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The Dumb House
The Dumb House | John Burnside
23 posts | 13 read | 45 to read
As a child, Lukes 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, Lukes obsession deepens, resulting in a haunting and bizarre experiment on Lukes own children.
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review
Cinfhen
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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Mehso-so

This book was massively twisted ~ really disturbing. I was hoping for an ending that would provide a reveal or surprise that might change my view but sadly that wasn‘t the case. While there were some interesting ideas about language, words, and the way we communicate ultimately this book was not satisfying. Thanks for passing it along @Kalalalatja it made for a quick read today.

Kalalalatja I had a feeling it would either be a total hit or total miss, so a so-so was unexpected 😅 but it is definitely a weird, weird book 4w
87 likes1 comment
blurb
Cinfhen
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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Holy 💩-balls!! I feel like I wasn‘t given the proper warning label before I began reading this book!!! It is majorly EFFED-UP 🙈 I‘m deeply disturbed and equally compelled to read further. I don‘t usually do scary reads but this one would fall into the category 💯

Cinfhen What have you sent me @Kalalalatja ?!??? 😆😝 4w
vivastory I'm adding to my October TBR!! Have you read 4w
Kalalalatja Ha! It is definitely creepy and disturbing and dark, but also super interesting. But, yeah, deeply disturbing 😂 4w
See All 18 Comments
Cinfhen No!!!!!! @vivastory I‘m too scared!!!! 4w
vivastory It's been compared to the Burnside. It is really disturbing, but very well done. If you do decide to give it a try I recommend going in knowing as little as possible. 4w
LeahBergen 😆😆 I‘ve had this stacked since @Kalalalatja first posted about it! 4w
LauraJ Sounds like I need to stack this one... 4w
Ruthiella Every thing I‘ve heard about this book makes me not want to read it...too disturbing.😨 4w
BarbaraBB I had this one stacked already. Your comment make me even more intrigued! 4w
BarbaraBB If it is anything like Under the Skin I‘m sold @vivastory 4w
Cinfhen I‘m happy to send it to you @BarbaraBB ❤️ 4w
BarbaraBB You know I didn‘t say it for that reason do you?! But thanks so much anyway ❤️😘 4w
Cinfhen I know, of course @BarbaraBB but this is a book I‘ll never read again and it‘s not one you can just randomly share with friends and neighbors 😉😘 4w
YasmiNova I don't know whether to stack this or not, part of me is too curious, the other too scared! 4w
TrishB Ohhhh scary - sounds great! 4w
Cinfhen Its REALLY disturbing/ more twisted and psychotic than scary @YasmiNova if that makes sense! I‘m sure you wouldn‘t be “afraid” @TrishB BUT it does contain 2 elements you don‘t like cruelty to animals and children 😖😫😢 4w
TrishB Thanks for heads up! 4w
80 likes8 stack adds18 comments
blurb
Cinfhen
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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#BookMail #WelcomeHomeCheer Thank you so much @Kalalalatja 💕💕💕💕what a lovely surprise to come home to 😁After two long but uneventful flights, followed by a luggage snafu in Israel, I found myself in a deep #SleepingSatellite today. Just waking up to an empty fridge and a huge amount of unpacking and organizing to deal with. Can‘t wait to settle in with my new books📚 #AyUpAugust

tpixie Great cover! How sweet! 2mo
squirrelbrain What a lovely gift! Welcome home and hopefully you‘ll start to feel more like yourself soon.... 😘 2mo
Cinfhen Thanks @squirrelbrain Hopefully I‘ll catch up over the weekend xx just so happy to be back in my own bed 🛌 and agreed @tpixie it‘s a weird and wonderful book cover & According to @Kalalalatja the book is crazzypants 😉 2mo
See All 16 Comments
tpixie @Cinfhen exciting!!! ♥️♥️♥️ 2mo
KarenUK Lovely! 💕💕💕💕 2mo
TrishB Glad you‘re home safe! I‘m hoping to finally catch up with the PO tomorrow and get something posted to you!! Have a good weekend 😘 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💗💗💗 2mo
Kalalalatja Welcome home! And I really hope you like the book, when you get to it at some point! 🤞💕 2mo
CarolynM Glad you're safely home💕 2mo
Centique What a beautiful book! I‘m glad you‘re home safe too 🙏 and yes, aren‘t there so many chores to do when you get home - unpacking, laundry, groceries - I wonder sometimes if the holiday is worth all the jobs before and after! 😂🤣 Hope you get back into the normal routine plus a bit of a sleep catch up! 2mo
Cinfhen I have something to post to you as well @TrishB but it may take a few days 🤪 2mo
Cinfhen Holidays and vacations are just exhausting @Centique but I‘m so thankful to be able to take them ‼️‼️ 2mo
Cinfhen Thanks again @Kalalalatja it was a lovely surprise 😘😘😘 2mo
TrishB Posted yours this morning 😘 no rush for anything, have a relaxing couple of days! 2mo
Cinfhen I can‘t imagine what you could be sending me @TrishB after that AMAZING birthday box 💕🙌🏻🎉🎁 2mo
TrishB @Cinfhen stuff 😘😘 2mo
84 likes1 stack add16 comments
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! 5mo
readordierachel @saresmoore I like the cover too! And it takes on some creepy symbolism after you read the book 😬 5mo
Kalalalatja Great review, I agree with it all! 5mo
See All 12 Comments
teainthelibrary Instantly stacked - this sounds good! 5mo
readordierachel @Kalalalatja It's haunting! Now I'm curious about his other books. 5mo
readordierachel @teainthelibrary It is. Disturbing but good! 5mo
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. 5mo
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. 5mo
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) 5mo
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. 5mo
rohit-sawant Great review! I stacked this a while ago. Need to bump it up my TBR! 5mo
readordierachel @rohit-sawant Look forward to your thoughts! 5mo
95 likes4 stack adds12 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! 6mo
68 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 6mo
JennyM That‘s one heck of a first line! 6mo
vivastory I have this on my shelves. Haven't read it yet but that's one hell of an opener! 6mo
See All 17 Comments
merelybookish Wow! 6mo
Cinfhen Stacked!!!!! That‘s such a powerful first line!!!!! 6mo
Cinfhen Thanks for posting & sharing 😄 6mo
Cinfhen Ohhh, I just read the blurb.... creepy!!! I‘m a little nervous now... tag me when your done, please!! 😱 6mo
rohit-sawant Such an arresting first line! Stacking! 6mo
Cathythoughts I‘m going to wait for your review! Sounds good though 6mo
LeahBergen I‘ve had this stacked for ages. I can‘t wait to see how you like it! 6mo
Reggie That‘ll hook ya. Stacked!! 6mo
Kalalalatja I read this some years ago, and loved it, but it is soooo creepy and disturbing! 6mo
gradcat Omigod...that‘s a winner as far as first lines go...I love reading different and/or weird first lines! ♥️ 6mo
everlocalwest This has been on my list for a while! I'm excited to see what you think. 6mo
readordierachel @Kalalalatja Sooo creepy indeed! I am so nervous and interested to see how it all plays out! 6mo
gradcat Good on you! I‘m eagerly anticipating your review! 6mo
83 likes8 stack adds17 comments
quote
kelseynicburke
The Dumb House | John Burnside
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quote
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. 😂 2y
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. 😂 2y
ephemeralwaltz I also stacked this from you! I really like this cover. 2y
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 😄 2y
See All 7 Comments
BarbaraBB Sounds great! 2y
Moray_Reads This has been on my tbr for quite some time 2y
Kalalalatja @BarbaraBB @Moray_Reads I can only recommend picking it up 👏 2y
80 likes7 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! 2y
LeahBergen I‘ve had this one stacked for a while. It sounds bizarre! 2y
EvieBee This is on my Book Depository wishlist, but had no idea it was so sinister. As in murder? 2y
See All 9 Comments
Cinfhen Creepy!!! 2y
TrishB Sounds intriguing! 2y
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. 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Intriguing and sounds what I‘ll read, but violence to children and animals?...now I dunno to stack or not 2y
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? 2y
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
quote
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 likes4 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! 3y
Kalalalatja @saresmoore I had to get creative, otherwise the only thing I could think about was Fifty Shades of Grey 😳 3y
LeahBergen Awesome. 3y
LibrarianRyan Love it🤓 3y
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 😂😂 3y
kspenmoll 😄😂 3y
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 📚❤️ 3y
britt_brooke Love it! 3y
Zelma Perfect answer to the prompt! 👍 3y
See All 7 Comments
Simona Very beautiful and useful❣️ 3y
Suzze Great way to do candy/cane! 3y
Beckys_Books Love this! 3y
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.