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The People's Act of Love

Meek, James

2.284 Bewertungen bei Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1841956546 / ISBN 13: 9781841956541
Verlag: Canongate Books Ltd, Edinburgh, 2005
Gebraucht Zustand: Very Good Hardcover
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Beschreibung

Hardcover in very good condition. Signed by author on title page. Hardcover spine ends are lightly bumped. Pages are clean and text is clear throughout. Binding is sound. HCW. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 440426

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: The People's Act of Love

Verlag: Canongate Books Ltd, Edinburgh

Erscheinungsdatum: 2005

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: Very Good

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good

Signiert: Signed by Author

Art des Buches: Used

Über diesen Titel

Inhaltsangabe:

Siberia 1919. In the outer reaches of a country recently torn apart by civil war live a small Christian sect and its enigmatic leader, Balashov. Stationed nearby is a regiment of Czech soldiers, desperate to get home but on the losing side if the recent conflict. Uncertainty prevails. Into this isolated community trudges Samarin, an escapee from Russia's northernmost gulag. Immediately apprehended, he is brought before Captain Matula, the regiment's megalomaniac commander. But the stranger's arrival gas also caught the attention of others, including Anna, a beautiful young war widow. And when the local Shaman lies dead, suspicion and terror engulf the little town...James Meek's novel is a breathtaking contemporary fable staged against one if the most remote landscapes on earth. The remarkable cast of characters and Meek's uncanny ability to evoke the period bring to mind the work of the great Russian masters. The People's Act of Love is a magnificent piece of storytelling, an unforgettable novel and a deeply satisfying read.

Review:

James Meek has won several awards for his journalism and his fiction, but The People's Act Of Love is a singular departure from all that came before. It is a big Russian novel, written in English. Meek has upped the ante on such books as Cold Mountain and The March in bringing the reader his version of the unspeakable horror and brutality of war, the colder-than-cold winter, the cruelty and humanity of people in extremis.

It is 1919 in Yazyk, Siberia, far from anywhere. The war is waning, but its ravages remain. There is an uneasy detente between a group of Czech soldiers, marooned on the losing side and longing to go home, and a fanatical Christian sect that practices castration as a means of purifying themselves. One of their number is their leader, Balashov, married to a beautiful and restive photographer, Anna Petrovna, who has come to the village of Yazyk to raise her son, after learning of her husband's castration. Her fury knows no bounds. She gives herself to anyone who is interested as a means of shaming Balashov, and satisfying her own appetites.

Into this motley collection of people comes a stranger, Samarin, who says he has escaped from The White Garden, Russia's northernmost prison camp, a place of unbelievable barbarism. Shortly after his arrival, the village shaman, possessed of a third eye and an albino sidekick, is found murdered. Suspicion falls immediately on Samarin. In successive chapters, Meek has each person or faction tell his or her story. Samarin, a revolutionary, charismatic visionary, every bit as zealous as the castrates, tells of his escape. Matula, the crazy, cocaine-snorting leader of the Czechs, doesn't really want to go home, so he prevents his soldiers from leaving. Mutz, a sensible sort, quite taken with Anna, dreams of home and keeps hope alive among his soldiers. Balashov tells of what led him to castrate himself.

The hopes, wishes, dreams, and illusions of all these people converge in Meek's novel. He shows man as pure, base, megalomaniacal, rational, intelligent, incredibly stupid--every aspect of humanity is examined, especially compassion. Despite the horrid excesses of war--and peace--Meek, in their telling, weaves a completely believable story of what happens to people who are not just at the margins of the world, but at the edge of their ability to understand themselves and the world around them. (The people's act of love, by the way, has nothing to do with love: it is cannibalism.) Don't miss this extraordinary novel; it is hugely deep and satisfying. --Valerie Ryan

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