[Reading] ➾ The House of Special Purpose By John Boyne – Saudionline.co.uk


  • Paperback
  • 469 pages
  • The House of Special Purpose
  • John Boyne
  • English
  • 14 March 2019
  • 9781590515983

10 thoughts on “The House of Special Purpose

  1. says:

    So enjoyable It is always quite enjoyable to read a book which is so well written and engaging This book of historical fiction brings one man s past and present together Eighty year old Georgy Jachmenev is currently living in England with his wife Zoya His wife is ill and as he reflects on their life, it is evident that their life was not as common as their friends believed Georgy Jachmenev s life began in Russia and as he looks back on his life, we learn about his ties to Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra and their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei Through an act of heroism, he is brought into the world of the Romanov s during the time of the Russian Revolution I really liked the alternating timeline story telling This book begins toward the end of a man s life and weaves its way back to the beginning of his tale It was a nice way to bring the story full circle and back to that fateful day in the House of Special Purpose It is obvious that the Author did a lot of research for this book He tells one man s story of survival, hope, love, resiliency, pain, and heartache while keeping with the historical events leading up the execution of the last czar of Russia and his family.I have read a couple of stinkers lately and it was like a breath of fresh air reading such a finely crafted book Extremely well written This book is like a slow burn it s not a page turner but I felt myself seeping into this story This book is interesting, thought provoking, and riveting See of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com


  2. says:

    A story of escape, exile, survival and love which spans nearly eighty years and three continents.Georgy finds the course of his life is altered when he becomes the young bodyguard to Prince Alexei Romanov I is here that he also finds the love of his life It is a time of growing unrest in Russia and fate steps in to shape their lives in a way they never expected Once the Bolsheviks have taken control of the Palace, the outcome for the Romanov family was a fait accompli It is no place for Romanov supporters either and the two protagonists must act accordingly Georgy and Zoya flee to Minsk, then Paris and finally settle in London to share a life of love but one tinged with loss A life always spent looking over their shoulders The story shifts around in time, from 1981 back to 1917, the 1940s and 50s as Georgy at Zoya s hospital bedside remembers their life together, their daughter, their work and their constant fear.What an enthralling, fascinating and totally satisfying read John Boyne has obviously fully researched the last Tsar in Russia and his family and the Russian revolution Boyne faithfully portrays the historical events taking place in Russia 1915 1917, but with an interesting take on one particular aspect But it s in the telling that he weaves a delicious story of exile, survival and a deep and abiding love, which never devolves into melodrama Everything this author touches turns to gold 4 Most Highly Recommended


  3. says:

    This might be the most perfect book I have ever read.I picked it up at a library book sale because I couldn t walk out without buying something, and I recognized the title referring to Ipatiev House from my long term obsession with the Romanovs and Imperial Russia Within the first half dozen pages, I found out the main character is a librarian at the British Library I thought, wow, this was a better find than I was expecting I just got my library science degree, and special collections like the BL are near and dear to my heart Other little personal touches kept popping out at me the whole time, and even though I ve said before I never know if I like a book until the last page, this one was a consistent 5 stars for me from page one.Georgy Daniilvech Jachmenev is an 80 year old retired librarian living in London and trying to come to grips with the fact that his wife is dying Before that, he was a peasant farmer in a tiny Russian village accidentally saving the life of a member of the Imperial family, he is whisked away to glamorous St Petersburg to become the bodyguard to the most important person in Russia Tsarevich Alexei Romanov.The book also utilizes one of my favorite storytelling methods, too mixing up the timeline It starts near the end, with the narrator as an old man in London the second chapter goes into his boyhood in Russia at the end of the last century Every other chapter, then, moves the present part back a decade and the past part forward a couple of years until they join up.Honestly, everything about this book was perfect, and it wasn t just the subject matter, because I generally don t even try fiction about the Romanovs But I don t mind telling you, I cried through the last three chapters, and that was a good, good thing.My favorite way to read a book is to know as little as possible about it going in, so that s all I m going to say about the plot I think that knowing absolutely nothing about the book made it a better experience for me, and so I think your experience will also be better if you don t know any If this makes you want to read it, then it s enough Go enjoy this book But if you don t care about spoilers and want a thorough review, I have reviewed it in depth here.Original review from Hundredaire Socialite


  4. says:

    4,25 sterren Nederlandse paperback met dank aan minibieb Venlo Quote uit het boek Ik weet niet wat ik moet zeggen De jongen had hemofilie hij had wat ze noemden de koninklijke ziekte , een aandoening waarover ik de bedienden wel had horen roddelen, maar waarover ik nooit had nagedacht Wijlen de Engelse koningin Victoria, de grootmoeder van de tsarina, was drager geweest en aangezien zij de meesten van haar en kleinkinderen had uitgehuwelijkt aan de prinsen en prinsessen van Europa was de ziekte een beschamend geheim aan veel koninklijke hoven Waaronder het onze Ze hadden me dit eerder moeten vertellen dacht ik bitter Ze hadden me moeten vertrouwen Per slot van rekening zou ik nog liever een mes in mijn eigen hart steken dan de tsarevitsj enig leed te laten overkomen Mooi verhaal wat een tijdspanne van meer dan tachtig jaar beslaat En boeren jongen komt na het voorkomen van een moordaanslag op een lid van de koninklijke familie als lijfwacht te werken in het Winterpaleis Daarnaast loopt een verhaal van twee gevluchte Russen in Londen De angst van hen om ontdekt te worden, ondanks het diep ondergedoken zitten Twee verhaallijnen die continu omspringen De tijdspanne moet je goed volgen anders ben je de draad kwijt Toch wordt het nergens saai Hier en daar zorgde teveel aan info wel voor wat oponthoud in de verhaallijn.


  5. says:

    In this historical work of fiction, eighty two year old Georgy Daniilvech Jachmenev narrates a shocking and eventful part of his younger life while serving as bodyguard to the son of the last Tsar of Russia After a tragic and guilt ridden beginning for Georgy, he finds true love and encounters evil, but ultimately uncovers the secret within The House of Special Purpose.

    This wonderful story is told with an alternating timeline writing style that is fast paced and comes together nicely in the end Really enjoyed it


  6. says:

    4.5 stars Incredible I really loved it.This was the first novel I read by John Boyne, and I am thrilled that I have to choose from as I really enjoyed his writing style This poignant tale about the Romanovs, the Russian civil war, and 60 years of a married couple s love story was simply wonderful The author did take a few liberties with known historical facts which is bothersome in historical fiction I prefer the liberties to be with the unknowns, but such is personal preference , some of which were far fetched enough to require suspension of disbelief The pacing was moderate not a fast paced page turner but also never dull The writing was beautiful and memorable with an infusion of subtle wit The story alternates between when the main character, Georgy, was a young man in the early 1900s and his modern day in the 1980s until the two stories come together with all questions answered I loved all facets of the character s life and enjoyed the domesticity that was included as it added depth and believability to the relationship between him and his wife Easily recommended to fans of historical fiction I listened to this one on audio and the narrator, Stefan Rudnicki, was fantastic, adding a whole other element of greatness to the novel Favorite Quote It occurs to me that even though Zoya and I are both still alive, my life is already over She will be taken from me soon and there will be no reason for me to continue without her We are one person, you see We are GeorgyandZoya.First Sentence My mother and father did not have a happy marriage.


  7. says:

    It took me a weekend to read this book It s an easy reading , quite touching and fairly entertaining, will probably keep you hooked People who like pretty love stories will probably adopt it as a favorite.However , the reason which made me read this was the reason why I didn t like it better Well,I m obsessed with the Romanovs , have always been.When I heard that this book was related to their story I just couldn t pass by it I wrote a history essay about their finals days when I was graduating highschool, I had done tons of research and I strangely knew every single detail about their life in the Ipatiev house and I like to think to myself that I knew each one of their characters very well Unfortunately I can t say the same about Boyne SPOILERS ahead , if you haven t read it be careful There were points in which I caught myself thinking if he had actually ever made a background research before writing this He did get some details right , like the fact that Nicholas loved Anastacia ,the way he speaks to Alexandra, his fears of being murderes due to his granfather s accident, the visit to Stavka, the czarina having helped as a nurse during the war and such but others were almost hard for me to swallow, like for instance spoiler alert the fact that Anastasia would have escaped so easily, the lack of vigilance inside the Palace, a boy with no experience at all assuming such an important , high position Come on Boyne You had me rolling my eyes.Not to mention some other details like the fact that they were , first of all ,executed in the basement and there were no windows Secondly , during their last days every soldier of the house had their eyes fixed on every move they made even the short period of time they were allowed outside was calculated So yeah , I know it s fiction Boyne , I know that we are not supposed to compare to the real thing , but I thought you went a little overboard with that ending PS don t you actually think that they would look for Anastasia when they saw she wasn t there Did you really think that they would simply forget about her ,let her go I know I m being a bully for picking on such details , even my sister was irritated when I spent 10 minutes enumerating the reasons why this story would never be possible Well , if we pass through this fixation of mine with reality , the book was , how can I put it , enjoyable The story of the older Georgui seemed to me to be of a better quality than the rest It s an touching, sad book , and I think the author manages to play with the characters emotions well, and the passages which took place during memorable periods like WWII and the Cold War were also nicely built and with interesting details But in the end , Boyne just didn t amuse me This was the first of his books that I ve ever read , and I wouldn t pick another one eagerly He is not very creative beyond the common place , his characters, excluding the main ones , are unidimensional , plain and poorly developed His narrative is well structured and cohesive ,objective without being too dry But his descriptions are dull and sound rather amateurist i lost the count of how many times he would say he she looked skinnier and his her hair had lost it s color to describe someone sad , or how he would describe Rasputin the same way a childrens book describe the evil witch , the superficial way in which he deals with secundary characters annoyed and irritated me they were as flat as stick figures It was a nice passtime , but this book is no masterpiece I smiled , I felt sorry and sad , I even had a difficulty putting it aside , I admit it Probably if I din t knew so much about the Romanov I would have like it quite well, but I was rather critical than amused by the fact that it deviated so much from the reality which with we are all so acquainted.


  8. says:

    Una historia muy bien contada, donde la ficci n me mezcla a tal punto con la realidad que el resultado es maravilloso Los Romanov son un tema que me llama much simo la atenci n por eso no dud en leer este libro Tuve mis dudas por que solo hab a le do el ni o con el pijama de rayas y me asustaba que fuera a seguir la linea infantil de este, pero no fue el caso.Me encant como se fue enmara ando la trama y nos soltaba al mismo tiempo datos, el recurso de recordar y vivirlo con el personaje me gust y es un libro que si te gusta esta familia y quisieras conocer un poco m s sobre ellos y todas las teor as que surgieron a partir de su asesinato, no te lo puedes perder.


  9. says:

    I have always been interested in Russian history people but for some reason have only ever read one other book that deals with the Romanovs.Through the eyes of the personal bodyguard of the only son of Tsar Nicolas II, the opulence of the royal family was put in sharp contrast beside the hunger, exhaustion and discontent of the masses during World War 1.Initially the writing was wonderful and effortlessly pulled me into the story and culture of rural Russia however this great momentum started slowing down as the book progressed and to be honest towards the end the writing was reminiscent of young adult literature.Perhaps it was a case of me wanting to read of a historical novel and less of a star crossed love story.I was also disappointed that not time was spent on the most interesting and enigmatic figure of them all, Rasputin.What I do find very interesting is that almost 100 years after the fall of the Romanovs rumours and speculation are still very much alive around the possibility of Anastacia s escape from the House of Special Purpose Perhaps it s a case of hoping that one ray of light survived this very dark mark in history.This is not a bad book for anyone who wants to be eased into historical fiction the Romanovs but I still feel as if I wanted .


  10. says:

    This is the tale of a young Russian, Georgy, who finds himself as bodyguard to the Tsarevich Alexei in the final years of Romanov rule Georgy often finds himself in the thick of things as Russia moves from a monarchy to a republic The novel centres around Georgy s improbable romance with one of the Grand Duchesses and his unshakeable love for his wife, another Russian emigre.The story moves backwards and forwards between time periods as Georgy tells of his life We see young Georgy coming to St Petersberg to serve the Imperial Family and how his relationships with various members of the family develop We see old Georgy watching his beloved wife, Zoya, battle the end stages of cancer We see Georgy in Paris after the October Revolution and in London from the 1930s onwards As a narrator, Georgy isn t always a very sympathetic character He can be incredibly naive, which often feels like a clumsy exposition tool so the author can explain certain things to the reader Georgy can be very self centred, which I found quite off putting in places He also has an uncanny knack for being smack dab in the middle of historic events as they happen, which is highly unlikely for a peasant turned soldier That s fine a few times, but really stretches credibility when it happens time and time again The story plods at times, but I stuck with it because the fall of the Romanovs is one of those subjects that has always fascinated me The history is a bit off in places, but will only jar if you already know a fair bit about what happened to the Romanovs in the House of Special Purpose in Ekaterinburg.There is a twist to the tale, which I guessed early on, but I won t spoil it for you if you want to read this The most interesting bits for me were those set in revolutionary Russia I could have done without some of the interim years, like Georgy and Zoya s domesticity I guess the author felt that much of that was needed to put the central secret in context, but I thought it was unnecessary Overall, I thought the novel needed to be pacier to make it into a real page turner.


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The House of Special Purposecharacters The House of Special Purpose, audiobook The House of Special Purpose, files book The House of Special Purpose, today The House of Special Purpose, The House of Special Purpose 46163 From The Author Of The Absolutist, A Propulsive Novel Of The Russian Revolution And The Fate Of The Romanovs 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, To The Winter Palace Of The Czar, 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


About the Author: John Boyne

John Boyne born 30 April 1971 in Dublin is an Irish novelist.He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he won the Curtis Brown prize In 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by UEA.John Boyne is the author of ten novels for adults and five for young readers, as well as a collection of short stories His novel