The People's Act of Love
This book is about several different characters who throughout the book realize who they are, who they love and the meaning of life. This book sounds a little mushy but its not. The author is very real which makes the book easy to relate to.
I would suggest that everyone read th...more
That’s not what this book is about.
In Siberia in 1919, a forgotten Czech troop holds the town of Yaszyk. The town is mainly populated by an extreme sect of castrate Christians. It’s about history, revolution, Russia. It’s about ideals, cold and rational, brushing up against natural, warm-blooded reality. And it’s about love. What is love? What are its boundaries? What would you do...more
And, The End Justifies The Means?, 17 Jan 2006
"He's not a destroyer; he is destruction, leaving these good people who remain to build a better world on the ruins. What looks like an act of evil to a single person is the people's act of love to its future itself." Samarin pretending to speak of another, but really speaking of himself.
James Meek has written a marvelous story-telling in this novel. At once so well written you would think he was writing in Russia of 1920. This is the time of the Ru...more
The main theme in this book is as the title suggests - love. Love in all it's various forms; parents for children, children for parents, spouses towards each other, men and women...more
I’ve read somewhere one comment about the books as if ”Anna Karenina meets Silence of the Lambs” and that’s pretty much true with the diff...more
in a turbulent post-revolution siberia, the town of yazyk is populated by militant czech occupiers and an extremist christian cult -- groups in seeming polar...more
I started it, put it down, gritted my teeth and picked it up again, and slowly became engrossed in the story. Once all the main characters were in one place, Yazyk, the story started to make more sense. Did I like it? I’m still not sure! I admired the intelligence, the multi layers of story that embr...more
That most critics compared this intellectual epic novel to those by the Russian Greats__Tolstoy and Dostoevsky__attests to its power. A study of fanaticism and faith, People's Act draws a broad canvas of human history in its convincing depictions of battle, prison life, politics, romance, and revolution. Meek, an English novelist and Moscow correspondent, also creates pitch-perfect dialogue, deep characterizations, and affecting imagery. In the vein of Russian novels, much philosophizing takes p...more
The story was, at times, too far out for me. Then again, I've read enough non-fiction to know that there are few things "too far out" when it comes to the extremes of human behavior. People do amazing things in pursuit of faith and survival. People also become very cruel animals under circumstances that need not be extreme at all.
I left the book most appreciative of the display...more
The premise, quite simply, is superb. The drama of events unfolding in the wake of the literally revolutionary changes in early 20th century russia, and the unique and powerful story of Czech soldiers stranded on the trans siberian railway, makes for an unforgettable backdrop. I thoroughly recommend familiarising oneself with the history of the period, simply be...more
But the similarities I keep finding aren't as much to writers as to movies; Col mentioned Ravenous, the praising of which I would like to join, but I also...more
It’s the last dark days of the Russian Revolution. The hard times have left their mark all over the place. Among the population of this hellish village of Yazyk are: Anna a passionate, widowed single mother, a group of stranded Czech soldiers with a cocaine addicted Captain, a separatist Christian sect obsessed with purity, a creepy local shaman and--bonus-- the Re...more
One of my favourite phrases is when the author is talking about the way people who live in their own world are often more self-confident than those who have no choice but to acknowledge the existence of the rest of humanity,
... the terrible strength and lack of mercy of the accumulation of all the people you didn't know which could reach inside you and make you afraid,
and his descriptions of photographs and the power of photography are wo...more
When I was younger, and not a wage earner, I used to dream about having my own library instead of having to rely on the public ones. Never again would I have to search or reserve the latest works of my favourite authors, because I'd simply buy them and read when I was i...more
Vivid characters abound here. There’s a drunken shaman with a third eye and an albino assistant. There’s Anna Petrovna, whose husband has left her to lead the local cult that practices ritual castration to attain purity (another documented practice I was happie...more
The novel revolves around a disjointed-yet-inherently-connected group of complex characters coexisting in a ruthless Siberia at the end of The Russian Revolution. And it is about love. Just not the fluffed up, butterfl...more
Stick with it....please!
It is only when these individual stories start to interconnect, as
Cindy said 'the confusion becomes more interesting than confusing.'
Set in Russia 1919 in the village of Yazyk, a remote outpost in the Siberian wilderness during the Russian Revolution. The village is populated by a stranded regiment of Czech soldiers, a beautiful widow...more