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Publisher's Summary

Part love story, part historical epic, part tragedy, The House of Special Purpose illuminates an empire at the end of its reign. 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 Saint Petersburg, to the Winter Palace of the tzar, in the early twentieth century - a time of change, threat, and bloody revolution. As Georgy overturns the most painful stone of all, we uncover the story of the house of special purpose.

©2012 John Boyne (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“John Boyne brings a completely fresh eye to the most important stories…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,  New York Times bestselling author)
“A riveting, bittersweet tale of love, loss, and intrigue…a compelling read.” ( Winnipeg Free Press)
“Boyne exercises total control over pace and revelation. A work that chimes perfectly with our times.”—Irish Times

What listeners say about The House of Special Purpose

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Best book I have read in years!

There is nothing I disliked about this book, the narrator was perfect, the story, the characters, the descriptions... I cried a lot at the end. I searched for pictures of the real events that the story is based on, and it made it so much better. I hope you enjoy it!

9 people found this helpful

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What other book can follow this?

Listening to The House of Special Purpose was a rich experience and I feel lost now I have finished the book. The story brought this period of Russian history to life. The character development and narration were fantastic. Thank you John Boyne for writing this book.

5 people found this helpful

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the narrator makes the book

the story is interesting in the verbiage is terrific. Combine that with the accent of the narrator makes a wonderful Tale

5 people found this helpful

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Terrific

I am a John Boyne fan--has an amazing "painterly" writing style, and among the best for putting you in a scene. "House" at it's core is a romance with a heartfelt twist that breathes new life into an historical Russian mystery. Stefan Rudnicki is dead brilliant and the perfect choice for voice. The fact that the story toggles back and forth in time is a perfect mechanism that keeps the reader from what might have been a worn historical fiction. Loved it!!!!

4 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

If only it were true... This was a beautiful and heartbreaking tale. I was completely enthralled.

2 people found this helpful

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My Favorite!

What a wonderful journey! I will treasure this story always. I wish I could hear it all again for the first time. A bit jealous of the listeners to come.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it

I absolutely loved this book and its reading by Rudnicki. I loved the development of the characters and how it went from past to present and back and forth again.

1 person found this helpful

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Not as good

The story goes back and forth in time and is a bit hard to follow at first but what makes it more challenging is the narrator. His voice is just too deep and booming for these characters and it was distracting. John Boyne’s other book “the hearts invisible furies” is one of my favorites!! Read that if you haven’t yet. He is an excellent writer.

1 person found this helpful

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You can skip this one.

I’m a fan of Boyne. “The heart’ invisible furies” Is stunning and I realize it’s not fair to expect an author to write masterpieces consistently however, I have to be honest for other folks hoping to get an objective review. There wasn’t much story and again, I don’t mind that. Some of Boyne’s other works are so rich and character development, who cares about plot? This book wasn’t that. Perhaps because the historical situation is so well known, I found a lot of it tedious. There wasn’t much character development but a lot of duplication. Even one of events were repeated from so-called different points of view, the points of view weren’t that different. It became repetitious. The writing was not poetic as some of the Boyne’s books have been. Maybe that had to do with the Narrater. Rudnicki’s deep resonating Voice is lovely to the ear but one dimensional for a novel such as this. Everyone sounds the same and without much feeling. The ending was predictable from the first few chapters. I found this to be a disappointment and I cannot recommend spending a credit on this one. Try a different John Boyne book.

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enjoyed every minute!

well done. thank you for a very entertaining story. I guessed the surprise early on which made it even better because I couldn't wait to hear how their story unfolded.