The Dumb House (Vintage Classics) : In Persian myth, it is said that Akbar the Great built a palace which he filled with newborns, attended only by mutes, in order to learn whether language is innate or acquired. As the children grew into their silent and difficult world, this palace became known as the Gang Mahal, or Dumb House. In his first novel, John Burnside explores the possibilities inherent in a modern-day repetition of Akbar's investigations. The unnamed narrator creates a twisted variant of the Dumb House. When the children develop a musical language of their own, excluding their jailer, he extracts an appalling revenge.