The House Of Special Purpose

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The House Of Special Purpose

by John Boyne

Doubleday Canada | February 8, 2011 | Trade Paperback |

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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 in the early 20th century, to the Winter Palace of the Tsar. A time of change, threat and bloody revolution.

And as Georgy overturns the most painful stone of all, we uncover the story of the house of special purpose.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 432 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: February 8, 2011

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385668694

ISBN - 13: 9780385668699

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

The House Of Special Purpose

The House Of Special Purpose

by John Boyne

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 432 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: February 8, 2011

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385668694

ISBN - 13: 9780385668699

Read from the Book

1981   MY MOTHER AND FATHER did not have a happy marriage.   Years have passed since I last endured their company, decades, but they pass through my thoughts almost every day for a few moments, no longer than that. A whisper of memory, as light as Zoya’s breath upon my neck as she sleeps by my side at night. As gentle as her lips against my cheek when she kisses me in the first light of morning. I cannot say when they died exactly. I know nothing of their passing other than the natural certainty that they are no longer of this world. But I think of them. I think of them still.   I have always imagined my father, Daniil Vladyavich, dying first. He was already in his early thirties by the time I was born and from what I can recall of him, he was never blessed with good health. I have memories of waking as an infant in our small timber-framed izba in Kashin, in the Grand Duchy of Muscovy, pressing my hands to my tiny ears to repel the sound of his mortality as he choked and coughed and spat his phlegm into the fire burning in our small stove. I think now that he may have had a problem with his lungs. Emphysema, perhaps. It’s difficult to know. There were no doctors to administer to him. No medicines. Nor did he bear his many illnesses with fortitude or grace. When he suffered, we suffered too.   His forehead extended in a grotesque fashion from his head, I remember that also. A great mass of misshapen membrane protruding with smaller distensions o
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From the Publisher

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 in the early 20th century, to the Winter Palace of the Tsar. A time of change, threat and bloody revolution.

And as Georgy overturns the most painful stone of all, we uncover the story of the house of special purpose.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

JOHN BOYNE was born in Ireland in 1971 and is the author of seven novels. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and won two Irish Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the British Book Award and has recently been made into a Miramax feature film. Boyne''s novels are published in over 40 languages. He lives in Dublin.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"John Boyne brings a completely fresh eye to the most important stories. He is prepared to look at the dark, yet somehow manages to find whatever light was there in the first place. He guides us through the realm of history and makes the journey substantial, poignant, real. He is one of the great craftsmen in contemporary literature."
- Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin

"A work that chimes perfectly with our times."
- The Irish Times




From the Hardcover edition.
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