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The Dumb House
The Dumb House | John Burnside
20 posts | 13 read | 36 to read
As a child, Luke’s mother often tells him the story of the Dumb House, an experiment on newborn babies raised in silence, designed to test the innateness of language. As Luke grows up, his interest in language and the delicate balance of life and death leads to amateur dissections of small animals – tiny hearts revealed still pumping, as life trickles away. But as an adult, following the death of his mother, Luke’s obsession deepens, resulting in a haunting and bizarre experiment on Luke’s own children.
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review
readordierachel
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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Pickpick

It's good, but brace yourself. Completely inside the mind of a sociopath who sees human beings (and animals for that matter) as tools or experiments. There are some gorgeous passages describing the natural world & some questionable musings about human nature/language, all juxtaposed against horrific acts. Luke is a supremely unreliable narrator. So much rationalization & ascribing dubious motives and feelings to the people around him. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

saresmoore Great review and such a cool cover! 3d
readordierachel @saresmoore I like the cover too! And it takes on some creepy symbolism after you read the book 😬 3d
Kalalalatja Great review, I agree with it all! 3d
See All 10 Comments
teainthelibrary Instantly stacked - this sounds good! 3d
readordierachel @Kalalalatja It's haunting! Now I'm curious about his other books. 3d
readordierachel @teainthelibrary It is. Disturbing but good! 3d
batsy Your review is so good! I've been interested in this one but just a little bit wary; need to pick it up when the mood is right. 3d
readordierachel @batsy Thanks! It's definitely a book you have to be in the right head space for. I was repelled and drawn in simultaneously and put it down a couple times b/c of that. I'll be so interested to hear what you think when you get to it. 3d
Reggie Ughhhhh, should I, shouldn‘t I? Do I want to make room for a sociopath in my life. I can just stack it and leave it right? Nice review. Lolol, update-I has already stacked it. I‘m an idiot. (edited) 3d
readordierachel @Reggie Hahahaha. I don't want to be responsible for bringing a sociopath into your life. For what it's worth, I'm not sorry I read it. 2d
86 likes3 stack adds10 comments
quote
readordierachel
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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I'm reusing The Dumb House because I came across this line today and it jumped out at me and made me think of the #youngandbeautiful prompt: "Ten years before, she would have been considered pretty; now, with the lines around her mouth and the stain of persistent disappointment in her eyes, she was almost beautiful."

I think that's a compliment?? ?

#maymoviemagic #besticoulddo #ipromisenottousethisbookforeveryprompt
@Cinfhen @rohit-sawant

rohit-sawant Looking forward to your review of this one! 3w
67 likes1 comment
blurb
readordierachel
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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#weveonlyjustbegun this book and I, but I'm already disturbed and hooked. The first line is: "No one could say it was my choice to kill the twins, any more than it was my decision to bring them into the world." ?

#maymoviemagic
@Cinfhen @rohit-sawant

BiblioLitten 😟 That line 3w
JennyM That‘s one heck of a first line! 3w
vivastory I have this on my shelves. Haven't read it yet but that's one hell of an opener! 3w
See All 17 Comments
Cinfhen Stacked!!!!! That‘s such a powerful first line!!!!! 3w
Cinfhen Thanks for posting & sharing 😄 3w
Cinfhen Ohhh, I just read the blurb.... creepy!!! I‘m a little nervous now... tag me when your done, please!! 😱 3w
rohit-sawant Such an arresting first line! Stacking! 3w
Cathythoughts I‘m going to wait for your review! Sounds good though 3w
LeahBergen I‘ve had this stacked for ages. I can‘t wait to see how you like it! 3w
Reggie That‘ll hook ya. Stacked!! 3w
Kalalalatja I read this some years ago, and loved it, but it is soooo creepy and disturbing! 3w
gradcat Omigod...that‘s a winner as far as first lines go...I love reading different and/or weird first lines! ♥️ 3w
everlocalwest This has been on my list for a while! I'm excited to see what you think. 3w
readordierachel @Kalalalatja Sooo creepy indeed! I am so nervous and interested to see how it all plays out! 3w
gradcat Good on you! I‘m eagerly anticipating your review! 3w
82 likes8 stack adds17 comments
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kelseynicburke
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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kelseynicburke
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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🤐

DivaDiane Makes me feel like I should be very glad that I‘m an introvert not prone to flapping my gums. I don‘t know how it happened though, because my mother is very gabby. 😂 14mo
65 likes1 comment
blurb
Kalalalatja
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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So many #dumbthings and weird things and creepy things are going on in this novel. 🤐

#MarchintoOz

LeahBergen I‘ve had this stacked since you first posted about it. I‘ll buy it someday. 😂 1y
ephemeralwaltz I also stacked this from you! I really like this cover. 1y
Kalalalatja @LeahBergen @ephemeralwaltz it has been some years since I first read it, but I remember it as being a dark, disturbing and engrossing read 😄 1y
See All 7 Comments
BarbaraBB Sounds great! 1y
Moray_Reads This has been on my tbr for quite some time 1y
Kalalalatja @BarbaraBB @Moray_Reads I can only recommend picking it up 👏 1y
80 likes1 stack add7 comments
blurb
Kalalalatja
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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In this weird and very disturbing novel, Burnside introduces us to Luke, who likes to #playlikegod. Luke wants to learn where in the body the soul resides, and he goes to great lenghts to find the answer to his question.

#NuYear

Tamra That does sound disturbing! 1y
LeahBergen I‘ve had this one stacked for a while. It sounds bizarre! 1y
EvieBee This is on my Book Depository wishlist, but had no idea it was so sinister. As in murder? 1y
See All 9 Comments
Cinfhen Creepy!!! 1y
TrishB Sounds intriguing! 1y
Kalalalatja @Tamra @LeahBergen @EvieBee @Cinfhen @TrishB it is dark, creepy and definitely disturbing. If I remember correctly, there is some violence to animals and children, so it might be a trigger for some people. 1y
erzascarletbookgasm Intriguing and sounds what I‘ll read, but violence to children and animals?...now I dunno to stack or not 1y
Kalalalatja @Tamra @erzascarletbookgasm violence might be the wrong word to use. But he does experiment on animals and children, and not in ways that would be approved by an ethics board. I did really like it, in spite of the disturbing things happening. It was a bit like Lolita, were the subject matter is horrible, but it is written in a way, so you can still read it, if that makes sense? 1y
92 likes5 stack adds9 comments
review
JamesChatham
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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Pickpick

Deeply disturbing yet beautifully written, The Dumb House explores grief like no other novel I've read. Simply incredible.

7 likes1 stack add
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JamesChatham
The Dumb House | John Burnside

An ordered illusion is necessarily preferable to the chaotic truth of the world.

review
helloxemily
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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Pickpick

Very strange, so screwed up, but entrancing, I couldn't read it quick enough

2 likes1 comment
blurb
Kalalalatja
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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Luke from The Dumb House is a #completepsycho. He makes experiments to find out if the ability to speach is what makes us uniquely human. But the way he does this is all kind of f*ed up! Great book though 👌

#Character2017

LeahBergen Oooo! 2y
LibrarianRyan 👍🏻🤓 2y
74 likes6 stack adds2 comments
review
astridnejlund
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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Pickpick

Well, this was disturbing!! But also very thought provoking. Burnside surely knows how to balance incredible prose with nauseating episodes. 5/5 stars

blurb
Kalalalatja
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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I love an #UnreliableNarrator when it is done well, which is the case with The Dumb House. An unnamed narrator wants to find out if language is acquired or innate, and from there everything gets really dark and twisted.

#MayBookFlowers

64 likes5 stack adds
blurb
Kalalalatja
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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Bookish #SandM - my take on today's prompt for #BookLove17.

Books that hurt to read, but you enjoy reading them 😶

saresmoore Excellent prompt interpretation! 2y
Kalalalatja @saresmoore I had to get creative, otherwise the only thing I could think about was Fifty Shades of Grey 😳 2y
LeahBergen Awesome. 2y
LibrarianRyan Love it🤓 2y
53 likes1 stack add4 comments
blurb
Thekelburrows
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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Oh Google Image search, you just get me.

Well-ReadNeck 😂😂 2y
kspenmoll 😄😂 2y
38 likes2 comments
blurb
Kalalalatja
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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I haven't bought any Christmas candy yet, so my #candycane will have to be of books. Which are better for you anyway, so I guess It's okay 😄

#12daysofxmasphoto

Cinfhen Pretty fantastic 📚❤️ 2y
britt_brooke Love it! 2y
Zelma Perfect answer to the prompt! 👍 2y
See All 7 Comments
Simona Very beautiful and useful❣️ 2y
Suzze Great way to do candy/cane! 2y
Beckys_Books Love this! 2y
43 likes1 stack add7 comments
blurb
Kalalalatja
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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A collection of #dysfunctionalfamilies. I love me something weird and dysfunctional, so these books are so in my wheelhouse. They are all dysfunctional in their own way, and some more than others. I would recommend all of them 👌

#photoadaynov16

I-read-and-eat Beautiful collection! 😊 3y
31 likes1 comment
review
Ais
The Dumb House | John Burnside
Pickpick

Holy absolute shit balls!!! What a ride, and a MOST uncomfortable read. There were some very shady bus journeys where I was doing a lot of wincing, and glancing furtively over my shoulder for fear of...something. I'm not even sure what I can call this something, but it was so creepy I could taste it.

18 likes1 stack add
blurb
Ais
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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I cannot express my excitement about getting stuck into this 😍

SusanInTiburon That cover is a sight for sore eyes today! 3y
Ais It's gorgeous! 3y
22 likes2 comments
review
aentee
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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Pickpick

This book was deeply unsettling. Man experiments on own children by limiting their speech. If you ever wanted to wander into a mind of a sociopath, pick this one up. Along with the psychological aspects, I really enjoyed the pondering on linguistics and how it links to human social interactions.