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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

The Gray House

Mariam Petrosyan

[an overview of the reviews and critical reactions]

general information | review summaries | links | about the author

To purchase The Gray House

Title: The Gray House
Author: Mariam Petrosyan
Genre: Novel
Written: 2009 (Eng. 2017)
Length: 721 pages
Original in: Russian
Availability: The Gray House - US
The Gray House - UK
The Gray House - Canada
La maison dans laquelle - France
  • Russian title:
  • Translated by Yuri Machkasov

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Why we haven't reviewed it yet:

Intrigued but not completely won over

Chances that we will review it:

It's possible

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Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
Le Devoir . 20/8/2016 Christian Desmeules
The Guardian . 13/5/2017 Phoebe Taplin
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . 23/4/2017 L.A. Focareta
Publishers Weekly . 27/2/2017 .

  From the Reviews:
  • "Sorte de « roman monstre », par son ampleur, par les curiosités et les excroissances qui le traversent à l’image de certains de ses personnages, La Maison dans laquelle est traversé par les influences de Lewis Carroll, de Rudyard Kipling, de Richard Bach (Jonathan Livingstone) ou de Bob Dylan (des extraits de Tarantula, sa prose expérimentale de 1971, y figurent parfois en exergue). Un mélange de Tim Burton, de Harry Potter, de Stephen King et de Sa Majesté des mouches (William Golding). Un univers qui déroute autant qu’il envoûte." - Christian Desmeules, Le Devoir

  • "The Gray House is enigmatic and fantastical, comic and postmodern, flawed but brilliant, with elements of multiple genres -- Rowling meets Rushdie via Tartt. (...) The Gray House is a Marmite book: worshipped by some, criticised by others as meandering nonsense, lacking either true magic or convincing realism. The plot can feel frustratingly serpentine" - Phoebe Taplin, The Guardian

  • "Her greatest strengths here are her world-building and linguistic creativity, although one has to wonder how much of a role translator Yuri Machkasov plays in casting that spell. Beginning with a straightforward, realistic style, Ms. Petrosyan slowly and carefully leads the reader step by step through suspension of belief to the Houseís inner workings, which manifest in increasingly fluid sentences and offbeat vocabulary. (...) The plot isnít exactly straightforward either, which is, perhaps, the point." - Leigh Anne Focareta, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • "(M)assively absorbing and sometimes frustrating (.....) The witty dialogue, sharply drawn characters, and endlessly unfolding riddle of the houseís true nature buoy a narrative that sometimes seems as meandering as the hallways of the house itself, a series of entertaining anecdotes rather than a cohesive whole." - Publishers Weekly

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The Gray House: Reviews: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Russian-writing Armenian author Mariam Petrosyan (Մարիամ Պետրոսյան; Мариам Петросян) was born in 1969.

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© 2017-2022 the complete review

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