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Alexander Bayliss, a British citizen sent to the Soviet Union's gulags for spying in the 1950s, comes out of the camps feeling more Russian than English and, with the demise of Communism, faces soul-shattering choices and memories
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This is Martin Booth's twelfth adult novel. His novel Hiroshima Joe sold more than 350,000 copies worldwide, reaching number nine on the UK bestseller list. His most recent non-fiction books include The Doctor and the Detective: A Biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Opium: A History. An inveterate traveler, Martin Booth frequently broadcasts for the BBC.From Kirkus Reviews:
Much published in England but known here only for his nonfiction (Opium: A History,1998), Booth offers a gripping taleshort-listed for the Bookerof the gulag and one mans escape from it. In 1952, on business in Dresden, the university-educated Englishman Alexander Bayliss is picked up by the Soviets, charged with suspicion of espionage against the USSR, found guilty, and sentenced to 25 years of labor as a coal miner somewhere above the Arctic Circle. The reader gets this information from a much later timegathering it from Baylisss own lengthy reminiscence on his 80th birthday as he makes his usual rounds of the Russian village of Myshkino, where, for 20 years, ever since the end of his sentence, he has lived with the devoted young woman Frosya and her car-mechanic husband, Trofim. What led him to the village wont be told here, as neither will the cause of the special relationship between Baylissor Shurik, his Russian nicknameand young Frosya, who transparently reveres him. Why the villagers also venerate him, however, can be toldthe reason being that even after a quarter-century in the gulag, he doesnt hate them, insisting that they did nothing to him. For Shurik, an intelligently avuncular Solzhenitsyn-figure who only occasionally becomes overbearing, there is an absolute difference between political abstractions and real people. And, as he reminisces back to the suffering, cruelty, terror, and death he suffered or witnessed, its the people who were there with him that one will remember: Titian, the math professor now imprisoned; Avel, who flew MIGs against Yankees; and, most especially, Kirill, the leader of Shuriks work squad, whose boundless humor, generosity, friendshipand terrible deathwill explain why Bayliss/Shurik chooses to devote whats left of his own life to humble Myshkino. By turns terrifying and moving, an observant book likely to be long remembered. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description St Martins Pr, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First US Edition. Book and DJ are New, First US Edition, first printing, Short-listed for the Booker Prize, Laurie 27, ; 9.13 X 6.57 X 1.11 inches; 250 pages. Seller Inventory # 29302
Book Description St Martins Pr, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0312242034
Book Description St Martins Pr, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0312242034
Book Description St Martins Pr. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0312242034 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0086587
Book Description St Martins Pr, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0312242034