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The House of Special Purpose - John Boyne

The House of Special Purpose - John Boyne

Title: The House of Special Purpose

Author:  John Boyne

ISBN:  9780385616065

Weight:  939 g

Signed first edition, first printing



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Our price:  £14.99

The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne

Russia, 1915: At the age of 16, Georgy Jachmenev steps in front of an assassins bullet intended for the heart of a senior member of the Russian Imperial Family.  He is instantly proclaimed a hero.  Before the week is out, his life as the son of a peasant farmer is changed forever when he is escorted to St Petersburg to take up his new position – as bodyguard to Alexei Romanov, the only son of Tsar Nicholas II.

Privy to the secrets of Nicholas and Alexandra, the machinations of Rasputin and the events which led to the final collapse of the autocracy, Georgy is both a witness and participant in a drama which will echo down the century.

Sixty five years later, visiting his wife Zoya as she lies dying in a London hospital, memories of the life they have lived together flood his mind.  Their marriage, while tender, has been marked by tragedy, the loss of loved ones, and experiences of exile that neither can forget.

Part love story, part historical epic, part tragedy, the novel moves from revolutionary St Petersburg to Paris after the First World War, and from London during the Blitz to the eastern coast of Finland during the 1980s, before returning to a quiet hospital bed where Georgy and Zoyas story must finally be resolved.

Peer & Press Reviews

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.


A wonderful, many-layered novel, written with thought and tenderness… mesmerising.

Irish Examiner

Bibliographic Info

Attribute Details
Title: The House of Special Purpose
Book Features
Edition / printing: First edition, first printing
Overall condition: Fine / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)
Signed: On the title page
Book Stats
Publisher: Transworld Publishers
Imprint: Doubleday
Publication date:
Printed by: Clays Ltd, Bungay
ISBN 13: 9780385616065
ISBN 10: 0385616066
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages: 428
Size (h x w x d): 243 x 164 x 39mm
Design Credits
Author photograph: Mark Condren
Jacket design: Tom Poland
Jacket photograph: Lisa Johansson / Millennium Images

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