The People's Act of Love
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
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
- cranky as hell
- probably has scale model trains in basement
- has a proud collection of hardcover books about 20th century wars published in 1960
- dust jackets thereof ripped from overuse
- condescendingly rolls eyes when you get a minor historical fact wrong in conversation
- hates cocktail parties
- is THAT GUY at cocktail parties
- drinks vodka straight at cocktail parties
- because that's how the Russians did it during the war
- mildl ...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
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 R ...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
First off, so much has been said most recently about cultural appropriation and authentic voices. I do not give two cents about preposterous claims that some st ...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 wido ...more
i saw another member had posted a one sentence review. 'what you expect from Russian novels that gets lost in the translation.' given that i have never read an original Russian as well as it's translat ...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
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
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