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Publisher's Summary

The Gray House is an astounding tale of how what others understand as liabilities can be leveraged into strengths.

Bound to wheelchairs and dependent on prosthetic limbs, the physically disabled students living in the House are overlooked by the Outsides. Not that it matters to anyone living in the House, a hulking old structure that its residents know is alive. From the corridors and crawl spaces to the classrooms and dorms, the House is full of tribes, tinctures, scared teachers, and laws - all seen and understood through a prismatic array of teenagers' eyes.

But student deaths and mounting pressure from the Outsides put the time-defying order of the House in danger. As the tribe leaders struggle to maintain power, they defer to the awesome power of the House, attempting to make it through days and nights that pass in ways that clocks and watches cannot record.

©2009 Mariam Petrosyan. (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2017 Yuri Machkasov.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Collective consciousness, budding sociopathy

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Wonderful book that I would definitely recommend! The book took place at a school that was set somewhere between reality and another world. The students grow, change, and come of age within the walls of the Gray House, exposing their adolescent problems and fears along the way. The book moves from student to teacher and back to student which gives a wonderful look at the environment, events, and the cast of characters from different points of view.

What did you like best about this story?

As the story develops, you're left wondering about the nature of a particular student named Blind. Blind is a fantastic character, part hero and anti-hero, taken in by the "rules" of the house and someone displaying sociopathic tendencies or the behaviors of someone not quite human. At the end of the book, you are still wondering which it is. In the meantime, you're watching the students grow up, develop distinct personalities, and learn what it is to stand on their own as individuals. This is important for them to learn because they had spent their lives engaging with the collective whole of their school groups with friends that are more like family. The students become inexorably linked to the House and breathe life into its walls through a collective consciousness that envelops all the students at the school. The setting becomes another character as the book moves along and you're left wondering if the house doesn't have a life of its own...

Have you listened to any of Scott Merriman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I had not listened to any of this narrator's books before and I did not become a fan here. He has little inflection in tone, which can be a challenge with such a long read. He also over pronounces the "w" which is an affectation that has always bothered me so it was hard to hear for 36 hours of this book. The story was so good that I kept listening, but had I not liked the book so much, I would not have cared to listen to a whole book narrated by Merriman. I may buy the book in print and read it next time, instead of listening to the narration again.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

While this is a book that I would have listened to in one sitting, it's not possible to do that with such a long book. Once you start hearing about the students, their lives, their cliques, and their associations with other groups, however, it becomes an all-absorbing narrative.

Any additional comments?

It's a book that deserves more than one read, you can't take it all in at once. I will revisit it again to see what else I can pick up among the students and teachers of the house.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Is there supposed to be a plot?

Couldn't stand the narrators over-annunciations, and there is more empty detail than actual story. 10 chapters in I'm still trying to figure out if there's a plot or if it's just bland babble. Couldn't finish it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring ALERT!

This is the most boring book I have "read" in a very long time...total waste of time and money...

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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An incomparable masterpiece

The Gray House defies comparison. Truly a first of it's kind. A winding, complexly patterned and immensely satisfying work fiction. As original as it was enjoyable.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Nonsense and Bad Narrator

I listened to 4 hours of this. Absolute nonsense. no plot. Confusing. Horrible narrator who over pronounces words. DON'T DO IT.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Completely Unexpected

I loved this. It is like a combination of "Lord Of The Flies" and "Through The Looking Glass" but really unique in so many ways, revealing more and more of its depth as you go along. It is long, but the author is Russian, right? Seriously though, the entire story is engaging, I could have gone straight through if I had the time. If you want a very imaginative story that has a incredible amount of beautiful imagery coupled with deep emotion, even savage at times, this is a great choice.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I'm still trying to figure out what I just read.

I think some of the magic got lost in translation, and the narrator didn't really help to distinguish one character from another. Add to that the lack of linear time and the unreliable narrators, and a premise that had really intrigued me just made me confused.

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    2 out of 5 stars

Disabled and confused

I found this book to be obscure and difficult to keep track of the characters. Not my cup of tea.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

seriously wow

at first I didn't think I would like this book, I got it during the world book promo so it was super cheap. it started a bit slow but as the story went on the characters developed more and more. I found myself craving this book and it's escape from reality it provided. definitely recommend.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Narrator hard to listen to

I really couldn't give this one a chance because Scott Merriman's narration was so annoying that after 2 hours of listening to him hyper-pronounce hard consonants, I just couldn't listen to him another minute. Also, although his narration couldn't be described as robotic, he spoke in the EXACT same "voice" for every character - adult or teen, male or female - which made it very hard to understand who was speaking. I will probably try reading this one on my Kindle.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • V
  • 07-19-18

Disappointed

It’s hard to quantify exactly why but I found it really hard to become immersed in this book. Perhaps it lost something in translation. The reading was very precise, with each word fairly slowly emphasised which contributed to the lack of flow. The idea is interesting and novel but I did not look forward to listening. In fact I gave up after about 6 hours.