Iris and Noah find themselves reborn in an exotic land filled with corruption and chaos, sacrifice and beauty.

Dragon House - A novel by John Shors


Set in modern-day Vietnam, Dragon House tells the tale of Iris and Noah – two Americans who, as a way of healing their own painful pasts, open a center to house and educate Vietnamese street children.

Iris and Noah find themselves reborn in an exotic land filled with corruption and chaos, sacrifice and beauty. Inspired by the street children she meets, Iris walks in the footsteps of her father, a man whom Vietnam both shattered and saved. Meanwhile, Noah slowly rediscovers himself through the eyes of an unexpected companion.

Resounding with powerful themes of suffering, sacrifice, friendship, and love, Dragon House brings together East and West, war and peace; and celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.


“Shors’ compassionate writing manages to make almost every passage enjoyable… There aren’t too many books about Vietnam barring war stories, so for many readers, Dragon House will provide a unique glimpse into a fascinating country.” – The China Post

“There is a tenderness in this moving, deeply descriptive novel that brings all those frequently hidden qualities of compassion, purity of mind, and, yes, love—the things we used to call the human spirit—into the foreground of our feeling as readers. This is a beautiful heart speaking to us of the beautiful world we could and should find, even in the darkness that so often floods the world with fear.” – Gregory David Roberts, bestselling author of Shantaram

“Amid the wreckage of what’s known in Vietnam as the ‘American War,’ Shors has set his sprawling, vibrant novel. All of his characters—hustlers, humanitarians, street children—carry wounds, visible or otherwise. And in the cacophony of their voices, he asks that most essential question: ‘How can we be better?’” – David Oliver Relin, bestselling author of Three Cups of Tea

“A touching story about, among other things, the lingering impacts of the last generation’s war on the contemporary landscape and people of Vietnam.  In a large cast of appealing characters, the street children are the heart of this book; their talents, friendships, and perils keep you turning the pages.” – Karen Joy Fowler, bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

“John Shors has written a wonderful novel about two American lives shaped by an encounter with the lives of the Vietnamese people in this present age, decades after that country has faded from the ongoing clamor of news in this country.  For that very reason, Shors transcends politics and headlines and finds the timeless and deeply human stories that are the essence of enduring fiction.  This is strong, important work from a gifted writer.” – Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

“Proving once again to be one of the most important new voices in American literature, Shors has written a powerful and moving novel (which) jars your thinking, tugs on your heartstrings, and ultimately gives you hope that humanity will somehow find the strength to triumph over the problems that plague us.” – The Veterans Reporter

“Dragon House has its exciting scenes, but it’s not so much a thriller as a book with a message to get across… Shors certainly succeeds in engaging the reader’s emotions–it’s a tear-jerker of a book.” – Midwest Book Review

“Shors seems to draw on a deep well of resolve to give back.” – Jakarta Globe

“In Dragon House John Shors paints such a vivid picture of the lives of Vietnamese street children and the tourists they need in order to survive, you would swear it was written by one of them.  I loved this book, and cared deeply about the characters brought to life by Shors’ clear sensitivity to the plight of the unseen and unwanted in Vietnam.” – Elizabeth Flock, bestselling author of Me & Emma

“A thriller, complete with camera-ready scooter chase scenes… Shors excels at plotting, and his Saigon street cred is impeccable.” – Kirkus Reviews

Dragon House seems a fitting title for a story of determination and bravery, set against heavy odds… Shors’ characters fight fate with the fierceness of dragons.” – The Denver Post

“(A)n absorbing story … this is the kind of novel (provocative, polarizing, exotic) that should stir book group discussion.” – Publishers Weekly

Dragon House is a beautifully written book with likeable characters.” – The Colorado Springs Gazette

Dragon House, like Shors’ previous novels, keeps you turning pages… It’s a book with a heart and Shors’ message, firmly stitched on his sleeve, echoes the Gospel of Luke: You may not be able to save the whole world, but you can always make a difference to one suffering before your eyes.” – Boulder Daily Camera


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