Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
3,3 sur 5 étoiles
5,0 sur 5 étoilesand pretty soon I GOT IT
30 mai 2017 - Publié sur Amazon.com
I started reading this book and got to a place quite early on where I just gave up. I picked it up a couple of weeks later, and pretty soon I GOT IT. And once I got it, I couldn't put it down again. I hated being taken away from it, it enthralled me. I will read this book again, and will get more from it, and again and get even more. It is complex, strange and totally unique and one of the best reading experiences I have ever had. Thank you, Mariam.
5,0 sur 5 étoilesAmazing book, but impossible to categorize or explain.
27 juin 2018 - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book defies explanation, so bear with me. The blurb given at the top of the page is a bit like describing the Harry Potter series as "3 kids who pal around together and deal with bullies." Technically correct, but completely missing the mark. I think the description given for the French addition is much more accurate (all credit and mistakes go to Google Translate):
In the house, you will lose your bearings, your name and your life before. In the house, you'll make friends, you'll make enemies. In the house, you will fight, you will lose wars. In the house, you will know love, you will experience fear, you will discover places that you do not suspect exist, and even when you are alone, it will never really be the case. In the house, no wall can stop you, time does not always flow as it should, and the law is ruthless. In the house, you will reach your eighteen years transformed forever and frightened at the thought of having to leave her. Bewitching evocation of Adolescence, is a song of love at this ungrateful and blessed age, its exaltations and tragedies, the feeling of frustration and all-powerfulness that crosses it. Mariam Petrosyan has managed to create a motley universe, alive and realistic, imbued with this nostalgia and wonder.
I should not have liked this book. It is one of those stories where the author explains nothing, and where you immediately feel like you're missing some critical piece of the puzzle. That normally makes me crazy, but what saves it is that most of the characters are in the same situation. Some know there's something inexplicable happening, others have no clue, and a few actually know what's going on. As the book progresses, more is made clear, relationships make more sense, and the savvy reader can start to put some things together. Oddly enough, not everything is explained in the end, and that seemed to fit the story also. Many loose ends are tied up, but much like life, not all it's mysteries are solved.
This is the only book in my life where when I finished it, I immediately turned to the front to begin rereading it. Once I knew it's secrets, reading it again is an almost entirely different experience. Nuances, characters, seeming non sequiturs become meaningful. The story itself is a mix of the mundane, of adolescent relationships, and a fine thread of magic that weaves underneath and through the story.
I also enjoyed the characters. There is wide variety, and most are complex, some enigmatic, and very few fit the basic tropes seen in so many stories. I don't know if that's because of possible Russian cultural influences, or if the author is just that imaginative. Truly, this is one of those books that will stick with me for a long time. I just recommend you stick with it if you don't understand quite what's happening. Give it time. Like many things in life, you can't rush it.
I got 20% in but likely won't read further. It is a long, slow, uninteresting slog.
A magical realist take on life in a state home for disabled children? A comment on society by way of having kids free to build their own (a la A Separate Peace)? A reflection on Soviet and post-Soviet Russia where nothing works right, the masters are unknowable, and you get by with what and who you can?
The Gray House seems to be all of them, but I didn't end up with any interest in the characters to keep me reading. Now I have to try to find the Guardian review to find what they saw in it that seemed "life changing" ?!
5,0 sur 5 étoilesThis has become one of my favorite books and I'm looking forward to re-reading it some ...
29 mai 2018 - Publié sur Amazon.com
This has become one of my favorite books and I'm looking forward to re-reading it some day. This book is full of little twists and turns but none of them feel contrived. The first few pages had me thinking I was in for some kind of conformist dystopia only to take a turn into a surreal world within a world. The book tip toes between fact and fiction and its sometimes hard to see what's real and what isn't. The ending left me with many unanswered questions, but at the same time happy to leave them that way. Really though, even after the 700 or so pages this book leaves you with more questions than answers, but the questions don't feel likes holes in the story. This book is long and there are many characters to keep track of but in the end it is so worth it. Once I really got into this it was impossible to put down.