fits" of the poem correspond to eight "days" of Tabaqui, with each day having an epigraph from the corresponding "fit".


message 12: by MK (last edited Oct 24, 2018 04:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 7 comments Thankyou, Yuri !

Sorry it took so long for me to find your response. I mostly come here via Kindle, and I don't see responses to comments well via that platform.

I'd just like to thankyou for your labor of love. I think it's amazing that you translated this wonderful book on your own time, out of love of the story and wanting to share it with your family (sons, I think you said?), and only afterwards contacted Mariam with regards to publishing the translation.

Did your sons read it!? Did they also love it!?


message 13: by MK (last edited Oct 24, 2018 04:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 7 comments Yuri wrote: "Thank you!

"Jungle Book" references are mostly formal; it's clear that the House kids have read it, but I don't think it's "their" book as much as, for example, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" or Castaneda - ..."


PS, If I were to pick a Castaneda to read, to get a sense of his imprint on The Gray House, which would you suggest?

I added Ginger's ;-) book to my 'to-read' list :)


(edit - Guessing, I added this Castaneda:
1 - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7... , and this one:
2 - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... )


message 14: by Yuri (new)

Yuri Machkasov | 5 comments I think one Castaneda should be enough to get the taste, and the first one is fine for that purpose. FWIW, "The twilight is the crack
between the worlds" (the quote that Ginger on the Other Side remembers in the epilogue) is taken from the 4th book, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

(also, Mariam always says that these are the House's favorite books, not hers personally).

(and if my children did read The House, they have not yet talked to me about it)


message 15: by MK (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 7 comments TY. Cool! On the quote.

I hope your kids read it someday. We English-speaker lovers of The House are forever in their debt *grin*


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