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  • MacLehose Press
  • MacLehose Press
  • Maclehose Press

The Archipelago of Another Life

Andrei Makine

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Fiction in translation

A tense "Siberian Western" set in the inhospitable, boundless Russia taiga at the height of the Cold War

On the far eastern borders of the Soviet Union, in the sunset of Stalin's reign, soldiers are training for a war that could end all wars, for in the atomic age man has sown the seeds of his own destruction.

Among them is Pavel Gartsev, a reservist. Orphaned, scarred by the last great war and unlucky in love, he is an instant victim for the apparatchiks and ambitious careerists who thrive within the Red Army's ranks.

Assigned to a search party composed of regulars and reservists, charged with the recapture of an escaped prisoner from a nearby gulag, Gartsev finds himself one of an unlikely quintet of cynics, sadists and heroes, embarked on a challenging manhunt through the Siberian taiga.

But the fugitive, capable, cunning and evidently at home in the depths of these vast forests, proves no easy prey. As the pursuit goes on, and the pursuers are struck by a shattering discovery, Gartsev confronts both the worst within himself and the tantalising prospect of another, totally different life.

Translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan

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Praise for The Archipelago of Another Life

  • A powerful story of metaphysical adventure. - L'Express

  • A thrilling manhunt through the taiga. - Liberation

  • As good as Stendhal or Tolstoy . . . I would rather read him than anyone else now writing - Literary Review.

  • One of the significant novelists of our age. - Observer.

  • Makine packs great steppes-full of history into compact, bejewelled boxes of prose. - Independent.

  • Makine's wonderful economy of image and phrase convey far more than one could think possible about the Russian soul. - Daily Telegraph.

  • Masterful . . . Makine has been justly compared with Tolstoy, but here I think the better reference is Joseph Conrad. - Spectator.

  • Pleasingly clever stuff . . . has an ambition of romantic grandeur that feels genuinely, soulfully Russian. - Sunday Times.

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Andrei Makine

Andrei Makine was born in Siberia, but writes his novels in French. Le Testament Fran ais was the winner of the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Medici, and the first novel to win both of these prestigious awards.

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