The Dumb House

by John Burnside | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0099582716 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingcandy-is-dandywing of Great Bardfield, Essex United Kingdom on 8/3/2009
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingcandy-is-dandywing from Great Bardfield, Essex United Kingdom on Monday, August 03, 2009
"The deeply disturbed narrator creates a twisted variant of the mythical Persian "Gang Mahal" or Dumb House, where babies are raised in silence in order to discover whether language is innate or acquired. His own children succeed in developing a language, for which he extracts an appalling revenge. "

I've had this book for some time. It sounded intriguing, if somewhat twisted. I finally got around to reading it while on holiday in North Yorkshire. I wish I hadn't! I can read blood and gore but I just found this too odd and disturbing. I felt the author was trying hard to be Iain Banks (The Wasp Factory) but failing. The shock tactics were too much for me perhaps because of the matter-of-fact way they are narrated. I just had to stop at p61 when I decided life was too short to struggle with something I was enjoying so little.

I feel quite embarassed to pass this on as I disliked it so much, but it is now going to bigcurlyloz who won it in a bookswap (a long time ago). Please feel free to bin it if you agree with me, but perhaps you will appreciate it more - that is the great thing about books and bookcrossing.

Journal Entry 2 by bigcurlyloz from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Intriguing! I'd forgotten about this one but reading the back, it made me think it might be along the lines of The Wasp Factory which I only read recently. I will give it a go at some point, but am trying to get through older TBRs at the moment.

Thanks Candy!

Journal Entry 3 by bigcurlyloz at Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire United Kingdom on Sunday, July 09, 2017
What an odd book. I wouldn't say I liked it, but that's not to say it had no merit at all. It certainly lived up to the blurbs which mentioned it being "sinister" and "chilling". I thought the writing was beautifully constructed, but the plot disturbing.

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