Publisher's Note:  

Welcome to the House of Journalists. Who are you and what is your story?


These are the questions that confront newcomers to the House of Journalists, the internationally renowned refuge for writers in exile at the center of this haunting Orwellian novel. Home to a select group of fellows, the House is located in a fashionable London terrace. But just how stable is this hallowed institution? Julian Snowman, the obsessive founder and chair, sees the threat of dissolution at every turn. Perhaps this explains why petty rules and restrictions abide: men live in one wing, women in the other; smoking is restricted to the central courtyard; tea is optional, but everyone attends.

As the fellows strive to remake their lives, they are urged to share their tales. Epic and intimate by turns, these stories—of courage, tragedy, and shame—become a mesmerizing chorus of voices in search of home. Among the fellows are Mustapha, who yearns for the family he tore himself from when he resisted a coup; Agnes, a photojournalist implicated in a brutal civil war; Sonny, a slight figure with don’t-mess-with-me hair, who describes a harrowing escape across continents; Edson, who perilously confides his story to his writing mentor; and Mr. Stan, who draws on the noxious cigarettes of his home island, despite having been tortured there.

Only one man manages to guard his past: the mysterious new fellow AA, whose secrecy ratchets up Julian’s paranoia. Julian suspects that AA is conspiring with a celebrated visiting writer to bring down the House. In fact, AA is planning something else entirely.

A world as beguiling as it is disturbing, Tim Finch’s The House of Journalists is a novel of heartbreak, humanity, and wit, and announces the arrival of a striking new voice in fiction.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Farrar Straus and Giroux

The House of Journalists

by Tim Finch

Review Date:

Recommended Age:

Overall Rating:

Profanity / Language Rating:

Violence / Gore Rating:

Sex / Nudity Rating:

Overall Review:  

The title of this book was what attracted me initially to this book, but once I started reading it, I realized it wasn't exactly what I had been expecting it to be. I had a hard time delving deep into the characters and their stories. I enjoyed the idea of the book, but the way the story played out disappointed me somewhat as the story jumped around a lot, and was difficult to follow.


Everyone that lives in the house of journalists has a story to tell, and they each display diverse tales. The stories they told of their lives were deep, but short--not quite giving the reader enough time to get acquainted with the character. All in all, this book was well written and thought out, it just wasn't exactly my cup of tea.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  15 mild obsceneties; 3 derogatory names; 1 scatalogical word; 25 F-word derivatives.


Violence/Gore:  A teen girl is abused by government workers, with minimal blood and gore; animals are reported to be sacrificed.


Sex/Nudity:  Rape is mentioned, but not elaborated upon.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Abuse, rape


Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adults smoke cigarettes; adults drink alcohol.

Reviewed By Lydia
No image available