The House that...

The House that...


The House that...
Livebook (2013)
ISBN 978-5-904584-46-7
960 pages
The House That... is an extraordinary book, unexpected, fresh, of those which are impossible to put down. It is interesting that it has been published just now, when world literary trends are showing interest towards the enigmas of adolescence and the use of means far from pure realism to closely consider them. It is a current book but nothing transitory.

“The House” is the name given by the children and adolescents to the center for disabled minors they are residing, or rather interned in. The universe of The House has little, if anything, to do with that of outside; there within they've created laws, myths and their own rules, until nature itself has been become unique, independent. The resident pupils of The House haven't names, only nicknames, and are divided into groups, or better said, into packs or gangs, whose leaders fight to the death for supremacy. Their deficiencies are no more than a condition, almost a symbol, which establish their belonging to this other reality of their own design. Through the stories of various characters, the chapters separated in time, a panorama of the world of these youths has been created; limitless, fantastic, cruel, tender, completely isolated and cut-off from communication with the “real” world of the adults.

Focal points of Petrosyan’s novel are Friendship, adapting to the group, power, confrontation between the concepts of the individual freedom of the youths and the rules imposed by the educators, psychological growth, self-definition, choosing between “right” and “wrong”, love/sex/sexuality/sensuality..

The House That..., with no place for doubts, is a literary event which exceeds the borders of national literature. The work stands out with its harmony and fullness; all of the elements – language, rhythm, character development – are in perfect synchronization. The narration flows, envelopes, hypnotizes. The impact is profoundly emotional. Perhaps for this reason, difficulties arise at the hour to “explain” the work, the literary critics have had to turn to examples and have created a long list of “predecessors”: Salinger, Golding (Lord of the Flies), Faulkner (Light in August), Ken Kesey, Lewis Carroll, Ruben Gallego, Haruki Murakami, Philip K. Dick, John Steinbeck, etc. Rational, verbal resources come up short.

The House That is a remarkable work. It’s a door leading to that new literature we all have been waiting for. 
Dmitry Bykov, writer and literary critic.