The House of Special Purpose
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The House of Special Purpose

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Description

Russia, 1915: Sixteen year old farmer's son Georgy Jachmenev steps in front of an assassin's bullet intended for a senior member of the Russian Imperial Family and is instantly proclaimed a hero. Rewarded with the position of bodyguard to Alexei Romanov, the only son of Tsar Nicholas II, the course of his life is changed for ever. Privy to the secrets of Nicholas and Alexandra, the machinations of Rasputin and the events which will lead to the final collapse of the autocracy, Georgy is both a witness and participant in a drama that will echo down the century. Sixty-five years later, visiting his wife Zoya as she lies in a London hospital, memories of the life they have lived together flood his mind. And with them, the consequences of the brutal fate of the Romanovs which has hung like a shroud over every aspect of their marriage...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 34mm | 340.19g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 055277541X
  • 9780552775410
  • 23,268

Review quote

"Boyne is a skilled storyteller... his novel is an exciting, fast-paced story... absorbing and richly satisfying" The Times "John Boyne has a talent for bringing big historical events to life... Boyne has skilfully drawn a living, breathing character who not only witnessed one of the greatest events of the 20th century but also had his own part to play in how the dramatic tale unravels" Daily Express "Boyne writes with consumnate ease, and is particularly good at drawing the indecently rich world of the pre-revolutionary Romanovs" Independent "A wonderful, many-layered novel, written with thought and tenderness... mesmerising" The Irish Examiner "Boyne exercises total control over pace and revelation. A work that chimes perfectly with our times" The Irish Timesshow more

About John Boyne

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of ten novels for adults, five for young readers and a collection of short stories. Perhaps best known for his 2006 multi-award-winning book The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, John's other novels, notably The Absolutist and A History of Loneliness, have been widely praised and are international bestsellers. In 2015, John chaired the panel for the Giller Prize, Canada's most prestigious literary award. The Heart's Invisible Furies is his most ambitious novel yet.show more

Review Text

"Boyne is a skilled storyteller... his novel is an exciting, fast-paced story... absorbing and richly satisfying"show more

Back cover copy

Russia, 1915: Sixteen-year-old farmer's son Georgy Jachmenev steps in front of an assassin's bullet intended for a senior member of the Russian Imperial Family and is instantly proclaimed a hero. Rewarded with the position of bodyguard to Alexei Romanov, the only son of Tsar Nicholas II, the course of his life is changed for ever. Privy to the secrets of Nicholas and Alexandra, the machinations of Rasputin and the events which will lead to the final collapse of the autocracy, Georgy is both a witness and participant in a drama that will echo down the century. Sixty-five years later, visiting his wife Zoya in a London hospital, memories of the life they have lived together flood his mind. And with them, the consequences of the brutal fate of the Romanovs which has hung like a shroud over their marriage...show more

Our customer reviews

The book was Okay, it was easy to read and very informative about the Russian royal family. It is a beautiful love story with not that much surprising outcome. So, read the book only if you have no knowledge about the Romanov’s. The only thing I did not get is why was Georgy observed and what happened further … I like John Boyne's writing styl, can't wait to finish The Thief of Time.show more
by Loucrecia
I love this book. The book is in two parts, one in present day, set around Georgy Jachmanev and his wife Zoya, and one in revolutionary Russia and Georgy's past. Georgy and Zoya's story goes back in time, whilst Georgy's past goes forward - each story meets in the middle so that the reader can see how past and present collide. It is beautifully written with wonderful drama and believability. Unfortunately, I studied the Russian Revolution at school, therefore I knew some of the events to be impossible, which kind of spoilt the story for me in a way. However, it was still amazing and I absolutely love it. Just a hint, don't study the Russian Revolution or Romanov history before reading it and you will enjoy it more. If you have, then you will enjoy it anyway, but won't believe it. Still wonderful, still well written, a triumph of a book that I totally recommend.show more
by Charlotte Hawkins