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Summary

Cool. Balanced. Modern. The precisions of science, the wild variance of lust, the catharsis of confession and the fear of failure - these are things that happen in the Glass Room. High on a Czechoslovak hill, the Landauer House shines as a wonder of steel and glass and onyx built specially for newlyweds Viktor and Liesel Landauer, a Jew married to a gentile. But the radiant honesty of 1930 that the house, with its unique Glass Room, seems to engender quickly tarnishes as the storm clouds of World War II gather, and eventually the family must flee, accompanied by Viktor's lover and her child.

But the house's story is far from over, and as it passes from hand to hand, from Czech to Russian, both the best and the worst of the history of Eastern Europe becomes somehow embodied and perhaps emboldened within the beautiful and austere surfaces and planes so carefully designed, until events come full-circle.

©2009 Simon Mawer (P)2010 Recorded Books LLC

What listeners say about The Glass Room

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Thoroughly Good Read

I could not put this book down. The characters are wonderfully drawn and lived for me. The era it covers is written tactfully but its horror is not overlooked. I found a better understanding of the times and the affect on the different nationalities than any history lesson had done. The use of the house as a medium in which to hold the story together works well, however I was dudappointed that I wad never entirely able to visualise the house. Not sure whether that was writer error or more likely my failing. Perhaps the ending was slightly too comfortable but nevertheless I would thoroughly recommend this book.


7 people found this helpful

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Haunting and beautiful

Jefferson Mays brings this beautiful and moving book to life with his perfect, delicate style. I have enjoyed this immensely and encourage you to read it. Also go to the Villa Tugendhat website and seek out the Virtual Tour to experience the beauty of the house upon which the story is based.

6 people found this helpful

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Superb story & flawless narration

A captivating story of lives lived throughout the change and chaos of 1930s Europe, with a house anchoring their stories in past & present Czech history. (Is it based loosely on real lives and actual architecture? I’m going to have to research!)
It’s read perfectly - the narrator’s voice holds emotion in an almost passive way and reflects the light and space that fills the house and the relationships within the story flawlessly. I could listen to Mays’ voice for hours (- and did!)
It’s a superb listen. I highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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Deep and moving and a feast for the senses.

As well as beautifully written and described it's also deeply knowledgeable and wise. A generous book.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful evocation!

Wonderful evocation of a house, people and a variety of times in the history of Czekoslovakia and what followed.

1 person found this helpful

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Couldn’t get into this book

To be honest I only got a 3rd of a way through. This was a book chosen by our bookclub, I thought it sounded interesting due to the historical aspects. The narrator seem to give the characters haughty voices, which made them all feel dislikeable to me, and so I didn’t feel engaged with the book. I really didn’t care about the house or the architecture and gave up!

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The GLass Room

This book is so slow I almost gave up but it started to come alive in chapter 24 all the way to about ch 29 we went into repetition again . It comes to life again from chapter 42 to the end..please read this book it explains what true love really is in its many forms.Leasil Landau is a true lady right to the end of this book.






1 person found this helpful

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  • Simone
  • 28-12-13

A Man, A Woman, A House

This novel is proof that if you like the characters and the writing, a book in which nothing really happens can still be riveting.

But honestly, to say “nothing really happens” is not fair because in a story about people’s lives that span 30 years and includes WW2 everything happens! Perhaps it’s because I have no imagination that I can’t verbalize it better.

It’s the story of a man and woman and a house. Sounds dull, but it’s not because the people were interesting to me. I didn’t necessarily LIKE all of them, but nevertheless I still found them interesting; I was curious about their history and their future, I wanted to know what happened to them, I cared about their lives.

I particularly liked the way the house itself was a main character, especially the Glass Room and the Onyx Wall - how original! I wonder if the way I conjured it up in my mind is anywhere close to what the author envisioned?

1 person found this helpful